When Jane Davidson opened the doors at the Gallery of Artisans on June 28 she wasn't sure there would be much artwork to display, but her concerns were short lived.
The house she purchased on Jensen Street across from city hall and turned into an art gallery is now a feast for the eyes, with unique one-of-a-kind pieces in every nook and cranny.
Davidson said at first she was getting frustrated because she couldn't find any artists to display their work in her gallery.
"They would say oh no we don't do stuff on consignment. I decided I would open the doors anyway and see what happens. As it turned out, when I opened I only had about eight artists. I now have 26. The first time I opened the door the artists raced in."
The bright colourful studio that Davidson renovated herself is now brimming with beautiful artwork.
The walls display paintings in all mediums and the shelves hold all kinds of wonderful jewelry ranging from up-cycled silver trays and cutlery to beach themed polymer clay, glass and amazing beading.
Davidson said she always wanted to open an art gallery but it wasn’t until she received an inheritance that she was able to achieve that goal.
“When I was in my twenties I was an artist and I really wanted to do this but I never had the money. Throughout my life I have been trying to figure out how I can be an artist and survive. I lost my dad in September 2013 and thanks to him I was able to purchase a house and fulfill my dream,” she explained.
Davidson couldn’t be more pleased with how things have come together and now she is working hard on promoting her studio as well as others in Parksville.
Right away she came up with a Parksville art gallery tour pamphlet that includes a map and a list of 13 galleries in Parksville.
“There is a real common feeling that there is no where to shop in Parksville so I created a map with all of the local galleries that you can stop by. I have distributed 600 of them throughout the community. Over 20 resorts have them now and people are coming in.”
Davidson also hands out coupons at the Craig Street Summer by the Sea Street Market to shoppers offering free bottles of water to whoever wanders her way to browse at the gallery.
Although there are only a few of her paintings hanging at the gallery, Davidson said that will change once she sets up a working studio.
“I haven’t painted for many years because I haven’t had the space to do it. I will be setting up a studio here in the gallery and I have also ordered a bunch of beads and I am going to make some jewelry.”
Davidson’s photographic greeting cards can be purchased at the gallery.
She said it was by fluke that she became somewhat of a shutterbug.
“Two winters ago I had been working in the film industry and hated it. I took a rental in Qualicum Beach on the water for the winter with the intention of painting but that didn’t happen. I picked up my camera and couldn’t put it down and I became a photographer.”
The common theme running through Davidson’s photography is the ocean and the life it nurtures.
She said she has always been attracted to the ocean and after living a bit like a gypsy and moving a lot she is now in her happy place, inspired by her surroundings and looking forward to living her dream.