Jeremy Humpherville says he has been lucky to have a loyal client base. It has enabled his gallery — Coastal Carvings — in Coombs to weather tough economic times, as other galleries have had to close.
“It has been a fight for artists recently,” he said. “All around us, galleries were dropping like flies.”
Artists who display their unique, one-of-a-kind pieces in his gallery saw their fortunes change over the last couple of years, he continued. One had to close their own gallery — but is still making their art.
“B.C. is not a better place without this art, these galleries,” said Humpherville, noting that aboriginal art does not seem to be promoted in the province as well as it could.
Getting information about the art to the tourism industry is important to add to visitors’ experiences.
“There’s lots to see and do in B.C., but we can offer more.”
That’s one of his goals with his Coastal Carvings gallery in Coombs. Open now for seven years, he has been able to grow and move into a larger space right across the street from his former gallery.
Humpherville is now in a 100-year-old house — completely renovated and turned into a great aboriginal art gallery.
What sets him apart, is the unique pieces of art from aboriginal creators from across the Island, B.C. and from other parts of Canada. He said he and his brother Jerett stick to their goal of displaying — and making — only one-of-a-kind pieces. This sort of high-end market has led to a loyal client base that has kept them in work.
The new Coastal Carving Gallery will have an open house June 24 to 26 at their house next to the bridge in Coombs. There will be aboriginal artists and musicians — Dorothy Jarvis, Ice Bear and Ed Peekeekoot — on hand between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. each day.
For more details, visit www.coastalcarvings.com.