After three successful years, Polychrome Fine Arts has closed its doors at 1113 Fort Street and found both a new home and a shorter name: Polychrome Fine Art.
OK, they only dropped the “s.”
“We needed to edit things down,” says owner Shawn Shepherd. “It was getting to be too much for me.”
The new space at 977-A Fort has higher ceilings, more frontage and is just shy of half the square footage of the former gallery. And because of the new space restrictions, Polychrome will now be showing only contemporary art.
“We’ve always wanted to show contemporary artists with some of the older, well known artists that may be deceased, but we’re not doing that anymore,” says Shepherd. “We’re just showing contemporary work and we’re selling historical works online. If someone sees something listed on the website that they’re interested in, we’ll take it out for them.”
“We dropped the ‘s’, we’ve streamlined the logo and let about 25 artists go. We only have 20 artists now,” says Shepherd.
And all 20 artists will be showing works in the upcoming grand opening show: Hobnob 4, opening Thurs., July 12, from 7 to 9 p.m.
The artists are: Ken Banner, Bill Blair, Jordy Buckles, Lissa Calvert, Charles Campbell, Adam Curry, Caite Dheere, Dona Eichel, Roy Green, Cody Haight, Stephen Heal, Tyler Hodgins, PJ Kelly, J McLaughlin, Lance Olsen, Ingrid Mary Percy, Robert Randall, Mark Schmiedl, Kate Scoones and Shawn Shepherd.
Hobnob 4 features serigraph on velvet, oil on canvas, acrylic on canvas, assemblages and forged steel sculpture.
All the artists have exhibited with Polychrome in the past, except ironworker Stephen Heal.
“About a year and a half ago, he started doing assemblages,” says Shepherd. “He takes a piece of plywood, paints it a colour, then he runs it through a table saw to make perfect cuts and buts the pieces up against each other. They’re not a closed rectangular shape, they float off the wall and have a slightly digital look. They’re very modernist and the quality is very high as far as craftsmanship.”
Shepherd says there’s no theme for the show.
“[Having a theme] tends to cause problems psychologically in most artists’ minds,” says Shepherd. “We’ve never suggested a theme because my personal response to that is [the artists] feel they have to do something a little different than they would normally do. I think if you choose the artists carefully, no matter what they bring, the work can be hung side by side.”
Polychrome’s owners decided to move after the building they were in was sold and slated for demolition.
“We had a demo clause hanging over our heads for three years, it was just uncomfortable,” say Shepherd.
After six months of looking, Shepherd rolled past 977-A Fort (formerly the Victoria Emerging Art Gallery, which is now at 1016-A Fort) while the previous tenant was packing up. After taking a peek, he immediately contacted the architecture firm subleasing the building and worked out a deal.
“We’re here for a long time, we’re happy and we’re all set up,” says Shepherd. The gallery opened its doors July 4 and is welcoming the public to the Hobnob 4 grand opening party. But get there early: “We had more than 200 people at the grand opening of our last place and it could handle it, but this place can’t. I’m not sure what will happen, but it will be interesting.” M