The Summer Artisan Market has returned to The Art Gallery Osoyoos for the third year in a row.
The market features the work of about 40 local artists and it runs through the summer until Labour Day on Sept. 4.
The market typically features smaller pieces that tourists can take with them on their travels, but it’s also aimed at local art shoppers as well, said Sue Whittaker, curator of The Art Gallery Osoyoos.
“We certainly do have lots of tourists coming in to buy things, but local folks as well,” said Whittaker. “There are people who come back year after year and say they wouldn’t miss this.”
The gallery has long featured the work of multiple artists over the summer, but the artisan market format was tried first in 2015 and has continued since.
Each artist gets a three-foot horizontal section of wall for multiple pieces of work, but height is only limited by the ceiling.
“I just say visualize a fridge as your space,” Whittaker tells the artists. “People were looking at me with ‘what is she talking about’ looks on their faces. And I say visualize a fridge and that’s the space that you’re going to have.”
There are 35 spaces or stalls, but Whittaker says some artists share their space with others.
As in the past, there will be a variety of media such as paintings, pottery, jewelry, photography and woodcarving.
Whittaker said there are several new artists this year.
Stuart Arseneault and Raelene Johnston are two new artists to the summer market. They make handcrafted silver and crystal jewelry and Johnston does weaving, Whittaker said.
Rose Lepischak is a painter, cross-stitch artist and Ukrainian egg decorator.
The photography of Stewart McLeish will be showing at the gallery for the first time.
Also featured will be pop art portraits by Karsten Coty-Scholl, who had a popular solo show at the gallery in 2015.
Some of the artists will sell handmade cards with prints.
Tourists prefer to buy smaller pieces that they can travel with, said Whittaker.
“You probably wouldn’t bring in a full-sized watercolour painting,” she said. “You keep the paintings a bit smaller. And they love the pottery. Jewelry always goes well.”
Most artists are from Osoyoos and immediate area, but there are some from other nearby communities such as Keremeos.
The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. during May and June. It switches to summer hours from June 30 to Sept. 4, opening seven days a week from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Whittaker said the gallery tries to open early on Saturdays when Market on Main is operating.
The Art Gallery Osoyoos is located at 8713 Main Street, just west of Town Hall.
By Richard McGuire