When the next art exhibit opens at Williams Lake’s The Station House Gallery in July it will happen quietly.
“We aren’t having any official openings this year,” said executive director Diane Toop. “Most of our artists for 2020 have postponed until next year due to COVID-19.”
During July and August the gallery will feature works from nine members of the Cariboo Art Society — celebrating the 75th anniversary as an arts society this year.
“They have stepped up to the plate and said they would be our summer show, even though we cannot have an opening.”
Titled Curious perceptions, landmarks and whimsy, the CAS show opens Friday, July 3.
In September, the gallery’s board of directors plan to host a middle man show, something they’ve done in the past.
Toop said it’s an opportunity for people to bring works of art that they want to sell. They don’t have to be their works of art, they can be someone else’s works of art.
But they have to be originals or signed prints.
“The art will be hung properly, as all our shows are. People love this, we’ve done two before.”
Summer student Kaitlin Green started working on June 23 and said she just completed her first year of the fisheries and wildlife program at the University of Northern B.C. in Prince George.
Summer hours will begin July 7 — Monday through Saturday 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Funding from the federal government made her position possible.
In October, the gallery will feature the works of visual artist Corey Hardeman.
For part of the pandemic the gallery was closed, while Toop continued to sell items from the gift shop online, arranging for pick up from her own front porch.
She said the board never met via zoom, but in May gathered in a director’s yard for a meeting to ensure physical distancing.
“Last time we met in the gallery and put our chairs far apart from each other,” she added.
People missed the gallery while it was closed and many messaged Toop asking how things were going.
An exhibit featuring works by local artist Lynn Capling that opened in February, remained in the gallery through the pandemic, she said. In 2020, Toop will mark 24 years as the executive director. She started a year earlier as a volunteer.
Through the years she has always appreciated that the Cariboo Regional District and City of Williams Lake support the gallery, she said.