New online art gallery featuring Saskatchewan artists

Grasslands Gallery Online also offers virtual exhibitions, where viewers can explore what looks like a real gallery without leaving their homes.

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With over three decades of experience exhibiting her art across the province, Laureen Marchand knows how difficult it can be to fit a work of art into a commercial gallery.

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Even cafes or restaurants featuring local art can sometimes have waiting lists of up to a year. Galleries in small communities which may be easier to access have a much smaller audience.

These challenges were only heightened during the pandemic, as art galleries were forced to close their doors to the public for months and travel between communities became difficult.

“I’ve seen galleries wondering if they’re going to be able to stay in business and I’ve seen artists worrying about whether they will have places to exhibit again,” Marchand said.

“This spring, when it became clear that things weren’t going to work out quickly, I decided to create something that would offer some kind of alternative or improvement to the traditional brick and mortar mall. mortar.”

In mid-August, Marchand quietly launched Grasslands Gallery Online with the goal of giving Saskatchewan artists another platform for their work.

The gallery is currently showcasing eight artists, and a ninth will be added in the coming days. Its online-only format allows people all over the world to view and purchase the work of artists.

Laureen Marchand launched Grasslands Gallery Online, an online art gallery featuring Saskatchewan artists, in mid-August 2021.
Laureen Marchand launched Grasslands Gallery Online, an online art gallery featuring Saskatchewan artists, in mid-August 2021. Photo by Laureen Marchand /Submitted

As gallery manager, Marchand handles sales and promotional work, while artists receive details of the sale and ship the work directly from their studios to the buyer.

The response to the idea of ​​an online gallery has been only positive so far.

“It was wonderful. I only had enthusiasm. Even the artists that I approached who are not able to participate at the moment say… “I would like a lot later” or something like that, ”said Marchand.

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“I want this to be a business where everyone feels at home – the viewer and the artist – and I want to be able to communicate with everyone in a satisfying way on both sides.”

Edie Marshall, one of the first artists featured on Grasslands Gallery Online, lives in a rural community west of Regina and has said exhibiting her art online saves her time and money to go to a physical gallery. It also attracted a wider audience to his work.

“I have a lot more publicity and attention for my artwork than before, and sales that I wouldn’t have had, so it definitely pays off to do that,” she said.

But an online gallery can also give a taste of the traditional gallery viewing experience. Marchand uses software to create virtual exhibitions, which allow viewers to feel alone in a real gallery. When the viewer hovers the mouse over a part, information about the part is displayed.

The concept is fairly new, only takes off during the pandemic, but she expects it to continue to develop.

“You can get close, then walk away again, and you can move on to the next one,” Marchand said.

“It’s like walking through a real exhibit, except you’re the only person in the room and you don’t have any feet. You have a mouse instead.

On Monday, Marchand launches his second virtual exhibition, You Are Here: A Place on a Map of the Heart, featuring several artists. Marchand described the exhibition as exploring “the way artists focus on their viewers when times are uncertain.”

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She expects the exhibit to be online for a month and for everyone to see by visiting the site. Galerie des Prairies online website . Marchand hopes to have a third exhibition featuring a number of small works during the holiday season.

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