The Gateway To The Arts Cooperative venture in downtown North Bay officially opens this weekend.
A ribbon-cutting with dignitaries is scheduled for 11:30 Saturday morning at 151A Main Street West.
Founding member Karrie Emms says they offer a place for established and emerging artists to learn different techniques and more.
"How to market themselves, give them a place to show as well as sell their works, run events, we have workshop space that members get access to, we will be putting on workshops for artists as well as the general public," Emms told CKAT.
Gateway to the Arts officially opened in October and in less than two months has grown from four to 10 member artists.
"We have been working to renovate a wonderful location and five of us have moved our own studios into the lower level. It has been challenging to open during a world-wide pandemic but, it was worth all of the hard work and late nights to bring something new and fresh to the city,” added Emms, one of Gateway To the Arts founders and owner of Agape Designs Studios.
The idea behind a co-operative venture is to keep as much as possible in-house and low cost.
Gateway To the Arts offers a variety of membership levels open to Northern Ontario Artists from Huntsville to the Manitoba border and Chalk River to Sault Ste. Marie. Currently, all members are based in North Bay or Sudbury.
“We have a diverse member base including a photographer, several painters, a mixed media and nature artist. and a balloon artist," said Emms.
"The five studios downstairs rented quickly to members and all the members have harmonious relationship that just sort of fell into place. We were not going to question it! Instead, we went with it and we took it from a concept brought up in a casual conversation back in February to a fully operational business featuring a gallery, main floor workspaces, a workshop area, and much more,” said Emms.
With files from CKAT