Create, a unique retail space, part art studio and part gallery, opened its doors Dec. 1. Proprietor Karen Love, who had been teaching art classes from her home, decided a storefront presence on Cowrie Street in Sechelt would be a better fit. “Interviewing a bunch of people, everyone said there was a need,” says Love. “When people come in and I explain what we do, they’re really excited.” Love offers a variety of classes and workshops to people of all ages and experience levels. January saw well known painter Carmelo Sortino give a weekend workshop on oil painting and talented weaver Shy Watters hold a sold-out workshop on weaving cedar hats.
In addition to more in-depth workshops, Love offers a variety of classes and drop-in opportunities geared toward those who want to give art making a try, but might be a bit shy about their abilities. “I want to give people an experience and encourage them to have fun,” says Love. “And I want this to be the place they have fun in,” she says laughing. Theme nights might see participants try their hand at painting a cat, or a field of lupins, or a Jackson Pollock-style canvass. “It’s 80 per cent women except when it comes to the Jackson Pollock nights,” says Love of her usual patrons. “Then it’s more like 50-50.” The next Jackson Pollock night is Feb. 9 where for $200 patrons can paint a 3’x4’ canvass, all supplies included. As a pre-Valentine’s opportunity, Love is encouraging couples to paint a canvass together. “They’ll walk out really happy with a painting they can hang in their house,” guarantees Love. She has also scheduled a variety of drop-in times and has a series of projects for children, including painting, making cards, games or bracelets. While she might offer some guidance, “I don’t want to make them do what I think they should do,” says Love. “I want them to have the freedom to do what they want to do.” She has begun hosting children’s birthday parties and has even hosted a stagette.
Create also carries a variety of works by local artists, including textile artist Nell Burns, woodworker John Miller, painter Jennifer Goodwin and jeweller Kerri Luciani. “Art makes my heart sing,” says Love. “I want other people to explore that. I want to support local artists and encourage creativity for all ages by offering affordable experiences. [It’s] an outlet for fun and learning and making new friendships and taking the fear out of painting.”
For more information on Create, including upcoming paint nights and events, visit facebook.com/CreatebyKaren or call 604-741-0422.