Bringing two art galleries together 

White Dog Gallery's Penny Eder joins the Crystal Lodge Art Gallery and combines two artistic visions

click to enlarge PHOTO BY CATHRYN ATKINSON - Musing Visitors to the newly relaunched Crystal Lodge Art Gallery will see local West Coast artists and themes.
  • Photo by Cathryn Atkinson
  • Musing Visitors to the newly relaunched Crystal Lodge Art Gallery will see local West Coast artists and themes.

Being creative in the art world is an important consideration for the business side as well at the artist side.To that end, the brains behind two Whistler galleries have combined forces.

Penny Eder, former owner of the White Dog Gallery, has been brought in by the newly named Crystal Lodge Gallery to curate and relaunch their Whistler Village location.

The White Dog Gallery closed last August after two years at the Nita Lake Lodge.

Eder had originally planned to work from home and rotate her artists at different locations around the resort, but then she was contacted by the owner of the Crystal Gallery, Erica Chan and her husband Peter.

"I was asked if I would manage and curate this space, and I negotiated to bring my top-selling artists," Eder says.

"I'm feeling very fortunate to have this position. I feel safe with Erica and Peter; they understand that an artist can also be a businessperson (Eder is a ceramicist), that there is an important community here that supports the arts. It's a gorgeous space."

Many of the artists whose work she promoted were happy to follow her to the new venture.

"They are artists who work really well with this gallery setting. The aim of and the theory of the gallery is a lot of locally inspired artworks, with West Coast themes," she says.

In all, 35 artists are now represented by the Crystal Lodge Art Gallery.

The works include kelp basketry by Whistler artist Cheryl Massey, paintings by Kyle Macdonald, Jody Blainey and Brian Buckrell, photography by Dave Mossop and pottery by Ed Oldfield.

Chan says the changes were to move the gallery away from an exhibition space to a full commercial gallery with a larger selection of artists. "We wanted to establish a fully artist-owned, curated and managed gallery that caters to a wide range and tastes of art collectors," Chan says.

She added that they plan to incorporate the White Dog Gallery's previously popular "Wine about Art" and "Martini and Mud" events, as well as an artist-in-residence program in the summer and family events. "We want to help stimulate their inner creative visions and inspire some younger artists in training.  We really want people to come to the gallery, and encourage them to immerse themselves in the space and soak up that creative energy that we find so vitalizing," Chan adds.

She says it was "serendipitous" to meet Eder and merge her concepts from the White Dog Gallery together.

"(We are) happy and grateful to be collaborating with Penny and all the artists that are involved in our new gallery family," says Chan. "We want to keep the gallery light and positive so the space can act as a reminder of why we all became interested in art in the first place."

Bowen Island landscape painter Janet Esseiva, who also exhibits at the Crystal Lodge Art Gallery, is one of the artists who accompanied Eder.

"It is exciting to have work there, it's a great, busy location and Penny started in Function (Junction), which is not exactly a hub. But she is good at getting people in, which is amazing," Esseiva says.

Eder says the large gallery space, located in the lobby level of the Crystal Lodge,

"All of our artwork is sold at very reasonable prices, for everyday buyers," Eder says.

She adds that they have been anticipating the opening of the Audain Art Museum in March, which is due to attract more art-loving visitors to Whistler.

"It's going to be fabulous. So many art lovers and appreciators will come to the resort," she says.

"I don't think that anybody knows quite what is going to hit us, and I don't think the local community has an idea of how significant the (Audain's) collection is."

The Crystal Lodge Art Gallery's official opening is on Sunday, Feb. 14 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. For more information visit www.crystallodgeartgallery.com.

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