While the artists are away, the contractors will paint. That’s what happened to the NorVA Centre during the recent Denare Beach artist’s retreat. While the artists were at the retreat, the gallery was cleared out and the floors and walls were repainted.
“We picked the colors that were pretty neutral,” Mike Spencer, NorVA gallery
manager said. “The base feel is brighter. We’re artists, we’re going to fill it up. It’s not going to feel this clean forever... It’s a studio first here for the artists, but part of what the artists need is a place to exhibit work too - so we’re a gallery because we need to be.”
Repainting the gallery wasn’t as simple as throwing a roller down and getting to work. Because of the special walls used to display the art, repainting the walls required a sprayer.
“It’s a little trickier,” Spencer said.
“We got the flat wall, which is really handy when it comes to hanging art because you got easy hooks, you don’t have to bang holes in the walls. You can kind of adjust things as needed. The movable wall makes this space is very flexible –we can change things over very quickly.”
Spencer was curious to see what the new space looked like and found himself shocked at what the space looked like without its usual art.
“It was kind of spooky, actually,”he said.
“The whole time that I’ve worked at NorVA, it’s been a very active studio. Seeing it as empty as it had to be to paint the floors and the walls. It was kind of unsettling.”
The colours for the paint job, a neutral white for the walls and baby blue floors, were chosen for a reason. “We picked the colors that were pretty neutral,” Spencer said.
“The base feel is brighter. We’re artists, we’re going to fill it up, it’s not going to feel this clean forever. That’s part of making our studio. That’s always been what NorVA is. It’s a studio first here for the artists - but part of what the artists need is a place to exhibit work too - so we’re a gallery because we need to be.”
Spencer said NorVA is still looking to upgrade in a few other places. “I want a new front desk,”he said.
“I want to get a point of sale system in here so that we’re actually able to take credit cards and debit cards. Looking forward to 2020 is a big year for us, because that’s the 10 year anniversary, so we’ll be doing will be doing a lot of exciting stuff next year.”