New chapter begins for Lacombe art gallery and framing business

The Main Gallery Framing Studio officially launched July 1st

It’s a brand new chapter for a City art gallery and framing studio.

Formerly known at The Gallery on Main, The Main Gallery & Framing Studio is in the same location but under new management.

June Lundie took over operations July 1st and she is planning a grand opening reception slated for Sept. 23rd from 3 to 7 p.m.

“There will be an artist in the house – Christel Langan,” said Lundie, adding there will also be new art to check out, wine and snacks, music and Langan will be actively painting.

There will also be some framing specials available as well.

Currently more than 50 artists are featured in the gallery, and the styles on display cover an array of genres from the more traditional to distinctly contemporary.

As an artist herself, Lundie said it’s been an inspiration and a joy meeting with the artists as the weeks have passed and she establishes the business in her own way. “It’s been exciting to meet the artists.”

Opening on Canada Day also proved to be something of a success as well with folks out and about across the community on the holiday.

“I had more friends and people come by – well-wishers, so that was kind of nice,” she explained, adding that it was kind of a surreal experience. It had come about quite quickly. She and her family run a gluten-free farm operation and Lundie felt the time was right to find something unique for herself to dive into.

“This has been right up my alley – along with my involvement with the Lacombe Art Guild for the past seven years,” she said.

She also served as president for the past three years.

On top of that, Lundie has also volunteered for the City of Lacombe with the art show held in April. Other past work has seen her involved with sales and working extensively with people, so that made taking ownership of the gallery that much more of a natural fit.

These days, she’s been digging into her new role as gallery owner and loving every minute of it.

“It’s the most positive place in the world to work,” she explained, adding that she is continually struck by the beauty of the pieces that hang on the wall. “I stood here the other morning staring at a painting, and I was thinking, wow! It’s a positive place to be – I like to tell people, if you are sitting at home and you are feeling kind of down today, just get in your car, come to the gallery and walk around.

“I don’t care if you buy anything – but it will just cheer you up.”

Meanwhile, a major emphasis on The Main Gallery & Framing Studio will be on sharing a love of art through education.

“We started with the kids’ classes from ages seven to 12 every Wednesday afternoon and they’ve been a great success,” she said, adding they run through the summer from 1 to 3 p.m.

Art classes for kids will also be offered into the winter season, probably on a Saturday as well from 1 to 3 p.m.

“They’ve been fun! This week’s was really enjoyable,” she said with a smile. Full day art classes for adults are also offered on Saturdays and Sundays throughout the winter season. The schedules will be posted on the web site, so folks can watch for details later this month.

They are also having evening classes in what we are calling Art Alley – a special area in the gallery that has been designated to the creativity and for folks to expand their ‘artistic horizons’.

The space will also be available for everything from book readings, book signings, and bridal showers to painting events most Thursday nights, birthday parties.

“I will also have artists in the house every third Saturday from 3 to 7 p.m. with a wine, snack and music reception,” she added.

Also starting up this winter will be special art retreats for various weekends through the season. It’s about connecting with other local businesses and bringing together a number of services and treats for a fun and creative weekend for guest artists to ply their trades, socialize and enjoy themselves with some like-minded folks.

Lundie is excited about the reams of possibilities – providing a place for out-of-town artists to get to know Lacombe and meeting new friends while honing their own artistic skills at the same time. A guest artist from any number of genres would be featured during those retreats as well.

And although Lundie’s official role with the Guild end this fall, Guild members will also be holding weekly paint nights at The Main Gallery.

Prior to Lundie taking the reins, the gallery was owned by Laverne Jones for about 10 years. Over the years, the business has built up an exceptional reputation for quality and of course an extensive collection as well.

And although Jones has owned and managed it these past 10 years, it’s actually been operational for about 20 years.

Jones was committed to showcasing art from Albertans, and that’s a tradition that Lundie would like to carry on with.

“I’m thankful to her for maintaining that, and I will carry that tradition on,” she said, adding there are loads of extraordinary artists right here in this province to feature.

For more information, find them on facebook or call 403-782-3402.

mark.weber@reddeerexpress.com