All the artists on the avenue

Ramona Swift-Thiessen speaks with gallery patrons about her work, which includes her live-painted piece, left. (Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald)

It’s a crowded space at the On the Avenue mini gallery this month.

But it’s a good thing. This month, instead of highlighting one of the 46 artists who belong to the gallery, the space is highlighting each of them. Every artist has a work in the show, and they kicked it off last weekend with an all-day artist meet and greet.

“I wanted to have a meet and greet, and a show where it displays each of their pieces of art and what they do,” said gallery manager Tahnni Dupre.

“All of the artists have a piece in our mini gallery for the month of April.”

While the gallery has been around for a while, it’s only been in its new location for the past year or so. The move has opened the gallery space, and the store, and is proving to have been a good decision.

“I love the new space. It has beautiful windows, sunlight and much more foot traffic,” Dupre said. “It allows us to have our own mini gallery, art shows and classes.”

The 46 members of the gallery represent a host of different styles and media.

“We have work from La Ronge, because the Lac La Ronge Indian Band owns the gallery, so we bring all the beading down from the north,” Dupre explained.

“We have painters, potters, wood artists, turners, sculptors and jewellery makers.”

The gallery doesn’t take commission. Instead, it charges each artist rent for their wall space. The artists keep all the profit from any sales they make.

One of the newest artists in attendance last weekend was Ramona Swift-Thiessen. She painted live in the gallery space for the morning, and met with patrons in the afternoon.

“I’m a performance painter,” she explained. “Sometimes I do shorter pieces. For this one, I had four hours. So lots of time.”

She’s the 46th artist to join the gallery, starting only a month ago.

“I love it,” Swift-Thiessen said.

She pointed to the variety of media sold at the gallery as a draw.

“Different things bring different people in. But while they’re here looking at moccasins, they notice the paintings on the wall or the pottery.

“I came to town and went through all the galleries and came back to this one. I really like it a lot.”