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Pop-up gallery filling downtown Duncan's dead frontage with art

Painter Lynn Harnish with her work in Craig Street
Painter Lynn Harnish with her work in Craig Street's Pop-Up Gallery of a dozen local artists showing work to dress dead frontage for rent.
— image credit: Peter W. Rusland

Cowichan's first pop-up gallery on Craig Street is luring folks to the core while filling a landlord's dead front with art work.

Painter Lynn Harnish explained the picture-packed pop-up, across from Monk's Office supply, is a win-win for everyone.

"It's better for the whole core," she said after weeks of sales by her and a dozen other artists in vacant space owned by Chad Gursky.

"This way better than papered-over windows — and a better vibe for downtown Duncan."

The pop-up gallery concept — installing art into unused stores — started in London, spread to New York, and reached Duncan last month, she said.

"Response has been unbelievable. Even people who don't like contemporary art are coming in.

"We sell work almost everyday. There's not enough representation of contemporary art in the valley."

Harnish applauded Gursky — another valley artists wanting pop-up exposure — for seeing the benefits of art over vacancy.

"We hope all landlords see the vision and benefits of pop-ups," she said, unaware of when she and her colleagues must move their work from Gursky's space and into another empty place.

"We can give references to other landlords."

Harnish's paintings are flanked by those of Roxanne Nunweiler, Juvie Rebelo, Darren Rebelo, Alana Harnish, Ray Ekstrom, Vittoria Xylia, Brad Allen, Pamela Jamieson, Norma Jackson, and Tammie Hunter.

The Pop-Up Gallery on Craig still has work hanging. It can be seen by calling 250-246-6704. Artists' work will possibly pop-up at another local space by April, Harnish said.

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