Eclectic Gallery changes hands

New owners Chris and Anne-Louise Taylor carry on the gallery’s distinct local medley

Eclectic Gallery Owners John and Vijaya Taylor pass the torch to new owners this spring after running the gallery on Oak Bay Avenue for nine years. Chris and Anne-Louise Brooks moved from Alberta last year and jumped at the opportunity to own their favourite Oak Bay gallery.

“[Anne-Louise and I] had been in a few times and bought a few things. I saw a for sale sign up one day and started thinking about it, and decided to go for it,” Chris Brooks said, days after the gallery’s exhibition reception and transitional meet-and-greet. Regular visitors express concerns about whether the gallery will change its eclectic aesthetic or turn out longtime artists. John Taylor says that will not be an issue.

“We have over 100 local artists in the gallery and when we did the transition to Chris and Anne-Louise, we asked all of our artists if they wanted to take their things back or if they wanted to stay,” Taylor said. “All but one of them stayed.”

He says the transition will be relatively seamless. “It’s like stepping into a gallery that’s all set and running.”

The goal remains the same: to showcase local art in a wide range of styles and mediums – a concept which caught on quickly in Oak Bay when the Taylors first opened.

“It was the right idea at the right time, and it’s been really wonderful the way word of mouth has reached the community,” Taylor said. “That’s really what sustains a small business: having local customers and local clients.”

Since the launch of Eclectic Gallery, the Taylors have practiced thoughtful art selection. While the gallery follows its namesake with jewelry, prints, pottery, and more, a high degree of care can be found in the selection and display of items. “We’ve really expanded over the years. One of the areas we’ve expanded is jewelry – we have a wonderful collection of contemporary jewelry now, and we just got notice that we were nominated for our jewelry in an English wedding planning magazine,” Taylor said.

Through the end of June, collections by contemporary printmaker Avis Rasmussen and encaustic and mixed media artist Alanna Sparanese are on prominent display.

“We visited Avis’ studio and she must have three hundred pieces of art that are framed,” Taylor said. Twenty of Rasmussen’s prints hang this month, covering themes like women in jazz and the summer Olympics. Rasmussen’s small edition reduction linocuts are carved in reverse and printed one colour at a time on BFK Rives rag paper.

Sparanese’s collection hangs opposite with encaustic scenes on board. Sparanese brings her admiration of nature, the movement of birds and her surroundings to life through the 2000-year-old technique of layering bees wax, resin and oil pigment and setting her compositions by blow torch. Taylor says the gallery always appreciates having her work on display. “She’s a really accomplished artist. People see it for the first time and come back and start making collections of her work because [the pieces] group together so well.”

Visit the works of Rasmussen and Sparanese through June and new owners Chris and Anne-Louise Brooks at Eclectic Gallery, 2170 Oak Bay Avenue.

Just Posted

Oak Bay teacher wins 91.3 the Zone’s Teacher of the Month

French teacher at École Willows School wins custom Converse from Baggins and Big Wheel gift cards

BC Transit buses to get safety door for drivers

These new full-length doors will be tested in Victoria, Kelowna and Abbotsford

Sooke high school holds third annual 10,000 Tonight food drive

Donations can be dropped off at Village Foods, SEAPARC, Stick in the Mud coffeehouse, and EMCS

Fees waived for affordable housing project in Sooke

Knox Vision Society is building a $11.3-million facility on Church Road

Greater Victoria School District moves to support marginalized students

Sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) resource to inform district curriculum

Oak Bay teacher wins 91.3 the Zone’s Teacher of the Month

French teacher at École Willows School wins custom Converse from Baggins and Big Wheel gift cards

Local businesses help by replace aging wheels

Collabortive effort assists with charitable deliveries

‘Fresh eyes’ looking into three missing Cowichan Tribes men

First Nations want answers to their disappearances

FortisBC LNG site exports first shipment of gas to China

The shipment is part of a pilot project that could see more exports in the future.

BC RCMP hunt for white SUV that rammed cruiser

Kamloops RCMP are looking for a white SUV headed north on the Yellowhead Highway

B.C. to reimburse methadone patients for taking clinic fees off welfare cheques

Provincial government agrees to pay back more than $5.5 million in deducted fees

Stiff fine for B.C. man caught trafficking bear parts

A Cache Creek resident was charged after an undercover sting operation by conservation officers

Saanich grocery store serves up chili for fundraiser

A local grocery store served delicious chili to warm the stomach and… Continue reading

Vandals pour fake blood on statues at B.C. church

Church members concerned about string of acts of vandalism and possible escalation

Most Read