Gillian Turner’s Clay Box Gallery and Studio opens in Esquimalt this month. (Courtesy of Gillian Turner)

Gillian Turner’s Clay Box Gallery and Studio opens in Esquimalt this month. (Courtesy of Gillian Turner)

Esquimalt welcomes two new art spaces

Pottery studio, community arts hub opening this month

Art is taking Esquimalt by storm this fall, with two spaces dedicated to creation and imagination opening their doors in October.

Just over a year after arriving in Victoria, Comox native Gillian Turner is launching the Clay Box Gallery and Studio, a pottery studio, ceramics store and classroom at 829-C Admirals Rd.

Turner has been throwing clay since 1994 and has had her works on display at galleries across Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. She is known for her ‘Tiny Homes,’ which shed light on the need for secure shelter through the creation of hundreds of handmade salt-fired ‘homes.’

Now Turner hopes to share her love for pottery with her new community and sell the creations of other local artists.

“I just feel like people need not only an outlet for their finished work, but a safe, positive, happy environment in which to create,” she said. “I’m hoping that people are enthusiastic and I can share the joy of clay with them.”

READ ALSO: Esquimalt artists take to great outdoors amid coronavirus

The Clay Box will facilitate workshops, date nights and weekly classes. Eventually, Turner hopes to put on ‘super clay Saturdays’ for families with kids, so parents and guardians can learn how to work with clay alongside their children.

“I’m hoping to introduce people to the world of clay. It can be a really comforting personal growth activity.”

But Turner’s pottery endeavor isn’t the only arts installment coming to the township. The Esquimalt Community Arts Hub (ECAH) is also opening this month.

Pioneered by ECAH president Laura-Beth Keane, the hub will act as a non-profit art gallery, classroom and gift shop at 901 Esquimalt Rd.

“I absolutely see Esquimalt growing into a cool neighbourhood like Granville Island in Vancouver,” Keane said in an email. “We have so many really talented individuals that are just waiting for a space to display and showcase their work.

“We have a relatively small population and Esquimalt Road creates a walkable corridor that just screams out for galleries and funky shops.”

Esquimalt Mayor Barb Desjardin is excited to see arts and culture initiatives come to life in Esquimalt.

“We are a stronger and better community with the arts and I know Esquimalt will embrace this emerging sector,” she said in an email.

READ ALSO: Esquimalt artist captures culinary personalities with body art


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