The Art Shoppe Sees Huge Community Support on Opening Day

Nicole Gamble at her new enterprise, The Art Shoppe, featuring a gallery with works by local artists, retail art, craft supplies and art workshops.
By Joanne Rodgers, Bruce Peninsula Press

The Art Shoppe, the newest art destination in Northern Bruce, showcases local artwork, offers specialized art workshops and kids’ craft drop-in sessions. 

Located in the iconic Candle Shop at Summer House Park, Miller Lake, this Art Gallery has something for all ages, from persons looking to purchase unique artwork or browse, try their hand at fostering their own creative talents by attending a mentored art workshop, kids craft classes for the budding artists of the future or even host a birthday with a craft based theme.

This new enterprise is operated by local artist Nicole Gamble. It is truly a family affair, with her sister Alison and daughter Sam taking an active part in running the gallery. The former candle store and former BPDS Haunted House required a total renovation, taking 68 days from the start of renovations to opening the store. Gamble’s husband, parents, siblings, daughter and friends all participated in transforming this new space.

The newly renovated space is bright, airy and inviting. It features an art gallery with local artwork, art workshop room for adults and kids, a Christmas room stocked with locally crafted decor, ornaments and handmade winter mitts, and a retail area dedicated to art and craft supplies.

28 local and regional artists have their work displayed in the art gallery. Gamble says there were artists she had not met before who reached out to her to express their interest in this new venture.

The Retail Arts and Crafts Supplies Room is stocked with Ontario made or Canadian made craft kits, focusing on eco-friendly products and ones created from natural sources. One such supplier is Beam Paints from Manitoulin Island, an Indigenous enterprise with a focus on natural based pigment content with plastic free packaging. Gamble says she selects companies that represent the values of her enterprise and fosters development for women entrepreneurs.

Crafts kits start at $5.00 and can be taken to go or to be used in the workshop space. 

The art workshop space will be used for adults and kids art workshops and for the daily kids craft drop-ins during the summer months. The Saturday Workshop series will focus on specific art techniques and each workshop will be led by a qualified instructor. The two and half hour workshops start at $60 which include all supplies and instruction. 

Pre-registration is required for the upcoming workshops. Watercolour Botanicals on June 18th and Bottle in a Basket on June 25th.

There will be daily kid craft drop-in every afternoon in summer for a cost of $5.

The space is also available for birthday parties. Gamble says kids can do a craft. Then with a purchase of a day pass, the kids can enjoy the water activities at Summer House Park. And with the wood fired pizza offerings, the partiers can be well fed.

Gamble expresses her appreciation “to everyone who has come out to wish us well on our first two weekends open! The community support has been overwhelming.” On the first weekend of opening approx 100 persons visited the Art Shoppe.

Nicole, Alison and Sam express their appreciation to Darci and Sharon Lombard at Summer House Park for believing in their vision for the space and supporting them in pursuing this adventure.

The Art Shoppe is open Friday – Sunday from May to October, and will be open 7 days a week in July and August 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

For more information phone 519-373-3526, email [email protected] or visit Facebook: TheArtShoppeAtMillerLake

L-R: Denise Callaghan and Emerita Urquhart both have artwork displayed at the Galley and were keen to see the new space.