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Monday, April 15, 2024
ArtSpace 106 gallery opens on Queen St.


Clarification: An earlier version of this story said Ruth Aspinall is the owner of The Epicurean restaurant. She sold the restaurant to its new owners three years ago.

A new art gallery in Niagara-on-the-Lake is attempting to bring more diversity to the art scene with work from local and international artists.

Featuring contemporary works, ArtSpace 106 officially opened its doors on Friday, June 14. Located at 106 Queen St., the gallery is owned by a small group of friends: Joerg Wiebe, his wife Shannon Wiebe and Ruth Aspinall.

“We all had the same ideas and we said, ‘Half of the expenditure is double the fun.’ That’s why we do what we do,” said Joerg.

With Aspinall’s artistic background and the Wiebes’ love for travelling – which allows them to shop for artwork all over the world – the idea of opening a gallery soon became a reality.

“Part of the idea was bringing some more diversity to Niagara-on-the-Lake,” said Shannon. “Just bringing some culture and some visual.”

The two-storey gallery showcases contemporary artwork created by three international artists: Romero Britto from Brazil, Volker Kuhn from Germany and Hamilton-based Taiwanese artist She-Chen Cheng.

There are also pieces from local artists such as Susan Holly and Alison Sawatzky, as well as sculptures, jewelry and ceramic and glass items. Some art pieces are commissioned and some artwork is bought during their travels, said Shannon.

It took six weeks to open the space and a soft opening was held in May. The response from the community has been good and local residents received the new gallery pretty well, said Shannon.

Opening a new business in town wasn’t “a new ride” for them as Aspinall is the owner of Serendipity shop and the former owner of The Epicurean restaurant. The Wiebes operate a bed and breakfast and a number of retail shops in town.

“We love our community. Niagara-on-the-Lake is an amazing place to be. With every little store we open, we hope it’s bringing some new and fresh, upbeat and upscale,” said Shannon.

“We had a good time doing (the gallery),” added Aspinall. “We’re looking forward to moving forward and building the business.”

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