Saturday, June 2 is a big day for the Coloratura Fine Art Gallery, a new venture on the Cabot Trail in the St. Ann’s Bay area. The gallery will celebrate its grand opening. Penny Steele, a resident of Indian Brook, purchased the former Presbyterian Church, located beside the old Piper’s Trailer Court, last year and has been renovating and painting the property in preparation for the day.
The name of the Gallery, Colouratura, means “to colour” which can apply not only to the wonderful paintings and photography on sale but also to the three music concerts that are planned for this season. Dates and performers are listed on the Gallery web site.
Steele spent the 2011 season finding both artists and customers. She learned some lessons from the quiet start, and has gathered valuable information about the artists on the Island and what both residents and visitors are looking for when they visit a fine art gallery.
Most of the artists who are showing their work are from the Island: Chris Gorey, Lynda Lou MacIntyre, Larry Kelly, Ann Schroeder, Carol Loeb, Catherine Moyer, Celeste Nikol and Jim Steele. There will be special pottery made by Jitka Zagola, and fine chocolates crafted by Steele herself.
Steele and her husband, Ian Green, also own the property English Country Garden, a 4.5 star Bed and Breakfast beside a lovely lake just minutes north of the Gallery.
The St. Ann’s Bay area is populated by some fantastic artisans who have welcomed the new venture with open arms.
“Their support is great!” says Steele.
Currently Steele works for the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Board in Sydney teaching Art to Junior High Students. She has been involved in the arts since she herself was in high school and has directed many plays and musicals, some of which found their way onto the stages in Ingonish through Theatre on the Hill.
Steele is very excited about the space for an Art Gallery in this former church and she has heard some stories.
“Last year, some of the special moments occurred when former members of the church visited the area and stopped in to take a look. Two different elderly visitors remembered worshipping there as small children-both in the former church which sat behind the current building as well as the one that now occupies the site,” Steele recalled of last year’s visitors to the space. “It was wonderful to hear people’s stories of the building. My favourite will remain the choice of frosted windows so the congregation could pay attention to the message and not day dream by looking out the windows!”
Steele has several old photos of the volunteer construction group laying the foundation for the present building as well as several others with former members of more recent times. She hopes to take those photos and some interesting facts about the building and Church family to create a historical marker to place on the property and point to the Pioneer Grave on the site.
Colouratura Fine Art Gallery’s Grand Opening is Saturday, June 2. From noon to 6pm, Susan Covey will play the Gallery’s 1850’s Broadwood grand piano. Nibbles will be served to accompany an afternoon spent wandering through the artwork, enjoying the ambience of the space.