Nancy Johns Gallery describes themselves as a Fine Art Gallery that is exclusively local & exquisitely world class – we couldn’t define what Nancy and her team have achieved more perfectly. At BCL we’re all for grungy underground art shows but there’s something indescribably anchoring about what a professional, brick and mortar gallery can do for a neighbourhood and for a city the size of Windsor. The art world can be a wild and chaotic grind, so much so that many of our local artists would be left behind without a reliable mainstay location and an artistic proprietor, such as Nancy Johns, who understands this creative world like the back of her hand.
Being an artist-run business is only one of the many unique elements that has helped to carve out Nancy’s Gallery as an artsy institution, since moving to Pillette Village over 12 years ago. They’ve seen a lot of changes during the Gallery’s lifespan, not only to the space itself but to the neighbourhood as a whole. When they first opened their doors (after renovating a former Vespa shop) they represented a mere 5 artists but as of this year they’re up to 32! And their exhibitions are packed, which isn’t a surprise, considering they’ve been known to hang as many as 96 pieces.
Nancy and her extremely talented manager Megan Cornwall (who you might remember from her home and studio tour on the blog here) walked us through the space as they prepared for their ’20×30 show’. We recognized big names and also many we’d never heard of, which is what makes this annual show so special. Nancy and Megan understand how intimidating it can be for creatives to show very personal work for the first time, so they’ve made it their mission to demystify the process and create an inviting atmosphere where those fresh to the scene can feel comfortable too.
The Gallery and its exhibitions are just one aspect of the business that’s kept them thriving in the local scene. Nancy’s 18 years of framing, and being a successful artist herself, makes her exceptional in her field (which is why hers is the place we go to when we need a new piece framed). These gals are full, hands-on and mean serious business when it comes to their stretcher bars, canvases and tools – and I guess you need to be if you’re cutting metal and expertly framing up to 84″ x 60″ pieces.
After handling so much art through the years, it’s no wonder they have an extensive collection for enthusiasts to browse through. Their site is home to over 800 images for either purchase or, conveniently, for rent on a 3 or 6 month contract. The rental option is affordable option for those who’d like a rotating selection in their office or for homeowners having trouble deciding on an long-term investment for their mantle. According to Nancy about 80% of her rental clients end up finding it difficult to part with their pieces and, ultimately, purchase. The Gallery and its work is local but that doesn’t mean its pieces stay here, recently they’ve been shipped to New York City and even Palm Beach, California – helping to put our great little city on the map for art-lovers locally and internationally.
Visit Nancy’s during their business hours or follow them on FB to keep up with their rotation of special events!