At a kitchen table near a bright window in the village of Val Marie, Saskatchewan, Gateway to Grasslands National Park, the hub for a new model of commercial art galleries couldn’t look any less like the traditional version. Unlike traditional art galleries, Grasslands Gallery Online doesn’t focus on renting a building, keeping a physical structure operational, or having staff in place for a certain number of hours per week. Grasslands Gallery Online focuses only on the art it makes available, the viewers who want to view and own the art, and the artists who make it.
Grasslands Gallery Online is the brainchild of established artist Laureen Marchand. Laureen has a 35-year exhibiting career of her own, and she has seen the changes art galleries have undergone. Recently she felt something more was needed, something that allowed artists’ work to be seen but that didn’t require people to go places that might be hard to get to.
“In this difficult period in the human story when many audiences didn’t feel comfortable going into public spaces, so much remarkable Saskatchewan artwork wasn’t getting seen,” Laureen says. “At the same, people have come to realize the importance of enjoying their own personal view, in the places where they spend the most time – their own homes and offices. I decided this was an opportunity to bring together the work of Saskatchewan artists and the communities anywhere who would love the art they make.”
With this as a goal, Grasslands Gallery Online was established in 2021 in response to the changing needs of both art buyers and creators. It offers an alternative for people who love art, who love to see and purchase it without having to be in a particular location. It also offers the comfort of viewing art from the familiarity of your own computer.
What can you expect to see at Grasslands Gallery Online? Though people might think that western Canadian art is all grass and horses, nothing could be further from the truth. Though the art that Grasslands Gallery shows does include landscape, this is landscape that brings the human element into the picture. And it includes a much wider range of possibilities, ranging from contemporary still life and florals, to pure abstraction, to an artist’s imaginary worlds. The gallery’s tag line is “Beautiful Saskatchewan Art” and all of the works on the website have that common. They’re beautiful to look at as well as well-made, interesting, and timely.
In addition to seeing visual images of beautiful art, you can also expect to see different ways of interacting with the artworks. You aren’t expected to know what a piece will look like in your room just by imagining it. So the gallery offers a sample room for each piece, where viewers can get a sense of scale and colour relationships with other objects.
The gallery also hosts virtual exhibitions. “With the virtual exhibitions,” says Laureen , “You can come in close to a piece and then you can step back away again, and you can move on to the next one. It’s just like walking through a real exhibition, except you’re the only person in the room and you don’t have feet. You have a mouse instead.”
Finally, unlike some online art galleries that might feel more like a factory than a haven, Grasslands Gallery Online is carefully curated, with every artist a partner rather than a labourer. The artists who work with Grasslands Gallery Online are committed not only to their art production, but also to their collectors’ experiences. Every artwork purchased is lovingly shipped from the artist’s studio, with artists recompensed for associated expenses. And all the gallery’s structures are created to assure fairness for both purchasers and artists.
Grasslands Gallery Online is an Associate Member of SaskGalleries, the Saskatchewan Association of Professional Art Dealers. This means the gallery has agreed to follow the organization’s Membership Code of Ethics, conducting business according to the highest professional, ethical, and financial standards. Among other stipulations, the gallery has agreed to pay artists properly and in a timely manner; price art fairly and in line with national and international standards; and maintain detailed records of all business operations including agreements with artists. Grasslands Gallery Online is proud of its SaskGalleries membership and pleased to uphold these standards.
Our goal at Grasslands Gallery Online that both the viewer and the artists here have the most fulfilling experience possible.
Art can be purchased from Grasslands Gallery Online either using the shopping cart option attached to each piece or by contacting us directly at email@example.com. For more information, please click the How to Purchase tab. Artwork purchased from Grasslands Gallery Online is lovingly shipped from the artist to you in a timely fashion. When it arrives, the first comment we always hear is “Wow, it’s even better in person!”
And any time you have questions, please feel free to reach out!