The first thing that strikes you when you emerge from the narrow staircase into Studio Theo is the quality of the light that streams in from the windows that line three sides of the space. A recent edition to the Strathearn neighbourhood, Dandi-Lines Art Gallery and Studio Theo share the space above Ralph’s Handi Mart.
Glenise Harvey, the director of Dandi-Lines Art Gallery, loved her work as a Grade 2 teacher for 29 years and had a dream to elevate and celebrate the art of children. Glenise was instrumental in bringing Theodora Harasymiw to her public school as an artist in residence and the pair kept in touch, a relationship that has now blossomed into the collaborative gallery and studio space.
Theo graduated with her BFA in painting in 1996 and about 10 years ago was drawn into the world of mosaics when introduced to a pillar that was in need of some decoration. “You don’t paint pillars, you mosaic them!” was Theo’s response, and she enthusiastically accepted the challenge. She now divides her time between painting and mosaicking, appreciating how the two very different mediums help her to keep a fresh perspective.
Dandi-Lines Art Gallery’s first exhibit, “From the Fridge to the Wall,” is on display until the end of April. The show celebrates the creativity of kindergarten students, elevating work that often lives on the refrigerator door to beautiful, framed pieces fit for gallery walls.
In addition to sharing a space, Glenise and Theo also share a vision, one of bringing art to as many people as possible and inspiring the artist that exists in each of us. Future plans include art classes in the studio as well as an exhibit titled “In the Hood,” which will showcase art created by Strathearn residents.
Written by Leslie Stewart