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art junction

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By Amy Fendley More than 300 art enthusiasts were present to celebrate the grand opening of art junction@function, Aug. 20. The inaugural exhibition at the new gallery, which continues until Sept. 26, features Whistler and B.C. artists, including Paul Dearden, Hugh Kearney, Christina Nick, Kat Sullivan, Wayne Leidenfrost, Gloria Masse, and Rob Wilson. Jan Holmberg and Ted Nebbeling are the owners of the gallery. Holmberg says that he had the vision about three months ago when he sold his last retail store, Mucho Macho. "After 20 years of retailing, my feet got itchy after three months," says Holmberg. "And I realized there was a space in my own building that was unoccupied." art junction is located on Millar Creek Road in Function Junction. An area which Holmberg describes as "home deco row." The purpose of the gallery is to provide a venue for local artists. Local art will then be supplemented by B.C. artists, working in all media. Part of the exhibit will be rotated on a monthly basis, to feature a particular artist’s work —- provided their work fits in with art junction’s concept of a commercial art gallery, and not a ‘charitable organization’. "The problem is going to be selection, it’s not fair to let the gallery to just anyone who wants publicity, they’ve got to match the concept," says Holmberg. "We’ve no shortage of artists who want to show, the problem is the limit, where do you draw the line." art junction@function is one operation, with two separate components: the art gallery and a framing workshop. "We didn’t want to mix the two, the gallery is downstairs and the workshop is upstairs," explains Holmberg. "We have no ambition of reaching the tourist market. We want to first and foremost reach the second home owners and locals. People who have their place all furnished, but are missing that one big piece." Holmberg is asked about his own eye for art. "I’ve got to go by my own guts," he answers. "I used to be a newspaper photographer, but that’s about all the art I’ve dabbled in before this. But this, this is my little baby." Upstairs, Harvey Lin is busy measuring. A former professional soccer player in Europe, Lin is now an artistic framing designer. "The workshop is equipped to do museum-quality laminating, dry mounting, and pizza cooking," says Lin, the workshop’s only designer. "People can get a bit bamboozled, because framing has become way more high tech and innovative. We do a lot of memorabilia framing, and have already got a good response." So how does one go from professional soccer to a professional framer? "I suffered a bad injury, then I went back to school," says Lin. "I’ve always been into art, it filled in the little void that I had." art junction is still working out its hours. For now it’s noon to 5 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday.

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