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WARES gets a reboot

The Shop WARES store is closed while work is going on behind the scenes to spruce it up before its grand reopening in early June.

Arts and crafts lovers at St. Albert Place will surely have noticed that the Shop WARES store has had its door closed for a few weeks. The sad news is that there are still a few more weeks to endure.

The good news is that work is going on behind the scenes at the storefront location to spruce it up before its grand reopening in time for the next ArtWalk.

“It was just something that came up at the beginning of the year, a number of our guild members were saying that maybe it's time for a remodel,” said Deirdre Allen, the president of the St. Albert Place Visual Arts Council, or SAPVAC, the operator of the location. “We needed new lighting to begin with.”

“It sort of snowballed,” quickly added potter Linda Willard.

The full scope of the work covers all of the bases that will best represent those talented and creative individuals whose works will be soon be once again on display: with fresh paint, handcrafted woodwork, brilliant lighting and artistic signage.

WARES is the anagram for Works of Art Representative of Every Studio. SAPVAC offers the storefront to all people involved in organizations that use the studios in the Visual Arts wing of St. Albert Place including members of the Floral Art Society, the Painters Guild, the Paper Arts Guild, the Potters Guild, and the Quilters Guild. It’s a collective of approximately 250 talented and prodigious local artists.

The moment has given the organization a chance to go into full ‘spring cleaning’ mode. Artists were also asked to provide new works so that everything will feel brand new once the doors are back open for business.

“It feels really good to have the shop empty. Now, we just have a few things that we still need to build,” Allen said.

Included in the new features are storage cabinets that will allow staff to rotate work on to the display shelves more promptly as other items are sold. The main feature wall has also been upgraded from plain OSB to slatwall to allow for adjustable shelving. Other walls have been improved to make it easier to add nails for hanging paintings and other wall art.

“With the shelving and the drawers and everything, it allows us to do things in series, maybe only have two or three birdhouses out but the rest can be in storage. As stuff is sold, we can continually replenish the stock,” Willard offered. “There'll be a much bigger turnover, we’re hoping, so that our regular shoppers who do come in, they're not finding that it's still the same stuff that they saw last week when they were in.”

The grand reopening will be held on Thursday, June 6 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. After that, the store will have regular business hours from noon to 3:30 p.m. every Thursday and Friday and 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Saturdays. Visit for more information.

Scott Hayes

About the Author: Scott Hayes

Scott Hayes joined the St. Albert Gazette in 2008. Scott writes about the arts, entertainment, movies, culture, community groups, and charities. He also writes general news, features, columns, and profiles on people.
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