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Photos by Amanda Armstrong.

Art show takes over an unlikely venue

By Amanda Armstrong on March 25, 2016

It was over her morning coffee in early February that Myka Burke had an idea. What began with thoughts of the tiny house movement, minimalism, and the importance of art as the “stuff” of our lives quickly became the foundation upon which she would build an event. Why not host an art show in a tiny space – something like a storage unit?

Just after breakfast, she was off to the races – or, in this case, Just Right Self Storage, near City Centre. Burke was there shortly after opening that day, to propose the idea that had blossomed into a ripe ol’ berry bush in her mind since that very morning. “I didn’t think that they would be open to the idea,” Burke remarked, “but when I asked them if I could throw an art show in the unused storage spaces, they said yes”.

IMG_20160227_143219From then on, it was full speed ahead. Burke put out a public call for artists via social media and contacted some of her local favourites to see if they would be interested in showing some of their work at the Self Storage Art Show. The response has been greater than Burke could have imagined, with over 20 confirmed artists.

Of the artists, Burke is very excited to have Virginia Dupuis in the show. Her oil paintings of fruit, Burke feels demonstrate a mastery of colour. Burke art teacher and mentor, Paul Schibli, a man who has taught Myka the importance of jumping into life with both feet, will also be a part of the Self Storage Art Show

Two other very special mentions will be showing their work at the show this Easter weekend. Or, should I say, their relatives will.

It was shortly after we’d sat down to chat in the beautiful space that Burke had arranged that two women walked through the doors and one turned to the other, exclaiming in disbelief, “No way! I was just mentioning to my sister how cool it would be if someone were to throw an event in this space- and here you are!” It turns out that these two women were at the storage facility that Friday night to prepare some of their aunt, French Canadian artist Claire Guillemette Lamirande‘s work for exhibition in museums. Upon hearing about the Self Storage Art Show, they decided to show some of their aunt’s remaining work at the show.

Only days later, Burke again found herself in a serendipitous encounter with the local arts community. A man looking to store some of her his, R. Eleanor Milne‘s work at Just Right Self Storage was informed by staff of the show and contacted Burke to inquire about showing some of her aunt’s work at the event.

For Burke, it was important that the show feature a diverse group of artists and, it appears, she has succeeded in doing just that. Having been given free reign over their space, they are sure to bring an eclectic mix of talents to the event.

The Self Storage Art Show takes place this Saturday, from 11am-4pm, and Sunday, from 11am-3pm, at Just Right Self Storage (255 City Centre Avenue.)