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Look inside The Blue Building, Halifax’s newest gallery

Part of the ambitious 2482 Maynard arts project, the gallery’s first show is on until April.

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Works pictured left to right: Lucy Pullen; background, Sarah Maloney; foreground, Sheilah ReStack; Ursula Johnson. - RYAN JOSEY
  • Ryan Josey
  • Works pictured left to right: Lucy Pullen; background, Sarah Maloney; foreground, Sheilah ReStack; Ursula Johnson.

A building can be a chrysalis, transforming its contents and inhabitants–and, through this, its community–as it morphs from one thing to another. The Blue Building art gallery opened to the public last week, and even from the outside one thing was imminently obvious: The new arts hub at 2482 Maynard Street (the project that houses The Blue Building, as well as Wonder’neath Art Society and Eyelevel Gallery, plus professional studio space) isn’t an old tin shell anymore, the sort of place you’d walk by and not notice.

The whole building has been transformed thanks to a fresher shade of azure on its exterior–but also thanks to airy glass-paned doors, a new accessibility-informed floor plan and The Blue Building: The city’s newest commercial gallery that boasts 1,400 square feet of local, contemporary art taking up the left side of the complex’s ground floor. 

The bright blue home of contemporary art on Maynard Street. - RYAN JOSEY
  • Ryan Josey
  • The bright blue home of contemporary art on Maynard Street.

Last August, the brains and hearts behind the collaborative project known as 2482 Maynard–artist Emily Falencki, who is the founder and director of The Blue Building gallery; artists and Wonder'neath co-founders Heather Wilkinson and Melissa Marr; and artist/Wonder'neath board of directors president LaMeia Reddick–took me on an exclusive tour of the space. “The whole goal in that building for all of us has been to try to reach many different levels of working artists and as many different kinds practices and as many different visual artists as we can,” Falencki told me that day. Now, she’s doing just that as her artist-led contemporary gallery showcases its first collection of works.

Artist Emily Falencki, founder and director of The Blue Building gallery, stands inside the space, next to works by gallery artist Lucy Pullen. - RYAN JOSEY
  • Ryan Josey
  • Artist Emily Falencki, founder and director of The Blue Building gallery, stands inside the space, next to works by gallery artist Lucy Pullen.

Stop by to see The Blue Building’s debut exhibition, Soft Launch, which is up through April 1 and features work by Lucy Pullen, Sheilah ReStack and Sobey Art Award-winner Ursula Johnson (to name a few). The gallery–in all its cocoon-shedding, wing-spreading glory–is currently open Wednesdays and Fridays from 1-3pm, Thursdays from 4-7pm and other days by appointment (email Falencki at  thebluebuildinggallery@gmail.com for bookings).

As the gallery’s site says, due to COVID-19, hours may vary, so check there before your visit–and prepare for this butterfly of a building to pollinate your mind the same way it’s pollinating Halifax’s visual art scene. It’s on Maynard between Charles and Roberts Streets. Thanks to the fresh, bright-blue siding you won’t miss it.

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