Participate in art at the WKP Kennedy Gallery – 71Bait

The WKP Kennedy Gallery on Main Street has a new Director/Curator,

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Jennifer Allison is the new director/curator at WKP Kennedy Gallery.

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Allison succeeds Alix Voz, who has taken a similar job at a Cambridge gallery.

Allison is from North Bay but has worked as an entrepreneur, artist, designer and educator for several global companies for the past 15 years.

Along this career path, she has worked in places like New York City and various Asian locations.

“I felt like it was time to go back to my roots. I had paid my dues by working for several large corporations and non-profit organizations. I had a lot of field experience and I thought it was time to be closer to my family and bring all this research home and apply it to North Bay.”

Allison spent much of that time working in high-end design and retail, which she believes translates to a gallery

“It’s interesting when you bring experience from another industry and bring it into another. My experience was in fashion and shoes. When it comes to running a gallery, I believe my years in fashion and design complement each other,” she said.

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“Although art and design are somewhat separate fields, they can offer many (common) skills and perspectives. Marketing and branding are things I would really like to bring to the gallery to get more foot traffic through those doors. Put more spotlight on local talent and promote the fact that we have a lot of local talent on hand.”

Allison is friends and worked with her predecessor and plans only minimal changes after Voz’s departure.

“I am very fortunate to have worked closely with Alix as a visiting professor and collaborator at the gallery. I feel like I essentially shadowed her for almost a year before taking on that role. She left things organized and I really want to live up to that and build on that foundation. She was really involved in the community and sat on many boards, which I think is important too. I look forward to continuing this element.”

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As she begins her new role as gallery director/curator, Allison said, “A community is only as strong as its creative sector” and “is committed to running a thriving public art gallery where people feel valued, accepted and represented .”

Allison agrees that the arts sector has a niche of fans, but plans to reach out to more casual art lovers.

“I think that’s one of my most important goals. Art and design got us through the pandemic. It’s the entertainment factor, the fact that it (art) is a vehicle that can express how you feel. It’s a tool that we can use when we’re going through a dark place or going through a great place. It affects everyone and I encourage everyone to step through the gallery doors and pay close attention to the gallery and what is happening. We will start offering a lot to people of all ages to make sure they feel like there is something for everyone.”

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These new offers for patrons are coming soon.

The Capitol Center and WKP Kennedy Gallery open to the public on August 27 from noon to 5 p.m. where they will offer a variety of live entertainment and interactive art experiences for all.

The WKP team will partner with artist Andrew Morrison to set up an outdoor art studio as an interactive street art experience during the Bay Block Party.

The guest artist will create (a) mixed media artwork that encourages people of all ages to put their own mark on the work through a selection of materials offered by the artist.

The final work will be donated to the gallery as a grand prize at our upcoming Clash of the Canvas event on September 1st.

All Clash of the Canvas ticket holders have the opportunity to enter their name in the prize draw to win this original community-based work.

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