With art galleries and similar public spaces either closed or operating at limited capacity, it’s a tough time for budding artists in Guelph looking for venues where they can showcase their art. That’s about to change, however, thanks to a local business that knows a thing or two about things that bud.
Beginning in November, Qbud Cannabis will be offering local artists the opportunity to display their work publicly as part of the retailer’s new “Art in the City” initiative.
“In these unprecedented times, it’s becoming harder for all artists in Guelph to sell their work,” said Dima Kashuba, spokesperson for the Wyndham Street North cannabis distributor. “We thought Art in the City would be a great idea to give space to the local artists so they can feature their work and perhaps make some sales.”
Kashuba says there is plenty of wall space available in the 3,500 square foot retail space currently operated by Qbud, which opened in Guelph just over three months ago. Developed as a long-term project with the support of the Guelph Arts Council and the Downtown Guelph Business Association, Art in the City provides artists with free gallery space and the opportunity to sell their works with zero commission.
“The good thing is it doesn’t cost them anything,” said Kashuba, whose location offers a full range of cannabis products such as cannabis edibles, cannabis dry flower, CBD oils and more. “We’ve opened it up to any kind of art. Photography, paintings, sculpture, or any kind of art work that local artists want to feature.”
To attract artists, Kashuba worked with Qbud’s promotional partners to distribute a flyer driving awareness of the initiative. Seven local artists responded to that initial outreach. Kashuba and his staff interviewed artists and assessed the work to ensure it was a good fit.
“The first artist chosen was April Reilly, the Art Weasel," said Kashuba, who will be posting a full schedule of artists being featured on the Qbud Cannabis website. “We’ll showcase each individual artist for a month. If someone wants to purchase any art they can contact the artist individually. And if all pieces get sold we’ll replenish them with other artists’ work.”
April has already sold multiple pieces of art through Art in the City.
Kashuba says Art in the City is just another way for Qbud Cannabis to reinforce its mandate to give back to the community.
“I’m really community-focused. It’s not all about making money. It’s about giving back to the community. In the first month we were open we gave one per cent of all our total sales to local charity. We’re active in the community and hoping to stay that way. It’s important to be that local store that everyone knows.”
Art in the City can be viewed during regular business hours (Monday – Sunday 9am – 11pm) at Qbud Cannabis. You must be 19 or over to enter. Visit them at 128 Wyndham Street North in Guelph. Or call 519-763-7837.