KAGAWONG—When artist Anong Beam had an opportunity to represent Canada’s artists during a visit to China, she not only stayed for a month, but came away with a plan to offer quality art supplies at an affordable cost. “When it was time to leave,” she shared, “the supplies were free, so I brought back whatever fit in my bag.”
“This has been in the works for two years,” shared Ms. Beam’s husband Marc Larochelle, and while he admits he is not an artist, his wife gives him full credit for his persistence in getting the idea off the ground and seeing it to fruition.
When Ms. Beam returned from China she told Mr. Larochelle “we have to do this.”
“We should not be punished for living here,” noted Mr. Larochelle. “Prices will be the same as (what you can get the same product for in) Toronto.”
Offering 83 different brushes, including sable, squirrel and watercolour, they are beautifully shown in a custom built display made by Doug Clark of Dig & Doug Cedar Furniture. He also created the lovely countertops and paint dispensers which beckon artists and non-artists alike to take a seat on a stool and let their imaginations run.
Free informal art classes are available for groups and individuals in colour therapy (optics and psychology), Chinese brush painting, image transfer, still life, ‘art of the classic still life’ (three-part) and ‘quick sketch boot camp.’ If a visitor brings their own brushes, a fee will be charged for the class.
“I want the classes to be as relaxed as possible,” stated Ms. Beam. Mr Larochelle hopes they are both informative and fun.
Ms. Beam shared, “I was not born with a gift, I had to learn.” Her parents are Carl and Ann Beam, whose works and known around the world. Mr. Larochelle is a writer and musician and plays seven instruments.
Ms. Beam believes that the “quality of the tools you use affects the quality of the finished piece.”
She wanted to offer something that is not currently available on the Island: paper, brushes and paint at affordable prices.
Ms. Beam has developed her own line of oil and acrylic paints, which she has successfully imported. The name of this brand new line is called BEAM. The couple has also manufactured a specific colour they have named Manitoulin Green that is in their professional grade artistic oils.
In June Art Supply World will offer 33 new acrylic colours and 40 oils. Supplies can be ordered online. Visit www.artsupplyworld.com for more information.
Funding in part for the new business was from LAMBAC and Waubetek.
Next time you are in Kagawong come on in—they are open daily from 11 am to 4 pm (closed Mondays) at 165 Main Street.