For a town so full of artists, it is sure difficult to get your hands on some decently-priced, high-quality art supplies—until July at least. That’s when Urchin Art Materials & Papery is set to open at 197 Water Street (the former Living Planet location).
For Shannon Fraser, an amateur artist and long-time volunteer with the Victoria Park Lantern Festival, the idea of opening an art supply store downtown has been in the works for a while.
“I started seriously considering it about two years ago,” she says. “But it was still just a kernel of an idea and a fuzzy feeling.”
The fuzzy feeling got a whole lot more serious last April when Fraser quit her day job and began devoting all of her energy to tracking down suppliers and networking with other independent art stores across the country.
“I’ve tried to be selective with regard to provenance, environmental record and creative products with an ethic behind them,” says Fraser.
Urchin will feature products from small Canadian companies like Tri-Art, Kama Pigments, and St-Armand Papeterie, as well as harder to find American companies M. Graham watercolours, Gamblin oil paints and Colorfin artist pastels. Along with the more widely available brands like Golden Artist Colors.