Art becomes experiential at the Arthouse

With a new gallery and events space to grow into, Marko Jalava has big plans for the Arthouse on Mill St.

With a new gallery and events space to grow into

With a new gallery and events space to grow into

In a larger space and under a new name, Marko Jalava continues to highlight talented artists in The Arthouse on Mill Street.

Formerly operating as Smudges Art Shoppe, Marko felt confined in the quaint 600 sq. foot location on the west side of Mill Street.

“What many businesses find is that they’re often encumbered by the size of their space,” Marko explained. In order to better showcase the art and run his printing business, he made the move – but not too far.

Guests who walk into the renovated 2,500 sq. foot gallery space on the other side of Mill are greeted by a bright, airy room with walls 20-feet high, lined with stunning artwork.

The new space allows him room to grow, to reach that formerly untapped potential, and to raise local art culture to the next level.

For one, a greater network of established as well as emerging artists and photographers can rent wall space as an opportunity to share and sell their work.

“But it’s not solely going to be a gallery space,” Marko said with enthusiasm. “We’re going to be doing events too.” In terms of the type of events he’s willing to hold in the Arthouse venue, Marko says he’s open to “anything artful.”

In fact, The Arthouse hosted its first event, Art Battle #383, in April. Well over 100 people watched live competitive painting unfold in the large space.

While art exchanges, artisan markets, and auctions are a natural fit, he’s not limiting the events to the visual realm. He’s excited to invite in poets, musicians from a variety of genres such as folk or classical, and performance ‘fringe-type’ acts as well.

“There’s a real appetite for art here,” he said.

The Arthouse will also play host to classes in painting and photography, from beginner through intermediate levels, taught by local professionals.

While these events and classes will serve to further cultivate Chilliwack’s arts culture, they’ll provide an added benefit for those who’s work is hanging on the walls by increasing foot traffic through the gallery.

“We as business owners need to create experiences for people,” Marko said. Whether you’re attending a unique event, taking a class, or meandering through halls of awe-inspiring work in a gallery, you’re reaping value from that experience.

In addition to Marko’s own acrylic work, The Arthouse walls currently hold originals and prints from talented Chilliwack artists Gary Haggquist and Maxwell Newhouse, as well as a collection by Spanish-Canadian Pepe Hidalgo. Marko hopes to begin artist meet and greets by June.

Marko continues to provide custom, in-house archival quality prints on canvas, fine art papers and standard photo papers.

Visit The Arthouse at #2-9360 Mill St., open Tuesday through Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays until 4 p.m. Stay up to date on exhibits and special events at www.smudgesart.com, or call 604-392-7779.