By Samantha Hawkins
Five years ago, a group of local artists embarked on a unique adventure and started their own gallery and gift shop, Naked North Gallery and Gift, a celebration of local art and culture.
Run entirely by the artists and volunteers, Naked North has seen artists come and go throughout their five years, but a core group has remained and allowed the gallery to thrive and provide Dryden with a bit of culture and local gift ideas.
Member artist Willene Moffatt is pleased with the progress. “We’re just carrying on, everything works. We’ve got this formula that’s absolutely wonderful. Everyone is friends and we all get a long so well.”
Looking back at the first year Moffatt recalls giving the acceptance speech at the Chamber of Commerce business awards. “I was looking around the room at all of the business people and laughed, we had no business plan and no idea what we were doing.”
Knowing from the start however that location was key, the group set up shop on Highway 17 within the Tourist Information building, sharing the space with the Dryden District Chamber of Commerce.
The location has allowed the artists the opportunity to ‘look after’ the tourists and share a bit of information regarding their own artistic process and member artist Marilyn Raposo says that even though she never takes a summer vacation, she wouldn’t change a thing.
“I love it here, love working here. This is not a chore by any stretch of the imagination. Its so inspiring to be here and no one has ever had a negative remark coming through the door, it’s a very positive environment.”
As the gallery goes on offering a wide range of one of a kind products, the artists encourage everyone to come in and see the talent Dryden has to offer. If you are a local artist and would like to explore the possibility of becoming involved visit the gallery at 284 Government St. or call 223-2895 for more information.