As this is our first blog insert I think its best to cover the basic about Canvas. No better way than the old who, what, where, when, why.
The who: Canvas is a contemporary art gallery and picture framing business which opened nearly 20 years ago. Its origins were purely picture framing and was originally going to be called something down the lines of “The Little Picture Framing Shop”, but when the owner at the time realised he was being charged by the letter by the sign writers, so it quickly became Canvas (not much has changed in mentality!)
The What: What does Canvas do? Two core sides of the business are Art sales and Picture Framing sales. What a lot of people however are not aware is the various key areas under these banners which we built our business on. Under the Art banner we sell desirable contemporary art, primarily through our Belfast gallery. However we also source and broker private art sales, appraise collections and offer a range of art consultancy services. We also offer a business to business services for commercial art sales, working with briefs and budgets to suit each clients needs.
Under our Picture Framing banner we sell picture framing through our Belfast shop, as well as offering commercial picture framing for artists, photographers, interior designers, art consultants, hotels, pubs and clubs, public spaces and businesses. We use high quality materials to create bespoke picture framing tailored for each individual needs, a colour matching service, and extensive memorabilia framing. This along with our experience and willingness to work on the most challenging of jobs set us aside from our competitors. Put it this way, we have yet to be asked for something we couldn’t do. This approach has allowed us to frame everything from 12ft snakes, rugby balls, wedding dresses and shoes!
The Where: This is easy, or maybe not if you try to park! Canvas has long been established in the heart of Stranmillis, a bohemian village in Belfast. Tree lined and surrounded by privately owned business as well as world renowned landmarks such as the Ulster Museum, Lyric Theatre and Queens University. 76 Stranmillis Road is tucked between local legends The Sphinx Chip Shop, home of their famous Sphinx Sauce and polar opposite, the luxurious beauty treatment clinic of Claire McIntyre Beauty. Between these two you will find ourselves, a modest ground floor open plan gallery with large window display and instant atmosphere (created by our relaxed policy, music and distant sounds of framing machines). The tricky thing about Stranmillis is just how popular it is. Parking is limited and you may need to do a couple of laps before you get parked, but this is worth doing. Not only for ourselves, but with a variety of coffee shops, restaurants, retailers and beauty spots, this is something for everyone. However if you are part of our the growing customer base that likes viewing our gallery art without the time or need to call in, you are the reasons why we have reinvested in our website and online presence. With a new, regularly updated website due in days, a blog and e-newsletters all in the pipeline, you will have the ability to find exactly what you are looking for, hassle free.
The When: Bit vague. When did the journey start? Nearly 20 years ago. When do we open? 6 days a week- Monday-Saturday. 9.30am-6.00pm Monday- Friday, 10.00am-5.00pm Saturday. When will the website be ready? SOON! When do offers start coming? As soon as you sign up to our newsletter on our website.
The Why: This is the one that puts a smile on my face every time, the why. Why do we do what we do? Simple, we love it! We love working with the artists we represent, the customers we have the privilege of selling to, the culture that surrounds the industry and the friendships that are made by being part of it. We pride ourselves on each frame we make and each painting we sell. When other framers say it cannot be done, we make it possible. When a framer says it will be a fortnight, we will do it in a week. If a customer need help to decide on a painting, we drive it to their house to help see it in situ.
I recall a commercial framing job we did for a long standing customer, they needed a wing of a nursing home hung with new pictures. However there was a catch, it needed to be done while the residents were asleep! No problem, customer knew it would be difficult to do while the residents were walking the corridors, so off we set at 10pm to attempt the quietest hanging of our lives. By early morning we were done, tired but felt accomplished. I heard a short time later the new display had inspired a number of the residents with many admiring and commenting on how beautiful the new corridors look. This, this is why we do what we do.
This blog is going to be about many things, art, framing, interiors, furnishing, culture and many more. It gives me an opportunity to voice new things, lend advice and offer knowledge. We will also have some partnering companies/people who are experts in their fields to contribute as well, which I am looking forward to. In the meantime, keep checking in at www.canvasgalleries.com, Canvas Galleries on Facebook and don’t forget to subscribe to our e-newsletter by simply entering your email address on the homepage of the website. Oh, should we use Twitter? Comment below.
Best Wishes and cheers to 2016!