Beauty, handcrafted excellence and gallery quality presentation of jewellery, fabric animals, clothing, bags, photography, books, cards, vintage silver, odd and unusual everyday items from the past, as well as original paintings and prints. It’s all there in a new shop and studio near the Skeena River.
Hazelton artist and graphic designer Leah Pipe has hunted and gathered an amazing selection of fine things from around the world for her new shop Art & Antler, combining her love of natural things and sense of presentation developed from her years as creative director at “Ksan.
Her inspiration comes from nature and her work, seen in shows from Smithers and Terrace to Whistler is filled with powerful and lifelike renditions of ravens, crows, salmon and the mountains, as well as images from Gitxsan history. Her newer work is moving toward owls.
“It’s about beautiful things, what stops you in your tracks, what is clever, unique and beautiful!” says Leah of how she chooses things for Art & Antler. Since opening June 16 the response has been overwhelming and amazing, providing another good reason to visit Old Town Hazelton.
“I spend a lot of time walking by the river and in the marsh,” says Leah, whose home is filled with feathers, stones and antlers. So Art & Antler is filled with the kind of beautiful things you collect when you walk in the wild and her graphic business is Design Deer.
Leah’s father was from Hazelton but the family lived and travelled with his work with the Canadian military as a supply officer and wherever they lived they explored the area, so she learned to love adventure and nature, in Canada, the Netherlands, Germany and France.
At family reunion 25 years ago she fell in love with the Hazeltons. People came up and smiled, recognizing her family resemblance and she felt a sense of place and belonging which was wonderful after the years of travel.
Drawing since she could hold a pencil, Leah was inspired by Vogue magazine when she was 10. “It wasn’t the fashion, it was the dramatic images, the lighting, the intensity, the beauty of the face!” she explains, as she decided to really focus on drawing. When someone looked at her drawing and thought it was a photo she knew she had something.
However the first art school she applied to looked at her work and declared her “unteachable” and “too set” in her photo-realism style. She did attend a two year arts program in Ontario, but mainly is a self-taught and highly accomplished and successful artist.
The work with ‘Ksan was valuable as she learned more of the ancient culture of the area, understanding she was part of something important as she designed displays and hung shows for the historical museum which preserves and presents the lives, artifacts and traditions of the original people of the Upper Skeena. Her simple and dramatic styles are evident throughout the grounds, brochures and displays.
Combining a gallery, studio and shop has been a dream for decades, and as part of honouring the memory of her parents, she is keeping her promise to them to follow her dream. Since she was 20 she’s been an artist, graphic designer and worked in high quality shops in big cities, and now she’s putting it all together..
Rather than competing with any other art or gift shops in town, Art & Antler offers things which are not available anywhere else locally.
Summer hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 10:30 to 7:30, Sunday 12 to 5. Phone 250 842-4072, look up Leah Pipe on Facebook and visit http://www.artandantler.com/