Spring definitely seems to be taking its time to kick-in this year. Lots of false starts, with days that feel warm, sunny & encouraging only to be squelched by new rounds of grey skies, rain and cold – which is exactly where we are at as I write this entry on May 2, from my home office in Kitsilano. Maybe I should just lose my expectations and anticipations of “gardening weather”, and let nature do its thing to avoid disappointment.
The “Made on Mayne” event, which ran Easter Weekend was fabulous and one of my busiest weekends ever. We opened a show for Famous Empty Sky, called her “In Isolation Series”, which showcased her beautiful array of new collage-works – this exhibit should be up and running throughout May & possibly longer (except for the pieces we sold! 😆) I’m not sure where she gets her energy but Famous Empty Sky also baked 8 dozen cupcakes (as shown) to be handed out to grateful guests. We were also treated to some lovely jamming by her husband Jim Heshedahl and friends (Rodger Cove (Hrothgar Jackson), Kurt Dahl, & Brendan Brown)…here are our hours for May:
Just getting ready to re-open the Gallery Café for the Easter Weekend, which happens to coincide with the “Made on Mayne” (image attached) event sponsored by the Southern Gulf Islands Arts Council. This will be similar to the Fall Studio Tour which ran last November and was a great success, but has now grown to include all things “Made on Mayne”. I am also the lucky recipient of a new show by Famous Empty Sky and her beautiful collage work. We’ll be hanging her new – hitherto unseen – show on Thursday in preparation for our Friday to Monday showings.
Hours of Operation:
Friday & Saturday: 9am – 4pm
Sunday: 10:30 – 4pm
Monday: 9am – 4pm
It’s promising to be a fabulous event, please come on by!
Hi – I’m just posting this message to let all of you know that I shall be re-opening for business this coming weekend. It seems that the Omicron spike has subsided, the cases & hospitalizations are back down to their pre-Omicron level, and heck, I just feel like opening up because I miss you all so much! 🙂
So many of my posts of the past two years have reflected on the worrisome nature of the pandemic and the strangeness of our collective experience. Sadly, with the Russian invasion of Ukraine things are no less worrisome and we seem to be embarking on another journey into unknown territory. My heart goes out to the Ukrainian people at this time.😢
If all goes as planned I shall be following my winter/spring hours and opening Shavasana Gallery & Café one or two weekends/weekdays per month until my summer schedule kicks in. Here are this weekends Days/Hours:
Friday: 9am – 4pm, Saturday: 9am – 4pm, Sunday: 10:15am – 4pm (I may also be open Monday TBA)
Today, January 4, I will wander up to Dunbar to receive my 3rd vaccine shot – my Booster – thus, hopefully, completing the Trifecta of Protection that the system is telling us we need for personal and collective safety. We’ll see.
When I closed the Gallery/Café on December 16 – for my annual Xmas break – my intention was to open a couple of weekends per month throughout the winter season in 2022. Although we’d heard about the new Omicron variant at that time, most of the spike in cases was happening in South Africa – where it originated – and Europe, where it appears to have spread. On December 16, new cases in Canada stood at 6,942…rising but not as bad as waves # 2, 3, or 4 (see chart below)
Within a few days of closing it became apparent that Canada was going to follow on the same trajectory that we’d witnessed in Europe, and where we are in fact – now. Numbers/Cases have pretty much gone “off the chart” and we are all left wondering how to navigate this new situation. Luckily, it seems that Omicron – although terribly virulent – may not be as life-threatening as its predecessor – the Delta variant – and, there may be early indicators that this dramatic rise in cases may be short lived.
In any event, my responsibility as a Gallery/Café owner, is to ensure the safety and well-being of my customers, and of course, myself and my partner Cathy. Given this uncertain moment we are experiencing, I have decided to remain closed until we have a better understanding of the severity of the Omicron variant, and we see the numbers start to decline dramatically. I will also feel somewhat more secure when I have allowed my new booster to work its magic, which apparently takes about two weeks.
All that being said, my feeling is that we’ll start to see a decline mid January, and should have a better idea about Booster efficacy and the severity of the variant (Of course, my friend Jordy had to point out to me this morning that Jimmy Fallon has been vaxxed and boosted and has just tested positive for Covid-19 😆)It’s been a weird ride…
In a perfect world, I shall be opening the Gallery/Café sometime in late January or early February – hope to see you then! Stay Safe🙏❤️
It’s a rainy Friday afternoon and I’m sitting having a coffee at the Starbucks at the corner of 49th and Fraser. I like this Bucks for its international clientele, perhaps one of the most ethnically diverse areas of town. Although I’ve lived all over Vancouver, I have a fondness for this area as I spent the first 8 years of my childhood just a kilometre from here.
Just gearing up for my final days of operation before I close for the season on the 16th. This next period of opening is atypical for me as I’m planning on being open Weekdays rather than on a weekend – we’ll see how this experiment plays out, here are my upcoming hours of operation:
Monday December 13, noon til 4pm, Tuesday December 14, 9am til 4pm, Wednesday December 15, 9am til 4pm and Thursday December 16 9am til 4pm
And, there’s still time to drop in and enjoy some of the lovely collage work that Famous Empty Sky has produced during the pandemic, “In Isolation Series” with a couple of new pieces added since last week!
These are also the last few days to pop in and grab a coffee and a delicious Christmas Baked Good – lovingly crafted by MJ Tiller…here are some of her creations:
The featured image for this post (above) was made by island (and National) artist Cedar Christie, who sadly passed away last year. It is on loan to the Gallery until her estate sorts out its final destination. If you are interested in purchasing this piece by Cedar, let me know and I’ll make inquiries with her executor.
It’s been about three weeks since my last post and during that time I had my busiest weekend ever at the Gallery, BC was visited by the Atmospheric River Rain Disaster, and a new worrisome variant – “The Omicron” – has been discovered in South Africa which has WHO officials concerned.
Despite the pleasant distractions of a buzzing little Gallery Café it’s impossible to ignore the ongoing stresses of the pandemic and the plights of those affected by our regional disaster – my heart goes out to them all. I just spoke to my cousin Dona yesterday who has a small farm in Abbotsford and she and her family and her four horses had to evacuate to higher ground as their property was under 14 inches of water. Her 70 chickens seemed undisturbed by the chaos as their Coop was raised up above the flood, so they remained in place.
Of course, we’ll have to see what the new variant brings but until then, Shavasana Gallery & Café will be operating under existing pandemic guidelines for Gallery/Cafés’…masks are mandatory but Vaccine Passports are not, there is limited indoor seating (9 indoor seats at present with about 18 outdoor seats – weather permitting), and a hand-sanitizing station is available…here are our December hours:
Friday December 3rd, 10am-4pm, Saturday the 4th, 10am – 4pm, Sunday the 5th, 10:30am – 4pm, Monday the 6th, 10am – 4pm
I am also intending on opening mid month* as follows:
Monday December 13th, 12noon – 4pm, Tuesday the 14th 10am – 4pm, Wednesday the 15th, 10am – 4pm, and Thursday the 16th, 10am – 4pm (*this is a bit of an experiment as I’ve never been open weekdays before)
As many of you may be aware, I commute from Vancouver to Mayne Island to run Shavasana Gallery & Café. Over the years I’ve chosen to travel by public transit to the ferry and make my crossing as a Foot Passenger, rather than bringing my car, as it saves me thousands of dollars each year in travel expenses. I’ve come to appreciate Public Transit and find sitting on the bus to be relaxing and surprisingly quick, and I have to say that after all these years, I’ve never once considered assaulting a Bus Driver!😆
The featured image for this article is a carved icon we call “The Dancing Lady”…she has been on display at Shavasana Gallery on consignment with me for several years, and is being returned to the owner who “misses her”. The Dancing lady is a wonderfully intricate wooden carving by a member of the Oddar community in India…now I will miss her
As I write this, I am sitting at my desk in Kitsilano. The sun is out and there’s not a cloud in the sky, and my early morning guest – a crow which I have been trained to feed – is sitting on the ledge outside my window waiting for his (or her) daily pumpkin seeds.
I have been somewhat negligent maintaining my Shavasana Gallery & Café website, my Clay and Bone website* ( www.clayandbone.com ), and completely AWOL with new episodes for my Podcast – The Accidental Curator** – ( https://www.theaccidentalcurator.ca/ ) which hit a brick wall in June as I prepared to re-open my Gallery/Café after a 21 month pandemic hiatus (if you are not familiar with Clay and Bone or The Accidental Curator please visit the websites…I’ll be adding new Episodes and updating Posts shortly)
There’s really no good excuse for not maintaining the Shavasana site because – as a business – my posts can be short, informative and to the point. Occasionally, I will have content for a story or an art show which takes more time and effort to write up, but in general, something like a change in my hours should be available quite promptly. My apologies, therefore, to anyone who follows this site for information about Shavasana Gallery activities, and before I go on much further here’s the situation regarding my Fall/Winter hours:
During this period – roughly October through March – I will not have regular weekly hours of operation as I do during my Spring/Summer Hours, however, my intention is to be open at least one weekend per month…usually coinciding with some kind of pertinent event/activity planned for the Mayne Island Community. As of this writing I plan on opening for the Mayne Island Studio Tour (of which I am a part)…and the hours for this will be Friday November 12th 10am -4pm, Saturday the 13th 10 – 4, and Sunday the 14th 10 – 4.
I also plan on being open in December for at least one or two of the weekend periods…dates yet to be determined. And beyond that in 2022? Stay tuned!👍
Here’s a little video I made of Shavasana Gallery on my last weekend in early October – as a momento of what had been my busiest summer in 8 years of business. I hit the ground running when I re-opened in mid-July and stayed busy throughout the season…it was hectic yet fabulous!🙏
(*, ** The other two sites are where I devote my energies to what I call “my creative process”, Clay and Bone is where I write up my Ceramic Mask-Making activity and also do a fair bit of short story creative writing. During the pandemic – when Shavasana Gallery & Café was closed – I created The Accidental Curator podcast as a place/project to do stories and interviews. When I recommence recording, the focus will be primarily on short story readings and a narrative that I am pondering/working on which will be a semi-fictional reverie.
As I’m sure most of you would agree, the last year-and-a-half has been…strange. It’s hard to attach one word to our collective experience since early 2020…strange for some, challenging & tragic for others, a CERB/CRB fuelled holiday for yet others. Despite our individual and unique experiences though, for most, it has not been “Business as Usual”.
After a very busy season in 2019, and feeling a little sense of burnout, I closed in October of that year with a mind to taking a 6 month break before re-opening in the Spring of 2020. My intention was to spend more time with my partner Cathy, maybe take a winter vacation to Mexico, and use Shavasana Gallery as my “Getaway Studio”… a place to just go and chill…work on a few creative projects, and visit some of the lovely friends I’ve made on Mayne Island.
Obviously, it didn’t quite turn out as planned. I’m almost shocked to realize that I have now been closed for 21 months. Regional travel restrictions (between health districts) have just been lifted, and I am in the process of gearing up to re-open.
It’s like starting a brand new business – and I know I’m not alone in this. Sunny Mayne Bakery, The Groove (Das Nest), Tru-Value Foods, Mayne Island Books, Dragonfly Gallery, The SeaCuterie – and others – have all changed hands or are new businesses which started up during the pandemic. I’m looking forward to getting acquainted with them all as I re-integrate into MI culture.
Long story short (as I get ready to load up my van for a trip to Tsawassen, The Salish Raven & Mayne Island )I am planning on re-opening my little Gallery Café Studio Thing at 9:00 sharp on Thursday July 15…the coffee will be hot & fresh, cookies & squares will be yummy (now being supplied by MJ Tiller, as my good friend & baker Astrid moved to Ontario in 2020)and the Arts & Crafts will be available for purchase.
Please come by and say Hi – I look forward to seeing you! 🙂
* Special thanks to friend and artist Mary Jack for the lovely pen & watercolour sketch of Shavasana Gallery 😊 ❤️
Like most of you (I imagine) I have spent a good part of the last 14 months of this pandemic in anticipation of a “return to normalcy”, caught somewhere between hope for an end to masks and sanitizers and distancing, and disappointment when the finish line keeps getting moved farther down the field. As of this writing 50% of Canadian adults have received their vaccinations and this seems to be reflected in ever-diminishing numbers of cases and deaths. We seem to be heading in the right direction and for this reason I am more optimistic now about re-opening Shavasana Gallery & Café than I have been since March of 2020 when this ordeal began in earnest.
Most Mayne Islanders have received the first installment of their Pfizer/Moderna or AstraZenica shot and I received mine in late April. This provides some level of confidence as we slowly roll back the personal and collective restrictions that we have all been facing. I did come over to Mayne for 3 days this week – after a 2 month absence – for some much-needed (and essential )attention to the state of my business & surrounding grounds. It was 3 days of cleaning, organizing, mowing and weedwacking which really hadn’t been done since June of 2020. In some places the grass was up to my waist…and I’m not short.😆 On these very infrequent trips that I have made over the past 14 months, I always bring my own supplies and basically remain onsite to minimize my contact with others. I look forward to the day when this furtive and isolated behaviour is behind us.
Even 3 or 4 months ago my guesstimate for re-opening was May…but that’s obviously not happening. My sense now is that all of us will feel more comfortable to completely re-engage with the world when we have had our second shot and when the regional numbers show a significant decline. Although we were initially told that the second round of vaccinations might be 4 months away, I’ve heard rumours that additional shipments of vaccine may reduce that to 2 months…or roughly late June, early July.
So, all that being said, I’ve got my sights set on a possible July re-opening. Hopefully, immunity will come with Cafés being allowed, once again, to have inside seating, and the opportunity to finally ditch the masks & hand sanitizers. I’ll keep you posted with a further announcement as we approach that long-anticipated day🙏😷
I miss you all! Hope to see you in person soon🙏❤️
(I don’t know who took this photo, but she/he sent it to my pal Jordy in Vancouver as I was having coffee with him because “she knew he knew me”…small world synchronicity 🙏)