Dale Morrish has a second chance to live her dream.
Last week, she opened up Artsie in Downtown Timmins. This is her second time operating an art shop in the city.
“I actually had this store, called Artsie, opened about 10 years ago on Wilson Avenue,” Morrish said. “It was doing well. Unfortunately, I got ill. I’m a cancer survivor. I got the opportunity to open up again, so here I am.”
Originally from Toronto, Morrish has been in Timmins for about 35 years. Art has always been a big part of her life.
“I’ve always been into art,” she said. “I took it in high school, I took it in college. Then I got into it as soon as I got here.”
“Artsie offers a variety of art-related products and services. We do a lot of custom framing. I do things like needlework, hockey jerseys, box frames, stretch canvasses… all of it includes framing,” Morrish said. “I also offer art supplies to artists. I know it is really difficult to get art supplies right now. We’re not doing crafts, we’re just doing the arts. We have a whole variety of brushes, watercolours, acrylics, oils, some mediums, pouring mediums and paper, pads, pastels, pencil crayons and canvasses.”
She moved the operation to Pine Street to get more room for the store.
“I got the opportunity to open up in The 101 Mall, and it was nice there. But I was sharing a space with another store,” she said. “I was in the back third of the store, so no one really knew I was there. Plus, when I get orders in, there was not enough room. I knew I wanted to get into selling art supplies, and again, not enough room.”
“Our main goal was to open somewhere with a little more space and fulfill what we really wanted to do.”
Her husband, Dave Morrish, took time off work at Kidd Creek Mine Site to help open up the new store. He played a big role in finding the new location.
“I know the owner of the building,” he explained. “So, I approached him and told him we were looking for a space big enough so we can sell art supplies. He said, ‘I got a space for you.’ There used to be a gym here, but they moved downstairs. We totally remodelled the place.”
Morrish is also planning to set up a gallery featuring a rotating selection of local artists.
“Another thing that I really want to offer artists is to come in and hang up some of their work,” she said. “I would like to help out the art community, that’s my goal. I want to run a little program where they can put their art up for two months at a time. They would be responsible for bringing it in, putting it up and taking it down. This would be for a little gallery show.”
“I know as an artist, growing up in the art world, I appreciated it when someone did that for me. I just want to give back.”
They hope Artsie can inspire more people to get involved in the local art community.
“In the fall, I’m going to be offering fun art lessons, where they can do a painting in an evening,” she said. “I’m going to offer one class for children and one class for adults. I would be all done in one night. It would be a fun outing. That way they don’t have to commit to a long process. I’m sure they’ll pick up tidbits and information and learn quite a bit.”
They also have a display by the front window of wood carvings by Marcus Noah, a young Native artist.
“We just want to promote his art work a bit to help him,” she said.
Morrish appreciates the warm welcome she has received since re-opening Artsie.
“I’ve gotten a lot of support from the art community in Timmins,” she said. “They are all so glad to see me back in it, which is really nice. They’re very supportive and I really appreciate that.”
“I’ve also had so much support from my husband and I really appreciate that.”
After beating cancer, she is delighted to be back in business.
“This is my dream come true,” Morrish said. “I have a second chance at my dream, and who gets that?”
Artsie is located at 75 Pine St. S. in Timmins. Find them on Facebook.