The art studio + cool shop, housed in Old Town’s former RCMP detachment, is a feast for the senses. Step onto the porch and a collection of stones placed carefully on birch rounds greets you. Each stone asks to be picked up and examined, its smooth body cool in the palm of your hand. Pull open the shop’s front door and a playful take on paper birches confirms you’ve entered the creative space of someone who treasures the earth.
That someone is artist Leah Pipe, a self-described army brat who lived in myriad places in Canada and around the world before choosing The Hazeltons as home. It was far from a random choice. Pipe is the fourth generation of her family to live in this region. Drawn here by a family reunion 20 years ago, she fell in love with The Hazeltons’ natural beauty. City friends remain perplexed by her choice, but for Pipe it makes perfect sense:
“I only have to step outside to be surrounded by inspiration.”
I only have to step inside Art+Antler to feel inspired.
The shop contains an ever-changing display of offbeat, beautiful vintage and handmade clothing and goods that Pipe hunts and gathers from around the world.
I’m thunderstruck by her photorealistic paintings. This one of a raven in flight now hangs on a wall in the shop. Standing under it, I felt the thrust of the bird’s glossy wing.
For me, the most powerful incentive to visit Art+Antler is Leah Pipe’s creative fire. She is The Hazeltons’ unparalleled ambassador, and bouncing ideas with her for an hour is like plugging into a charging station.
Yesterday she, her staff person Stacie Donovan, and I talked about two exciting projects that I’ll tell you about in future posts.
Until then, if you want to jumpstart spring, I encourage you to visit Art+Antler. If you can’t go in person, you can always feed your senses here.