Atelier of Arts: The Newest Way To Experience Art in Calgary

A stroll down 15th Avenue Southeast is a quick reminder that Calgary actually does have a little bit of intriguing history to it. The Fred C Lowe building sits on one of these streets between the bustling crowds of 17th Avenue and the Saddledome and is one of the few structures in the area that has been standing for over a century.

Originally built in 1912 to house the elite new citizens of the town, the builder and owner is said to have gone from boom to bust overnight; being valued at roughly seven million dollars one day and being committed to an institute without a penny to his name the next.

While things might not have turned out so well for the original tenant, a century later, this building has taken on a interesting new purpose which is to serve as the newest art space in town called the Atelier of Arts.

Taking a queue from more old world influences and the gallery scene in New York, this space is unlike any of the modern galleries you’ll encounter around 11th Avenue. The converted character apartment currently features several rooms of beautiful nude sketches and photography as part of the current exhibition, Bare: A Celebration of Skin, and the space is a little more inviting than your traditional art institution.

With wine, a steady playlist of jazz standards, and an open door policy, the two YPs responsible for this new venture are helping change the art scene in Calgary one art party at a time.

Behind this new artistic endeavor are Tara Somers and Erika Voith.

Tara is a marketing whiz with a gregarious personality and an extensive background in events, media, and networking. The yin to her yang is her partner Erika, a classically trained artist and designer who’s gone to school and lived in many of the great city centers of Europe, including London, Athens, Prague, and Paris. 

Tara describes their working relationship like this: Erika’s the rocker and [I’m] the manager.
Sounds perfect.   

After having three back-to-back openings in June, each one met with a full crowd, both women are confidant that opening the space was a smart move. And judging by their hectic schedule and demand from new patrons, the work isn’t going to be slowing down anytime soon.  

The Atelier of Arts will be the spot to be this fall. Whether you’re looking for new art to hang on your own walls or you just want to enjoy art related events in a more relaxed and European setting, this is the place for you.


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