Ahnisnabae Art Gallery, A Showcase of aboriginal art
As owner of the Ahnisnabae Art Gallery, Louise Thomas has become an integral contributor to Thunder Bay’s art scene, specifically with First Nations art. Louise promotes dozens of local and regional First Nations painters, sculptors, and craftspeople while also many maintaining the legacy of her famous husband Roy Thomas, an internationally collected artist.
As an artist myself, I often visit the Ahnisnabae Art Gallery to check out the ever-changing gallery walls and to enquire about local talent, which eventually results in meeting some astonishingly talented young people. Louise has mentored several young artists looking to break into the scene, so it’s not unusual to be taken aback by the boldness and variety of styles, from traditional woodlands style to contemporary to popular.
You will find the gallery on a visit to Thunder Bay at 18 Court Street South in the downtown Waterfront District. The walls are packed, salon-style, with original oil, acrylic, watercolour paintings, and prints of all kinds. The gallery also sells sculptures, craft and leather works, prints, books, art cards, jewelry and much more. With a professional framing department, they have the ability to frame your work and any original prints and cards from the gallery. They repair frames, stretch canvases, do art appraisals and make home visits for appraisals and for advice on hanging and choosing works of art.
One of the largest collections of Aboriginal Art in Northwest Ontario, the gallery hosts nearly 300 artists at any one time. Many of the names represented are well known: Norval Morrisseau, Roy Thomas, Randy Thomas, Carl Ray, Elliott Doxtater-Wynn, Linus Woods (from Manitoba), Saul Williams, Jane Ash Poitras, Don Ningewance, Jimmy Oskineegish, Amo Angeconeb and others. There are also wonderful young artists represented, including Candace Twance, Sean Hedican, John Belanger, OJ Ogemah and others. Louise is planning art show openings in the near future to help promote younger artists.
Over the last 11 years, Louise has sold most of her works to tourists, international collectors and a few local collectors. The Ahnisnabae Art Gallery is a great place to get advice on starting your collection.
Gallery hours are:
Monday-Wednesday: 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thursday: 11:00 am - 7:00 pm
Friday: 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Saturday: 12 noon - 5 pm
Sunday: by appointment only