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Held by Ransom (Posted On: Saturday, January 30, 2010)

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New gallery steals the corner on quirky.  For an area renowned for its arts and culture scene, it wouldn’t seem that a new gallery would merit too much notice.

But the new kid on the block (143 Hurontario to be exact), Ransom: Art by Design, is already distinguishing itself as something quite a bit different.

The brainchild of entrepreneur Andrea Rinaldo, Ransom encapsulates much of what marked Andrea’s previous business, Butter. Edgy, contemporary, colourful, groundbreaking, a touch of the avant garde with a good dose of humour are characteristics that describe both, while being enlivened by Rinaldo’s infamous enthusiasm and “can’t catch me” energy.

“I love art, but the art I most love, the style of it, I wasn’t seeing locally. I thought there was a niche for something like Ransom…and the response has proved we hit a nerve.” says Rinaldo. Featuring work from both local artists and those farther afield, Ransom’s niche is bright and colourful contemporary art with a very urban feel. Whether it is a new technique (check out Adam Colangelo’s woven copper masterpieces) or a new take on an iconic figure (Mark Gleberzon’s Batman and Count Chocula’s) or something just simply fun (Andrea Zimmer’s naively charming paintings or Beepart’s amazing wall decals), Ransom will have something you haven’t seen before.

“It’s amazing working with emerging artists”, says Rinaldo.” They are so eager to show the world their art, so happy to be supported by a gallery, and from a practical standpoint, their prices tend to be lower.”

Ransom is not “just” a retail gallery space, but also has some exciting events penned in, including the upcoming Illicit exhibition running February 6 – 21, 2010. Open to all artists who dare to “cross the line”, the show hopes to include the community, and become a catalyst for Ransom becoming a nexus of creative energies.

“The submission date (in this case January 31) for call for entry shows is always so exciting”, says Ransom partner Allison Billings, “It’s like Christmas when you haven’t peaked…all surprises.”

Billings is a visual artist in her own right, and her newest series of “rabbits” is a Ransom top seller. The series was inspired by the rescue of a baby rabbit (now named George) from the Arts Centre parking lot, but the works incorporate Billing’s trademark text, colour and mixed media treatments.

“Andrea had asked me to do some paintings for the gallery, and when I came to drop them off, it evolved into a partnership. Ransom is the perfect venue for some of my more off the wall ideas, and my experience in arts administration provides a good underpinning to Andrea’s infectious energy.”

Ransom will be hosting its Grand Opening on January 30, 2010. The evening starts at 6 pm when guests can drop into the gallery and enjoy an Espresso Post coffee on Ransom.

Ransom: Art by Design is located at 143 Hurontario St., Collingwood, Ontario. 705.446.2165. Visit our website. 


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