Gallery in Sarnia marks 10-year milestone

The Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery at 147 The Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery at 147 Lochiel Street in Sarnia. (Photo by the art gallery from Facebook)

The Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery (JNAAG) is celebrating its 10 year anniversary by installing a series of exhibitions called “Re View.”

Gallery Lambton closed its doors a decade ago at the former Bayside Centre and moved to re-open the historic Thom Building.

“It’s pretty hard to believe that it’s 10 years already,” said Curator Sonya Blazek. “We’re doing really well! We’re going strong and we’re so happy that we can launch a celebration in honour of this first decade of being in the building.”

In celebration of the milestone, JNAAG will install a total of six exhibitions over the next year and a half, with the first exhibit set to open on Friday.

The first exhibit will trace the building’s history, looking back to 1893.

“We have a lot of historic images,” said Blazek. “We’ve also pulled together artifacts of the era to kind of reconstruct the feeling of J.S. Thom’s photography studio because the building Thom constructed was predominately made so that he could have a photography studio.”

The exhibit will also include historic photography equipment. Several components of the exhibit were borrowed from community member John Rochon, Lambton Heritage Museum, and Lambton County Archives.

An audio tour will accompany one of the paintings “In Celebration of the New Judith & Norman Alix Art Gallery” by David Moore. Blazek said the audio component, scripted and voiced by a volunteer, will be present with each of the exhibits.

“Each of those exhibitions will feature different audio tours that go with different artworks,” said Blazek.

JNAAG has also partnered with TMRRW Inc. in order to allow attendees to experience the Thom Building through augmented reality.

People can scan a QR code on the gallery’s window, on Lochiel Street, and step into the past through a handheld device.

“You can see up into Thom’s photo studio, you can see into the storefronts that would have been there during that time period, and you can actually even see the preparations for the first concrete sidewalk that was ever going to be installed in Sarnia.”

Overall, Blazek said the work leading up to this exhibition has been two years in the making.

The gallery is open Wednesdays from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m., Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., and Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. until 4 p.m.

Further details can be found on their website.