The Moose Jaw Museum & Art Gallery has a number of great exhibits to check out in their space, which unofficially includes the collection of pieces available in the Gift Shop on the main floor of the gallery.
Marg Bertsch, manager of the gift shop, admitted that the Gift Shop is occasionally mistaken for the Art Gallery, which only speaks to how well the displays are organized.
Over 50 artists have works featured for sale in the gift shop, and essentially all of them have ties to Moose Jaw and area. This, said Bertsch, is exactly the purpose of the gift shop — to showcase prairie art that means something to the community.
“I think everybody here has a connection to Saskatchewan, if they're not still here,” said Bertsch. “There's some connection, if they [don't live] here now then they are from here, or grew up here.”
The Gift Shop features art in all kinds of mediums, ranging from pottery to books to ceramics. Bertsch highlighted a few interesting displays, including paintings and folk art pieces created by Maxine Forsberg, an artist from Macrorie, Saskatchewan who is around 90 years old and still creating.
The Gift Shop also has a collection of prints by the late McGregor Hone, a revered artist and printmaker from Regina, and some stunning pottery by Moose Jaw’s Rob Froese — who is in Alberta now, making his finished pieces more scarce.
“We try to carry things that aren't everywhere else. So, people often tell me they see things here that they don't see other places,” said Bertsch.
The majority of works are on consignment from the artists, although the proceeds collected by the Gift Shop go towards the MJMAG’s gallery as well. Bertsch has cultivated a great relationship between the shop and the artists who supply their work to show.
“Everyone is very easy to work with, I can just phone them if I'm getting a little low on things or just go to their place to pick up a few more things for the shop,” said Bertsch, who has been running the gift shop for around ten years. “The artists here are great, so talented, and we get along so great with them.”
Bertsch encourages people to come down and check out the Gift Shop, and to check back often because new features are always in the works.
The Gift Shop is open from 1-5 p.m., Tuesday to Sunday, while the MJMAG is also open downstairs.