ARTiculations is an art supply store that's more than an art supply store. It has its own semi-enclosed gallery space, a back room studio, and a roster full of workshops and drop-in programs for kids and adults. In these ways--plus the fact that owners Heather Phillips and Miki Rubin are Juction-devoted through and through--ARTiculations hopes to distinguish itself from the new Above Ground shop opening soon just down the road.
"We didn't know it would be here," Miki tells me on a quiet day as we tour the store. "This process was started back in January, so it did come as a bit of a surprise."
"But I'm not worried," Miki continues. "We're going to be offering many different things."
ARTiculations, which opened in the Junction December 1, tries to supply as many locally made ("meaning Canadian," Miki says) art supplies as possible, as well as eco-friendly materials. Its crayons, for example (known in common discourse as every toddler's favourite afternoon snack) are Clementine brand natural soy, priced at $8.50 per pack. The shop also has a huge selection of silk screening materials including a full line of Speedball paints, plus stretched canvas, rolls, papers, pencils, sketchbook and stamps--everything, in other words, you'd expect from an art supply store.
What ARTiculations doesn't have, however, is an abundance of choice. That was a deliberate decision (albeit, partially dictated by space) according to Miki. "We're both artists," he says of himself and Heather. "We call ourselves 'creative navigators;' we started by choosing lines that we're familiar with, then expanded to include brands artists in the area might be looking for. In that way, we've sort of curated a collection of the best supplies."
Those supplies can be put to use at home or in studio, of course, or they can also be used on location for an ARTiculations workshop or drop-in class. Though the full lineup is still in the works, Miki says they're planning to host everything from mold making to flower arranging workshops, ranging in price from $50-$80 for single-day and $100-$200 for multi-day events (including the cost of materials). Drop-in sessions are usually PWYC and open studio is held each Monday evening.
The other big ARTiculations attraction is its self-contained gallery space, which currently showcases an exhibit (also in the front window) by Amanda McCavour. The Earl Selkirk Gallery, Miki tells me, was named for the man mysteriously enshrined in tile at the store's exterior threshold, who, according to Miki's research, played for the Toronto Argonauts before running for City Council. The gallery now named in his honour will host new exhibits monthly. Artist bios and more information on workshops is posted regularly on ARTiculations website.
Photos by Christian Bobak