The Kootenay Gallery of Art is officially launching its new virtual store on July 16.
The store will offer up to 400 different jewelry, ceramics, pottery and woodworking objects from about 20 different artists in the region.
Art gallery curator Maggie Shirley said digitizing the items from the gallery’s gift shop and putting them online hasn’t been easy.
“Once we picked what items we wanted for the store, we had to weigh, measure and take pictures of each item,” said Shirley.
“After, we had to process the photos and create an inventory of what items we were selling online. While it was quite a long process, we’re hoping it’ll be worth it in the end. “
It’s hoped the virtual store will bring in some much needed income for the art gallery, which has been temporarily closed since mid-March due to the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.
Shoppers will be able to use different filters like product type, price and by popularity when they browse the store. Prices will vary from $20 to as much as $185, depending on the product.
While the store will offer shipping across North America, Shirley admits that shipping costs could deter people from buying some of the products online.
Despite the difficulties, Shirley said it feels great to finally launch the product to the public.
“It feels great not only in terms of a sense of accomplishment, but it also feels like were moving the gallery into the 21st century. We’re finally looking ahead in terms where the markets are moving.” said Shirley.
“It also feels great because there’s so many talented artists in the region and this store will help to put their artwork out into the world.”
Staff members have spent hundreds of hours creating the virtual store since they started the project back in early April.