In January 2011, a group of Pinawa artists met to form an artist association. The group consisted of newcomers to Pinawa and long-term residents. They re-claimed the name Pinawa ART 211 which had been used by an art club that ceased operations over a decade ago. On May 4 2013 Pinawa Art 211 was incorporated as a non-profit organization. At that time Pinawa Art 211 also opened The Pinawa Art Gallery, a brick and mortar gallery and boutique in the Lewis Centre in Pinawa.
The initial focus of Pinawa ART 211 was creating art and marketing, but the group quickly became known for creative arts programming, which led to an expanded membership of artists from surrounding communities of Elma, Lac du Bonnet, River Hills, Whitemouth, Beausejour, Lee River and Bird River.
Over the years Pinawa Art 211 has hosted several inter-arts exhibitions and programs. Examples would be our “Art in the Forest” partnership with the Manitoba Forestry Association (2011) and the “Green Water Art Show” partnership with Winnipeg River Arts Council and Fire & Water Music Festival (2012) along with semi-annual events of the “Eastman Juried Art Show” in 2013 and 2015. Participation in the Pinawa Birthday weekend has included juried exhibitions, art shows and sales. In 2018 Pinawa Art 211 participated in the “Whiteshell Winter Arts Festival (WWAF)”. This annual 2 day celebration of winter activities partners with local government and sports and leisure groups in the area to organize music, literature, visual arts and dance with outdoor and indoor programming such as skiing and pickleball.
Pinawa Art 211 assists in strengthening Arts in other rural communities in Eastern Manitoba. We are actively involved in the “Boreal Shores Art Tour”. We exhibit members art in the Whitemouth Library and in Pinawa we provide art for a local seniors’ residence and the local grocery store.
Since opening the Gallery in 2013 Pinawa Art 211 has offered area artists a membership that has an option of both exhibiting and selling their art through the gallery and a website. As well, Pinawa Art 211 runs programs in “Just Art Talk (JAT)” Education Centre in the Gallery. Classes, workshops, lectures and demonstrations have included painting, sculpting, flower arranging, card making, calligraphy, art therapy, children’s art, seniors art, photography and other topics as lead by community and guest artists.
The Gallery and JAT Centre have become an important hub for the town of 1500 residents and other nearby residents. The Gallery offers nominal fee coffee and tea and a place to gather. Individuals and groups (photography club, bridge club) use the Gallery to socialize. In 2019 the Gallery became an official Visitor Centre.
Current Members of Pinawa Art 211:
Erika Uustau- Nicholson