Tucked away behind lush forests in Saanich is a vibrant space that brings interpretations of the wilderness indoors for the public to enjoy.

“We display a mostly realistic style of art,” said photographer Gabriel Taschereau. “When you look at the picture you know what it is. When you look at the painting you know what it is.”

Taschereau and co-owner Jacqui Austin opened the Art in the Barn Gallery on their five-acre wooded property on Hughes Road.

It took them seven months to transform an old horse stable into the open concept gallery.

“We outlive our dogs, cats and we outlive our horses too so when our horses were gone, that was the reason we decided to convert it,” Taschereau explained.

“It was plywood and pretty open to the elements like most barns would be,” said Austin. “We had to drywall and put the fancy lighting in and seal it off from the weather.”

Opening the gallery was a move as natural as a brush stroke for Austin who is a veteran painter.

Taschereau began photographing landscapes and wildlife in the 1970s.

For years, they were operating out of a small studio space in their 106-year-old home.

“[Now] we actually have 235 linear feet of wall display here which is quite a bit,” Taschereau said.

“We wanted to create a community and a kind of hub,” Austin explained.

The gallery provides a large space for other local artists to showcase their creations. There are currently six featured artists on display, including painter Lenaya Chrystall.

“It’s really exciting showing your art,” Chrystall said. “It’s also so exciting when someone loves it enough to buy it.”

The gallery is open to the public Thursday through Sunday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

For more information, visit the Art in the Barn Gallery website. 

Ceilidh Millar