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Artists Diane Beatty-Wearing, Ruth Webster, Scott Annandale, Susan Bartolacci, Theresa Balon and Eyes in Time playfully jockey for position along with gallery owner Cynthia Hill while posing for a selfie in the Blue Angel Gallery, an artist cooperative that values individual creativity while also providing a democratic voice. The gallery's walls are splashed in a kaleidoscope of vivid colours and bold textures in multiple media such as encaustics, oils and acrylics, fibre arts, paper arts, music arts, artography and photography.  Housing the work of over 18 different artists, decisions at the gallery are reached by quorum and artists assume two shifts a month while renting gallery space.

When Cynthia established the gallery in 2000 she wanted to provide a sanctuary for artists who had difficulty showcasing their work. "Artists don't know where they're going," she notes. "It's important to have a space that encourages expression and keeps art alive."

With most artists initially showcasing their work through libraries or, like Susan, a local church, the idea of an artistic home to complete the cycle of art is paramount. "Being an artist is lonely. It's important to have a place to hang a shingle and feel belonging," Diane says before Ruth jokingly interjects that she is hanging her retirement shingle after a career in education.

"Art can be everything. The minute you love it, it's worthy. There is no other measure," Cynthia says of her philosophy of encouraging all facets of artistic expression. The self-nicknamed "angels" of the gallery, Eyes in Time explains, all share the same vision despite their artistic diversity: "it's a sense of synchronicity."

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