An interview Denis Smith
ART MODE GALLERY
A n i n t e r v i e w w i t h D e n i s P . S m i t h , c r e a t o r o f A r t M o d e A r t G a l l e r y t a k i n g p l a c e a t t h e W a k e f i e l d M i l l H o t e l & S p a .
T h e G a l l e r y o f f e r s a w i d e s e l e c t i o n o f w o n d e r f u l a r t p i e c e s t h a t a r e a v a i l a b l e t o p u r c h a s e o n l i n e a n d o n s i t e .
Hi Denis, so how began the journey of Art Mode? How was it created?
My experiences in Los Angeles definitely motivated the creation of Art Mode. I met some exceptional artists there and it made me want to share their work with as many people as possible.
Before exhibiting at the Moulin Wakefield Hotel and Spa, Art Mode had its first storefront on Sussex in Ottawa, then in Calgary and Edmonton. Art Mode's mission is first and foremost to democratize art, often perceived as intimidating. Being more accessible to reach a wider audience breaks down barriers.
What makes Art Mode Gallery unique to visit?
The vibrant colors and the artists chosen bring a singular and authentic feel to the gallery. Dynamism and movement is the common thread in the selection of pieces, which creates an effervescence in harmony with the calm and historic side of the Wakefield Mill.
How do you describe your selection of art pieces over the years?
The 7 years spent in LA made me discover this passion for art, which has never left me. Not having been exposed to art at a young age, I made some remarkable discoveries. Among others, my first collection was of the artist Aldo Luongo which I still have today. Artists such as Raymond Caouette, Gaetan Gauthier and Sylvain Leblanc have also been part of the selection for many years.
Where are the art works coming from? Where do you pick them?
Most of the works presented are from Canada (90%), of which 60% are by Quebec artists.Also, some works come from overseas, such as those of Aldo Luongo, originally from Argentina.
How did the association with Wakefield Mill Hôtel & Spa come about?
Mr. Milling, Moulin Wakefield Hotel and Spa’s owner has been a client of the gallery for the past 15 years. Then during the pandemic, he contacted me with a great idea to “transform” the hotel into an art gallery. Even in this unusual context, it was a success! The initiative had a positive impact on the clientele, but also on the work team. People bought the works on display via the online gallery, but also on site.
Since when is the gallery installed at the Wakefield Mill?
Since April 2020 Art Mode has been exhibiting on the walls of the Mill, both in the rooms and in the common areas.
How is it to host people at The Wakefield Mill to walk trough the gallery?
People appreciate the dynamic aspect that the paintings bring to the hotel, the bright colors that create a warm atmosphere, ArtMode.com it is the common thread that links each room. Clients from Montreal, Toronto and even Europe have ordered canvases to be installed in their homes. Often, visitors want to keep a tangible souvenir of their Wakefield experience and our paintings represent what they are living, so it completes the trip perfectly.
What have you learned over the years that you would like to share?
I love selecting art, it's a real passion so I would start my journey again tomorrow. I wouldn't change a thing! I think it's important to keep up with what's going on in the industry no matter how long you've been in it. Then, to transmit my passion for art and to democratize it is important to me, since I would never have thought myself to be interested in it at this point.