In the early years, Marc Alexander Ullrich and Stefanie Harig had to work hard to persuade key artists to join them. By sharing their vision of a more democratic art market, they now have more than 160 artists from around the world within their catalogue, showcasing photography, digital art and contemporary design.
LUMAS galleries can be found in some of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, including Munich, Seoul, Zurich, Vienna, London and in New York, where a young entrepreneur from Toronto first spotted it early last year.
Erin Lang fell in love with gallery and immediately knew that the concept would be perfect for Canada, finding that there was a gap in the market for great yet affordable art.
“I love how LUMAS caters to everyone and doesn’t discriminate against the more artistic customer, someone who just has great style and taste and wants to reflect that in their home,” says Lang, Managing Director of LUMAS Canada. “They don’t compete against galleries, if anything they’re helping cultivate the next generation of collectors and enthusiasts by making art more approachable and accessible. “
Lang began her search for a suitable space, finding the perfect spot in a brick building on Water Street.
“Gastown’s vibrancy was a real draw for me in choosing a location for our first Canadian gallery,” she notes. “The area has a great range of independent emerging talent and quality brands in both home and apparel, which also helped make it a natural fit for LUMAS.”
Once home to the McClary Manufacturing Company, the building at 305 Water Street was constructed in 1897 by architect, John Mackenzie Moore, and awarded a national heritage designation in 2003. The LUMAS gallery occupies the entire main level, with 3400 square feet of character space that enhances each exhibit.
“It was very important that we merge both the traditional Gastown heritage feel with the LUMAS ‘collectors home’ concept,” Lang explains. “I think we achieved that seamlessly and I’m very happy with how the gallery looks and feels in the community.”
LUMAS welcomed it’s first visitors at the end of February, quietly opening the doors in advance of their official grand opening this Saturday. It wasn’t long before locals and tourists alike (the gallery overlooks the Steam Clock) began browsing the collection.
“Since our soft opening a couple weeks ago, we’ve received a very warm welcome from the community and visitors to the area.”
On Saturday, the LUMAS gallery is hosting an opening event that features one of their artists, Sabine Wild. From 10am to 6pm, visitors can drop by to meet her and take in some of her exclusive works, a collection of city and nature landscapes that straddle the spheres of mirage and reality.
“We try to have around four to six events per year that feature an artist from the LUMAS portfolio. We are looking forward to becoming more involved in the community in the months and years to come.”
With more than 35 galleries across the world in Germany, London, New York, Zurich, Vienna and Paris, there are over 1,400 works are available as original photographs in editions of 75 to 150. Signed by the artist, these editions make museum-quality art photography affordable for everyone, starting at as little as $100.