Bringing Global Artists to Local Communities
“Where you live is your community, and if you don’t support your community, you won’t have these things that make our city different. If you support people, people will support you, and I think shopping local is a pretty rewarding experience because of that.”-Michael Gibson, Michael Gibson Gallery
Nestled at 157 Carling Street is the Michael Gibson Gallery: a long-time presence of Downtown London since 1984 that showcases artwork from not only local artists, but renowned creators from all over the country.
Michael Gibson, founder and owner of the Michael Gibson Gallery, has been a long-time resident of London. When he first started working downtown, he would frequent an art gallery on Talbot Street during his lunch breaks. Michael ended up befriending the previous owner and working at the gallery. It was only a short time before he bought the business and turned it into his own.
“Opening a business here always made sense. I’m a downtown person, so wherever I go, we’re always going to the downtown core. An art gallery should always be downtown, and there are unique features, like the architecture of the buildings and the people you meet, that you won’t get anywhere else in the city. All of our neighbours have been downtown for 20-30 years, so we’re a very strong and successful community and we’re a destination for people coming here.”
Michael has always favoured the downtown, pinning it as a destination for visitors to experience many unique businesses and spaces. The green spaces and the Covent Garden Market are some of Michael’s favourite places to run into his fellow business owners and enjoy some peace in a busy world. The architecture and businesses are, to Michael, what makes downtown unique.
This gallery especially is one of those unique destination businesses that are a part of the downtown core. “The pieces we showcase are completely one-of-a-kind, and usually there are only one of these pieces in the world. Art galleries are like radio stations; there are different genres and flavours, and we’re one of those businesses that offer a cultural experience that can’t be duplicated.”
When you visit the gallery or buy a piece of artwork, Michael hopes that visitors will feel relaxed and experience these pieces with an open mind. Sometimes, art galleries can be intimidating, but Michael, and his colleague Jennie, are always open to questions and conversations. They hope to break down that barrier and create a better experience for all who come into the gallery.
That’s why Michael thinks it is important to support the local businesses in the downtown community. “Where you live is your community, and if you don’t support your community you won’t have these things that make our city different. If you support people, people will support you, and I think shopping local is a pretty rewarding experience because of that.”
If you would like to get in contact with the curator extraordinaire, Michael Gibson Gallery is listed in our directory. Want to learn more about other local businesses? Our Stories section is updated every week as part of our Keep London Local campaign. Thank you for continuing to support the London community.