Peter Pepin said he’s in the coffee business, but that may not be entirely true.
The owner of Block 1912 Café, a mainstay in Old Strathcona, said he knows coffee and dessert, not galleries and showings. But the family-owned business, with its funky décor and vast walls, is getting attention as much as a spot to sip a cappuccino, as to check out the works of emerging artists around town.
“We’re in the arts district, we support community involvement,” said Pepin.
For the next month, a group of some 10 fine art students from the University of Alberta will showcase (and hopefully sell) prints they’ve created using techniques like screen printing, woodcut and intaglio.
Third-year BFA student Vanessa Mastronardi said she hopes the exhibit will prompt café patrons to visit one of the many city galleries.
“We have to do what we do, because we love it, but it’s awesome that places like this are ready to give us a shot,” she said.
Emmanuel Osahor said he loves talking about his art with customers in the coffee shop, as it’s valuable feedback he takes back to his third-year classes.
And classmate Morgan Melenka looks forward to the meet-the-artist opening reception Sunday night.
“It’s an excuse to hang out because of art – we’re celebrating it,” said Melenka.