On Yonge Street in Aurora’s downtown, a couple of doors down from Aw Shucks Oyster Bar and across the street from Vintage Spice Indian Restaurant, there’s a relatively new gallery – Royal Rose Gallery.
Owned and operated by Rosa Calabrese, a graduate from the Bachelor of Fine Arts Program at York University in Toronto, Royal Rose opened late last year and features the works of local artists. Rosa plans to make the gallery a community focus. We caught up with her recently to find out more.
Experienceyorkregion.com: Can you tell us a bit about the gallery?
Rosa Calabrese: I had a dream of creating a local art space that educates, enriches and empowers members of the community. With the support of family and friends, we jumped on the opportunity and brought the vision to fruition and opened Royal Rose Gallery in late 2021.
My degree in Fine Arts and my work experience in several art schools and galleries leading up to now, combined with my genuine love and passion for art and healing through art has me absolutely prepared to embark on this journey of operating my own gallery and art programming.
Our space is very unique, diverse and full of possibilities. We have many ideas and plans to expand our offerings in the coming months and years, and we look forward to being a long-time fixture in the York Region community, for many things, including art!xyr: Tell us about some of the artists you feature in the gallery?
RC: Over the years, I have been lucky enough to grow a circle of creative people in my life. Makers of all kinds! Most of the vendors we feature at the gallery are local creators with a clear passion and love for what they do. The artists vary greatly in what they create and offer. We love to feature things that have been clearly, made with love and come from good people.
xyr: What do you look for when you’re inviting an artist to show in your gallery?
RC: I’ve been really excited to find artists who offer unique pieces and who are excited about bringing their art to the community. I am so glad to be in a position now to support and encourage artists, from all genres and skills, but especially to be able to help artists who are just starting out.
Some of our currently featured artists include: Bill Lunshof, Christine Valentini, Nonie Dauphinias and Jim Jackson. These are all artists who work in very different ways, different styles, different mediums, and yet, when we come together it feels like family.
xyr: What do you have planned over the next few months and into summer?
RC: Our past events have been wonderfully successful and fun for the whole community – our Halloween Haunt Walk and Holiday Markets were very well-attended and featured in local media and online.
I’m very excited to be planning more events that bring art and our community together. Our next big event will be The Aurora Street Festival, where we’ll be offering arts and crafts activities to children and exhibiting many works from our talented artists.
Our children’s art classes will be continuing until the end of June, and then we will be offering summer art camp programs and various events you can find on our events page at: https://royalroseart.ca/events/
Main photo: Royal Rose Gallery owner Rosa Calabrese and her faithful gallery companion Bruno.
Photo row: Original works by Rosa and local artists are for sale at the gallery.