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The Art of Conversation

1 May 2014 by Janelle Hickey in Shopping , Culture , Art Galleries and St. John’s
Region: Avalon

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Photo by Tia Connolly

Now entering it’s 11th year, The Leyton Gallery of Fine Art carries some of the most important rising national and international artists living and working in Eastern Canada. Works range from realism to emotionalism to abstract symbolic work. They carry paintings, prints, and sculpture and will ship anywhere in the world. I sat down with owner Bonnie Leyton and Manager Tia Connolly to talk art, community and their unique venue.

The Leyton Gallery is situated in the heart of historic St John’s just off Harbour Drive. The gallery prides itself on its relaxed atmosphere and welcoming environment. Bonnie and her husband moved to St. John’s in the 1960′s (both are from Vancouver) and never looked back. The idea of opening an art gallery came after losing a dear friend who also happened to be her art dealer. She decided to make a go of it on her own – but if she was going to do it, she vowed to do it right. It was important that the gallery focus on emerging artists, both local and Canadian, who may not have had the opportunity to get their work into a commercial gallery yet. They’ve been so successful that there are often more artists than there is space, and many artists have gone on to become internationally known such as Michael Pittman, Ray Cox and Lisa Moore.

Photo by Tia Connolly

When asked how she finds her artists, Bonnie is quick to praise the amount of artistic talent in Newfoundland – “It’s just tremendous” she says. Their location, smack dab in the middle of downtown St. John’s doesn’t hurt either. They’re at the centre of a small artistic hub that houses the gallery, a print shop and art studios – “It’s hard to miss them” she says, “often they come wandering in, right off the street”.

Photo by Tia Connolly

The gallery itself is cozy and comfortable, the perfect setting for a reception or cocktail party. With a main area in the front and two smaller rooms towards the back, it is a unique venue to host an event for up to 80 people. Bonnie emphasizes that they are very welcoming, adding “We love to socialize and we want people to feel at ease here”. The staff is delighted to chat about the art and artists, and they provide some of the very finest musicians the city has to offer. They often host artist sittings, book launches, readings and local music nights.

Leyton is equipped with everything you might need from a projector to a sound system, and they can set up a full bar and catering, if need be. The gallery offers a completely unique experience to your typical reception – surrounded by the work of wonderful artists in a beautiful and relaxing environment, there are conversation pieces all around you and, at the end of the night you can even take one home! Leyton Gallery is the perfect setting for a small post conference reception.

Fall in love with the artists of Newfoundland and make a trip to Leyton Gallery a must when travelling to St. John’s. Make your next event memorable and maybe even take a piece of us home with you when you go.

Photo by Tia Connolly

Visit The Leyton Gallery of Fine Art at

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