After operating galleries in both Toronto and Meaford, Ron de Boer moved to Owen Sound in 1993 and opened a gallery in the downtown core. The gallery first operated as Art International and over the years, Ron expanded both the gallery space and its services. It now covers over 4000 square feet. In 2001, the gallery was renamed Gallery de Boer – Fine Art.
Making a living in the arts is always a challenge and on the surface, Owen Sound doesn’t look like the ideal spot for a high-end commercial gallery. However, Owen Sound is the economic hub of Grey and Bruce Counties.
Even more important, the natural beauty of the area has helped create a culturally rich environment. Ron notes, “It seems that where ever there is natural beauty, artists of many talents are attracted”.
Nowhere is this truer than in Owen Sound, with an active theatre, a community symphony, musicians, writers and many exceptional visual artists. All this plus the Tom Thomson Art Gallery makes Owen Sound a wonderful location for a fine art commercial gallery.
To meet the challenges of the gallery business, Ron has done a number of things right. First, he keeps in contact on a regular basis with existing customers from Toronto and beyond to foster customer loyalty.
Second, he has surrounded himself with expert staff in each department: conservation framing, fine art restoration and sales. Ron also offers through the gallery expanded services, which include appraisals, art leasing, collection management and estates handling.
This diversity of services is rare in a single gallery, regardless of the size of the community. As a result, Ron is able to attract and maintain a loyal following from a wide area. In fact, about fifty percent of his regular customers live more than 350 km from Owen Sound.
Gallery de Boer – Fine Art continues to exhibit works from Impressionism to Abstract, aboriginal to wildlife, oil, acrylic and water color, as well as bronze and stone sculptures. It is Ron’s goal to represent established, accomplished and emerging Canadian and international artists who appeal to avid collectors as well as first-time buyers.