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How do you choose the artists who exhibit here?

The majority of artists submit exhibition proposals. The proposals are then reviewed by our curators, who may work independently or in conjunction with a selection committee to determine who will be offered an exhibit. Proposals are evaluated on the basis of artistic merit, presentation and overall professionalism. Where appropriate, relevance and connection to the region is also considered.

How do I get a show here?

By submitting an exhibition proposal. A general call for submissions goes out at least once a year, in addition calls to contribute to special exhibits such as group shows. Any proposals that are received outside of these times are reviewed as time allows. For more information please consult our webpage, or request an information sheet at the front desk.

Why is artwork in exhibitions not for sale?

Touchstones Nelson is a public art gallery. Industry standards and criteria set out by various government funding agencies prevents public art galleries from acting as agents for exhibiting artists. From time to time, the Touchstones Nelson Shop will feature artwork by exhibiting artists. These works are consigned separately to the Shop and are not shown within any exhibition.

How do you differ from a commercial gallery?

The main difference is that a commercial gallery relies on sales to generate income, whereas a public gallery such as Touchstones Nelson relies primarily on government, non-profit organizations and fine individuals such as yourself to fund our exhibitions and programming. This allows public galleries to support and promote arts, history and culture in ways that would not otherwise be possible.

How can I get involved?

If you are interested in joining the Touchstones team, you can drop by the facility and ask for a volunteer application form. Upon completion of the volunteer application form you will be invited to the next volunteer orientation where we outline available volunteer positions and conduct one-on-one interviews to determine your interests and skills. You are now ready to be matched with a volunteer position and join the appropriate schedule at Touchstones!

What are the facility hours?

Summer facility hours are as follows: Monday-Saturday 10am-5pm, Thursday are open late from 5pm-8pm by donation, Sunday 10am-4pm.

What are the admission rates?

Admission rates are as follows:
Members – free, Adult- $8, Senior (over 60) – $6, Student- $6, Family (2 adults 3 children) – $22, Youth (7-18) – $4, Children (under 7) – free

What is the advantage of becoming a member of Touchstones Nelson?

Membership at Touchstones Nelson provides a variety of benefits depending on the level of membership you choose.  All memberships offer unlimited admission to the facility allowing you to visit the museum, galleries and archives at your convenience.  With your membership you also receive a discounted member rate on all programming such as our Family Days and annual Heritage Home Tour. A Touchstones Nelson membership offers 3 newsletters and regular updates on exhibitions, calls for submission and programs providing a great way to connect with art, history and culture in the Nelson community. For further details on the benefits associated with all our membership levels please view our membership form.

How often do exhibitions change?

It varies, but typically exhibitions run from 8-12 weeks in duration.

What services do the Shawn Lamb Archives provide?

The Shawn Lamb Archives provides the following services according to an approved fee schedule: Nelson newspaper searches 1896-2008; photocopying within the limits of the copyright act; image reproductions for private and commercial use; copies of Nelson obituary and burial listings; land-use and home histories for the central and uphill neighbourhoods; genealogy workshops and clinics; on-site access to library of books and periodicals; general historical inquiries pertaining to Nelson and Area.

How do I contact the Society?

There are many ways to contact the Society. No matter what method you use, we’ll respond in a timely and informative manner.
Telephone: (250)352.9813
Surface mail address: Touchstones Nelson, 502 Vernon Street, Nelson BC V1L 4E7

Are exhibition openings open to the public?

Yes. Typically, openings occur on the Friday night before an exhibition opens publicly. Most openings include the artist in attendance plus curatorial staff who are there to answer your questions about the latest Touchstones Nelson exhibition.

Can I rent the Touchstones facility?

Yes. Renting the Touchstones Nelson facility comes with specific criteria and regulations and it is not suitable for all events. Please contact the Executive Director for further details and availability.

Where did the name Touchstones Nelson come from?

Like all good monikers, the name has several meanings. First, the name signified the purpose of the new facility (opened in 2006) – marking it as both a history museum and an art gallery (it is also a community archives). Second, the definition of a “touchstone” as a criterion for judging excellence neatly dovetailed with organization’s professional mandate to present exhibitions and programs of the highest quality. Third, a touchstone, in mining terms, is a fine-grained schist or jasper used for testing the quality of gold, and as such was a fine reference to Nelson’s beginnings as a gold mining settlement.

What is the difference between Touchstones Nelson and the Nelson and District Museum, Archives, Art Gallery and Historical Society?

Touchstones Nelson operates as the public entity of the Nelson and District Museum, Archives, Art Gallery and Historical Society (but who wants to say that mouthful on a regular basis?). The name, Touchstones Nelson, was selected before the Society opened its current facility at 502 Vernon Street. The legal name of the Society is the latter.