Sugar Shack showcasing local art


By Barb McKay

At first glance, the Sugar Shack is a tattoo parlour like any other.

But its unusual method of decorating has attracted more than tattoo customers through its doors. Over the past year, the Queen Street business, operated by Scott and Ashley Duncan, has exhibited local artwork.

“It’s been neat,” said Scott Duncan. “People are drawn in by the look of the building and aren’t immediately aware that it’s a tattoo parlour.”

Having paintings and multi-media works on the walls not only makes the business look good, it’s a constant source of inspiration.

“If we have cook art in here it will keep us interested and it’s good for everyone,” Duncan said.

The idea to feature local art came about as a way to pay tribute to a friend, Shannon Larratt, who passed away last March. His wife gave the Duncans a selection of his artwork on loan when the Sugar Shack opened in its new downtown location.

“To have that energy here when we opened meant a lot,” Duncan said.

Since last year, the parlour has sought out the work of other artists to display. On Saturday local painter Adam Tragakis will open his exhibit at the Sugar Shack with a wine and cheese event. Tragakis, originally from Nova Scotia, studied fine art at the University of British Columbia and has had his work displayed in galleries in Toronto and Vancouver. He works mainly with acrylic paint and has a realist, figurative style.

“I’m heavily influenced by history,” Tragakis said, while at the Sugar Shack last week. “I like symbolic images that represent time or conflicts.”

One piece, currently on display, is of a gravesite that he photographed while on an archeological field dig in Nunavut in 2004.

“I’m excited about this exhibit,” he said. “It’s nice to have public recognition.”

The exhibition will open at 7 p.m. Tragakis’ work will remain on display throughout April.