Despite the name, Albert’s Wharf Gallery, the owner is actually an artist named Neil Depew.
“Almost every tourist who comes in here asks me if I’m Albert,” says Depew.
He’s run the French Village gallery for the last 16 years.
The gallery is named after Albert Burchell, a deceased local resident who used the property as a fish shack and even lived in it at times.
“Everybody knew him in the community,” says Depew.
To this day, locals still come in and tell Depew stories about him. Burchell was a colourful fellow who had one leg, but “he still managed to fish and farm for a living,” says Depew.
He died at the age of 96.
Depew sells both originals and prints of his watercolour paintings depicting life in the area, such as “foggy fishing villages, Cape Islanders reflecting in the water and waves crashing on the shore.”
Tourists make up a large part of his business.
“The tourists that come here, they fall in love with the area so they’re looking for artwork that’s representative of the area,” he says.
The gallery also sells work by J’anna Jacqulyn (who happens to be Depew’s mother). The shop is a bit of a family affair as his mother, father and one of his sisters all take turns working at the gallery. Even on of his “best old time friend’s” works sometimes.
The gallery is open daily and is a seasonal operation. Its hours are usually nine to five, although the hours sometimes get extended when Depew decides to have a barbecue or go for a swim.
“When I’m at Albert’s Wharf, it’s not like it’s work,” says Depew, who was an insurance underwriter before opening the gallery.
He also has a gallery at Peggy’s Cove called the Neil Depew Watercolour Gallery. He splits his time between the two galleries.