The Dart Gallery & Picnic join forces for new venture

The Dart Gallery & Picnic join forces for a new cultural and culinary venture
Opening Winter 2016

The Dart Gallery and Picnic are joining forces to bring downtown Dartmouth a one of a kind cultural and culinary experience. After over a year of working together and hosting Picnic’s pop-up dinners at The Dart Gallery, Chef Allan McPherson and Dart Gallery owner Jane MacDougald are poised to present a permanent joint venture where art lovers can enjoy incredible food and food lovers can enjoy fantastic local art in a relaxed and inspiring setting.

“It’s beyond exciting,” says Jane MacDougald. “For over a year I’ve been looking for the right space to expand the gallery so patrons can enjoy food and drinks while enjoying art. It was a stroke of luck when the space adjacent to the gallery’s current location opened up and we’re able to expand right here.” The new venture will occupy the majority of the space, though MacDougald says the aesthetic will be very much the present tone of The Dart Gallery. “We’ll have the same feel, but with additional display space for artwork. And we’ll be able to enjoy edible art! It’s an incredible honour to work with a chef as talented and highly creative as Allan.”

Open Tuesday through Sunday, the new venture will offer a lunch menu, though the focus will be on inventive dishes for sharing, weekend brunch, and evening drinks and snacks. Visitors can anticipate beer and wine offerings from local vendors, as well as an ever-changing menu which will on occasion compliment the theme of the current art exhibit. During opening events of new shows, Chef Allan will create several snack items inspired by the show’s theme, and on the last Saturday of each show a four or five course meal inspired by the exhibit will be offered, with seating available by reservation.   Additional special events will be offered to the public and private event bookings are also welcome.

“The Dart Gallery was Picnic’s dream partner from the get go,” says Allan McPherson. “The chance to work with Dart on a permanent basis is really invigorating. Cooking can become a very internal profession and you can get trapped in your head and your habits very easily. The amazing shows that come through the gallery are a constant source of inspiration and reinvention. One thing The Dart Gallery does so well is present art in a really welcoming, engaging, and fun way. That’s exactly what I have tried to do with food, to take fine dining and all the skill and attention to detail it requires, while dropping some of the pomp and replacing it with fun.”

Since 2012, Picnic has been HRM’s only restaurant without a fixed address.  The brainchild of French trained, Southern BBQ obsessed and slightly “mad scientist-y” chef, Allan McPherson, Picnic is a dedicated Pop-up restaurant moving from place to place offering up one-of-a-kind dining experiences.

Voted Best Gallery Gold in The Coast’s Reader’s poll in 2014 and 2015, The Dart Gallery is proud to present innovative, collaborative art exhibits and events, as well as support our fantastic local artistic community.