MUSE opens with new location, new look and new focus

The newly opened Muse Shop and Rental at Museum London has a new location and new look and a new focus. The inclusion of art rentals in its space, the bright displays, clean lines and modern feel suggest a 'museum shop' more than a 'gift shop'.

This is what manager Deborah Worsfold is hoping to achieve in what she feels is still a work in progress. “It is fascinating to see the concept of the new shop come to life .With the help of volunteer staff, we started with an empty space and created what is artful, well designed and engaging,” says Worsfold.

The thrust of Muse is twofold, providing unique articles for a wide range of consumers and, as Brian Meehan, the Director of Museum London states, "to support and give recognition to local artists."

All pieces displayed are originals and include jewellery, pottery, purses, art cards, handcrafted wooden bowls, and works of art. A local artist is featured each month and works from upcoming exhibits at the museum are displayed.

The area known as the ‘Kids’ Cave’ contains creative gifts for children with a focus on promoting interactive play between children and adults.  Unique items from places such as The Museum of Modern Art in New York City can be found in another section of the shop. Group of Seven reproduction and themed mugs are a few of the ‘Canadiana’ items included in the shop,  hoping to appeal to the corporate buyer or visitor wishing to remember the Canadian experience. Prices in one display case vary from bracelets costing five dollars to necklaces priced at several hundred dollars insuring something in everyone’s price range.

Meehan hopes to see the art rental facet of the shop grow significantly, especially the residential component. Those desiring original art work for their home may view the Muse’s collection of pieces and rent the artwork of their choice to hang in their home.  Thus, the artist is given recognition and funds while home-owners can display original works on their walls and have the option to change them periodically. The additional funding for the Museum would be used in expanding programs for the community and for museum content. Artists desiring to submit their work for consideration can submit on-line through the Muse website.

Director Meehan is constantly amazed by the community members who volunteer to support the Museum by manning Muse. He is grateful for the hours they spent working there and hopes to make it, "a fun place to be."

If one wishes to become a volunteer, they should contact Katy Boychuk, Volunteer Co-ordinator at Museum London.

Take a few minutes to drop into Museum London and view the new space…it is well worth it!

MUSE is open Tuesday to Sunday from 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm. For updates and more information, visit

Cheryl Jennings has spent her life involved in the arts. As a sculptor, painter, theater designer, actor director, and teacher, she has made use of her training at McMaster University, University of Windsor, Queens University, University of Western Ontario, King Alfred College, England and the Stratford Festival.

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