Community Papers

Blend of work and art put Vincent in Top 40

Nick Vincent in his work area at CoWork Penticton, which he founded with his wife, Jennifer. Vincent is the latest Penticton entrepreneur to be named to the top 40 under 40.  - Steve Kidd/Western News
Nick Vincent in his work area at CoWork Penticton, which he founded with his wife, Jennifer. Vincent is the latest Penticton entrepreneur to be named to the top 40 under 40.
— image credit: Steve Kidd/Western News

The latest inductee into the Top 40 under 40 has managed to do something not many accomplish, combine a love of creativity and business.

Nick Vincent has created many ties with Penticton in the four years since he moved here from Australia. Along with co-founding CoWork Penticton with his wife Jennifer Vincent, he’s also a cofounder of the Farm Bag Fundraiser and board chair at the Penticton Art Gallery.

But Vincent’s biggest focus right now is his and Jennifer’s latest venture, Art House Penticton. Like CoWork, Art House offers a collaborative working space, but aimed at creative types more than entrepreneurs.

That’s not to say entrepreneurs aren’t creative. Vincent, who considers himself an artist — and keeps a space at Art House where he does his photographic work — has also been running his own businesses for more than a decade.

“I must admit that it is difficult to work on both at the same time. However there is a great deal of creativity in business,” he said. “I really enjoy the creativity of structuring a good deal or a strategy to develop a business, to find a new market, to create the right product offering. And the businesses that I have been involved with generally afford some creativity as well.”

That include website development and the architectural visualization business he started in Australia and continued running even after moving to Penticton in 2009. It was while running that company he met Jennifer.

“I met her in Australia in 2002, and hired her as an illustrator,” he said, adding that he eventually realized it had become more than a working relationship; the pair married in Australia and then came here.

“We work very well together. I have strengths she doesn’t and she has many strengths that I don’t. We don’t necessarily cross over a lot, except on the kind of strategy and community building side of things,” said Vincent.

For CoWork, he continued, Jennifer is very much the front face of the marketing and the community building while his part is financial management and company strategy.

Community is a strong factor running through both CoWork and Art House.

“It’s the community around all the projects I am involved with that keeps me going,” said Vincent.

“While CoWork, which is coming up on its second anniversary in March, is the more visible of the two businesses the pair have founded, it is Art House that Vincent said is “very much my baby.”

Art House came about as a hybrid of CoWork and the artist run initiatives he was part of in Australia along with enquiries from visual artists whether they could use the space at CoWork.

“It is not really compatible for freelancing laptop workers to share space with oil-painting artists. Different needs,” said Vincent. But there was enough artists asking for space that when a landowner who was impressed with CoWork made a space on Government Street available, Vincent decided to branch out.

“It wasn’t a hard decision to jump in and it’s been incredibly successful, it filled up within three weeks,” he said.

“I love the creative spirit that comes from a collective of people working on various disparate collective disciplines. It’s a fabulous synergy that comes along and everyone gets inspired in their own direction.”

Being alone in a studio at home can often be taxing on a creative person, according to Vincent, but being in the company of other people who are doing the same thing can be a very conducive environment to producing creative works continuously.

“The artists themselves are caretakers of the place and it is very much community-driven,” said Vincent. “Primarily it is working studios, but if an artist wants to do a show, there is a common area in the middle.”

Art House is being used by a variety of artists, from stone sculpting and painting to ceramics.

The Penticton Museum is also using the space for their Smithworks program, which is their arts and crafts and restoration workshop.

“At the moment, there are two giant war canoes out the back that are being restored,” said Vincent.

For Vincent, the thing that binds together his volunteer work and businesses is community, and wanting to be involved with his new home.

“One of the overarching reasons for CoWork and Art House and my work at the gallery is I have developed a very keen interest for Penticton and where Penticton is going,” said Vincent.

“I am searching for a way to get more involved and be more influential in how Penticton develops into the future.

“It’s an awesome place and I am really glad Jen brought me here four years ago.”

Penticton Top 40 under 40 is presented by the Prospera Credit Union in partnership with the Penticton and Wine Country Chamber of Commerce and JCI Penticton, with support from Community Futures Okanagan Similkameen.

Nominations should be sent to manager@penticton.org with the subject line ‘Top 40 Nomination.’ Please include nominees contact info and a brief reason for nomination.

 

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