Islanders Buy Local for the Holidays

Marge Mehler & Joyce Landry,, sales clerk at Take a Peek This Afternoon.

Marge Mehler & Joyce Landry, Sales Clerk at Take a Peak This Afternoon.

A Holiday Display at Take a Peak

A Holiday Display at Take a Peak

Notecards by Nancy Chalmers Are Availacble at Gem Gallery.

Notecards by Nancy Chalmers Are Available at “Gem Gallery, Mother of Kristen Chalmers, Owner of the Gallery.

A Painting of Wiencke's for Sale for $1,800.00 at Gem Gallery.

A Painting of Wiencke’s for Sale for $1,800.00 at Gem Gallery.

Artists Carol Cartier & Diane Wiencke at the Gem Gallery This Afternoon.

Artists Carol Cartier & Diane Wiencke at the Gem Gallery This Afternoon.

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 2,648)

“I do some shopping in the Old Port.  I do about 75% of my shopping on-line. And I do some shopping here at “Take a Peak,” said Marge Mehler, a Peaks Island year round resident.  “But we do head south in the winter time.” Mehler is a regular customer at “Take a Peak.”

Take a Peak is a popular gift shop that carries a wide variety of high quality home accessories and children’s’ items suitable for gifts.  Summer is its prime season, but holiday gift shoppers were drifting in to look for special gifts all afternoon.

Gem Gallery, 52 Island Avenue, is an artists’ cooperative.  “It reaches out to create an inviting, professional, friendly space that shares educates and celebrates art,” said its owner Kristen Chalmers this afternoon.  Artists Carol Cartier & Diane Wiencke exhibit at Gem.  Both are also stylists – that is they do set-up work for professional photographers in addition to pursuing their own artistic talents.

On the surface, there appears to be few changes on Peaks Island unlike Munjoy Hill where there is a massive building bubble underway.  “Gentrification is underway here as well as on the Hill,” said Cartier.  “It’s going on everywhere.  “People are buying second homes and displacing our locals.  Some of them do have a very different agenda from ours.  We love the Island the way it was and we don’t want it to become exclusive.”

Construction is limited though because the land is protected by the Peaks Island Land Preserve that doesn’t allow building.  Rather developers are restoring old cottages and either renting them at exorbitant prices or selling them as second homes for more than the locals can afford.

Cartier makes lovely jewelry and is a sculptor.  Wiencke is a painter.

The Gem Gallery is open on weekends until Christmas.  It closes for January after that. Take a Peak is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday until December 23rd.  It will be closed after that until spring.