George and family welcome you to the website of K Bros Maroosis Art Centre.
Located in North Bay, Ontario, K Bros Maroosis Art Centre originally opened in 1963 as K Bros Paint and Wallpaper on Sherbroke Street near Main Street. It was named after its original owners, Nicholas and James Kripotos.
As the business evolved, artist materials and picture frames were added to the inventory and thus began the development of relationships with the art community.
By 1969 the commercial painting division was sold, the store moved to Lakeshore Drive and then to Algonquin Avenue. It opened that year at 242 Algonquin Ave as K Bros Art Shoppe & Gallery.
In the early 1970’s K Bros Art Gallery developed a number of relationships that defined the direction of the gallery. Housed in the same office building as K Bros Art was the Ontario Ministry of Education, Community Programs Section with Assistant Superintendent Robert Lavack.
In March 1971, Robert Lavack was instrumental in bringing the Father of the Woodland School of Art, Norval Morrisseau and his brother-in-laws, Joshim and Goyce Kakegamic and Carl Ray to North Bay, introducing a new art form to K Bros. To this day First Nations Aboriginal art continues to be a central focus of the gallery.
Landscape artists Richard Karon, Steve Ostertag, Jack Zitman and Tom Cummings along with Toronto artists David Jean, Peter Fromme Douglas soon formed the nucleus of the gallery artists.
In June 1976 George Maroosis became the new owner having worked for Nicholas Kripotos (pseud. Nicholas Kane) since the early ’70s. He moved the art shop and the gallery to 232 Algonquin in 1979.
George continued to recruit new artists while maintaining old relationships. Jim Lindsay, Ernest Taylor, Arto Yuzbasiyan, Hugh Mckenzie, Alan Linklater, Tim Restoule, Robert Panaanam soon became feature artists.
Also of note were photographers Jack Sheppard and Mike deMoree and watercolourist Doug Guppy who frequented K Bros Art for framing materials and supplies.
1982 was a special year when Josh Kakegamic and his family moved to North Bay. Josh spent most of the year painting in the studio upstairs. George and Josh continued to be good friends until Josh’s death in 1994.
In time K Bros Maroosis Art Centre introduced Steve Snake’s Temagami landscapes, portraits and woodland style paintings, Frank Polson’s portraits and woodland style paintings as well as Helen Hall’s landscapes. Most recently Bradly ‘Dreamwalker’ Mcdonald, Alice Orley and Gary McMurray have joined the gallery.
In 2009 we reached 30 years at our present location on Algonquin Ave and in 2013 we celebrated 50 years since the original store opened.
In 2011, kmacart.net was established as the web address for K Bros Maroosis Art Centre.