Crawling with Culture

Today was an art-filled day roaming around East Vancouver, visiting artists’ studios as part of the 17th Annual Eastside Culture Crawl—a three-day visual arts, crafts, and design festival. It was my first time going and there was so much to see, you couldn’t possibly visit the 300+ artists all in one day, let alone three.

So much culture and so little time.

But what I did see was wonderful. Here are snapshots from the day’s crawl in the Strathcona neighbourhood, East Hastings, and Railtown.

This colourful studio in Strathcona showed the work of assemblage artist Valerie Arntzen:

art studio of Valerie Arntzen

K eye D by Valerie Arntzen

Walking into her studio was like walking into a collector’s shop jammed from floor to ceiling with drawers and cupboards containing trinkets and treasures—discarded and found items that are given new life in playful and surprising ways. Birth of Jazz below, for example, features four clarinet horns, a globe, and sheet music.

Birth of Jazz by Valerie Arntzen

Parker Street Studios (from which the following picture was taken) was the hub of the Crawl with dozens of visual art, crafts, and furniture studios spread throughout the floor floors of this labyrinth-like space.

Here are some sculptures from David Robinson, whose miniature and larger-than-life size figures always seem to on the edge of something—hanging from a precipice, fighting the balance between life and death.

Chair by David Robinson

Many of his miniature pieces are actually maquettes (preliminary models) for large-scale versions.

Arc (Maquette) by David Robinson

Chair (Maquette) by David Robinson

Thompson Brennan‘s wonderfully-titled exhibit, Dirty Pretty speaks for itself. Reminds me of the “garbage to gold” idea I’ve written about before.

Last of all, but perhaps best of all, was walking into the studio of Galen Felde in Railtown. Her light-infused, dissolving landscapes felt like poetry—like holding onto a dream in that liminal space between sleeping and waking.

These two are called Sonnet for Lost Pine (No. 2 and No. 3):

Resource by Galen Felde

Gauze Between Us by Galen Gelde

If you live in Vancouver, you still have one day to soak in all this art and culture at the Crawl, so catch it while you can!

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