The annual Eastside Culture Crawl is a unique Vancouver experience that blows any preconceived idea people may have about art and artists. ‘The Crawl’ began in 1997 with 45 artists with their work showcased in studios located at 1000 Parker, Paneficio Studios, and The Glass Onion. Fast forward to 2016, and the event showcased more than 450 artists in with more than 25,000 people checking in over four days.
My friends and I began our Crawl experience by enjoying a BYO brunch at a friend’s house in Strathcona. I ducked into Matchstick Coffee in Chinatown and grabbed a dozen chocolate chip cookies on the way– they are easily the best cookies in town and perfect for sharing at a potluck brunch.
My friends and I wanted to see a lot of artists in a concentrated area, so we headed straight for 1000 Parker street studios. This enormous building is a 152,000 square foot space, housing 110 studios and 227 artists, designers, photographers and woodworkers. The place was absolutely humming, with hundreds of people packing all four floors of the building.
First stop for the group was to the studio of Christine Breakell-Lee, a talented painter and friend, who has established a strong presence among private collectors and designers in Vancouver. Christine’s work evokes a spectrum of emotion, often pulling from personal experience that she realizes through her process of abstraction, spontaneity and contrast. Christine’s studio space was bright and colourful, with her large works dominating every wall in her studio.
Exploring further, my friends and I were particularly taken with works from Stefany Hemming. One painting of abstract lines forming the shape of a nest was a real conversation starter, and we investigated the piece and discussed the brushstrokes and form.
ByNature was a particularly popular studio space at 1000 Parker. Every wall was covered in living flora and fauna, moss and green topiaries. ByNature specializes in ‘bringing interiors to life’ with innovative and creative products and installations through easy to care for green designs.
Crawling through the studios was a marvelous way to spend an afternoon, and one couldn’t possibly see everything at once – which is why the Eastside Crawl is spread over four days.
Upcoming this month?
This week, I am heading to Brothel #9. Produced and presented by Touchstone Theatre as a part of Diwali Fest, Brothel #9 takes place November 17-27 at the Vancity Culture Lab at The Cultch. The Dora Award-winning production is a provocative and moving story about the power of the human spirit and its ability to triumph in the face of corruption and suffering. Tickets are available at www.thecultch.com.
On the weekend, check out Shop for a Cause on Sunday from 10am-6pm. Held at Harbour Centre, frugal fashionista can choose from brand new, designer, gently-used and vintage clothing, shoes and accessories at great prices. 100% of proceeds benefit Dress for Success Vancouver, a non-profit charity that empowers women into the workforce.
Come back in December when Sarah Says – Let’s Hit the Holiday Markets!