After 11 years of bringing you local reporting, the team behind the Vancouver Observer has moved on to Canada's National Observer. You can follow Vancouver culture reporting over there from now on. Thank you for all your support over the years!

45 Local Vancouver Artists Featured in 2009 Eastside Culture Crawl

Artist: Wendy D
Suite 711 The ARC, 80 artists’ live/work studios at Powell and Commercial. A live-work space, a building full of artists.

Wendy D talks about her photo-based art: “What is Photography? It’s about Emotions… those in front of you, those you create and those you experience. It’s about Instincts - knowing the precise moment when everything comes together and you press shutter. It’s about Relationships - highlights & shadows, F-stops & shutter speeds, photographer & subject, subject & environment, image & viewer. It’s about Observation - being aware of what is around you, seeing what others miss, and capturing it for them… It’s about Voice - finding what you want to say and having the courage to say it ….”

From: The Eastside Culture Crawl

What a difference a decade makes.

The Eastside Culture Crawl officially began in 1997 with 45 artists in 3 Strathcona area studio buildings and was attended by a few hundred people, me amongst them. 2009 is the 13th year. I highly recommended it every year.

You have heard of The Slow Food Movement, the idea that presents food as made by hand and not by machines. A chance to get away from the computer or TV screens, this is Slow Art, hence the Crawl, the general public’s annual chance to enter artists’ studios, look around in a relaxed atmosphere, even if you never thought about visual art before. You can have a conversation if you like, but there is no pressure.

Wide open
A lively encounter, sometimes crowded and sometimes very peaceful and personal, by definition the Eastside Culture Crawl is a wide open event that takes place inside the Main St., 1st Ave., Commercial Drive, and the Waterfront corridors. Painters, jewelers, sculptors, furniture makers, weavers, potters, writers, printmakers, photographers, glassblowers are featured, from emerging artists to those of international fame.

Just hang out
You have to hand it to the visual arts community organizers. With very little money and a lot of good energy they have put together an atmosphere of celebration and cool experiences, not hard sell retail with aesthetic intellectual requirements.

Art + sandwich
Hoping to visit every studio in one day may be impossible. Last year I found myself scouting sandwich boards and yellow balloons that mark out the year’s participating venues. The craft and art I saw (and bought) were both thought-provoking and reasonably priced. Having a sandwich along the way with friends was fun too. Slow Food and Slow Art: Gotta love it.

As for the art, this is not the place or time for a lot of experimental or theoretical work. Crawls are great networking and social events, which is key for visual artists who struggle to showcase work which may not fit into current trends for gallery curators.

Crawl, Don’t Run
Try to enjoy by taking time and resisting rushing from artist to artist. A sense of community will emerge and an consciousness of Vancouver’s abundant visual network east of Main.


2009 plans:

Friday through Sunday

NOV 20:  5pm to 10pm
NOV 21 + 22: 11am to 6pm

More in Deeply Vocal

Bye-bye, wallet: how to avoid pickpockets in Vancouver

Have you ever been pick-pocketed? I was, just a couple days ago. Having just finished my Sunday class, I was making my way up Granville street towards the SkyTrain station, slowly weaving through the...

The Passion Project: Joan’s Story is in the Room

Reid Farrington’s The Passion Project is an electrifying work that compresses the entirety of Carl Dreyer’s classic silent film "The Passion Of Joan Of Arc" into a 30-minute concentration of movement,

Norma and Richard Bonynge Celebrate Vancouver Opera’s 50th

Two-timing tenor causes all the fuss as opera creates Norma manga, passes out memory sticks to the media, and blogs the night away.
Speak up about this article on Facebook or Twitter. Do this by liking Vancouver Observer on Facebook or following us @Vanobserver on Twitter. We'd love to hear from you.