The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Monday, November 26, 2007

Culture Crawling in the ‘hood

By Tamara Lee

Last weekend, the 10th annual East Side Culture Crawl took place in my Vancouver neighbourhood, when for three days the local artists open up their doors—home or studio—to show and sell their works.

It's actually been going on a bit longer than that, but it was sort of under the radar, and much more intimate, back in the day. Nevertheless, what I love about this event—even as it grows to near-unmanageable crowds of outsiders nudging, coffee-in-hand, to get a closer look, asking the same questions over and over and no doubt at times exhausting the artists—is the array of artworks within just a few square miles.

Across the alley from me is Kathleen Murphy’s Kamu Studio, where she creates elegantly simple pottery. I cooed over her new red decoratives for a suspiciously long time, then finally chose one of her bottle vases for a friend.

I then made my way a little further up the street to the more craft-focused Onion Studios, where Christina Norberg’s pretty and fun papier mache works caught a lot of attention.

After looping around the 'hood past derelict warehouses and refurbished old homes, through a few more personal and public studios, I finally ended up over at Paneficio, where the artists run the gamut from painter/printmaker/muralist Richard Tetrault to the furniture sculpture of Arnt Arntzen .

The Arntzen piece shown here is one of his newest, dubbed a wave coffee table, made of sycamore, a steel conveyor belt, steel and glass. At $8500.00, it is easily the most expensive but also one of the most amazing pieces I’ve seen at the Crawl.

As I walked home, I passed our local café, stuffed full of folks from other neighbourhoods demanding their no-fat-soy-light-foam-decaf-lattes, while the locals congregated on the street to chat and watch Goby Catt perform a spiffy jazz set from his balcony. Some of us lamented about how things have changed, and how two and a half days is just not enough time any more to see it all. Thankfully, though, I don’t have to go across town to have a second look.


(Images: Goby Catt and band mate swing on the balcony; Arnt Arntzen's wave coffee table, the impeccable detailing of which I wasn't able to capture, unfortunately)


Blogger Tricia Dower said...

Such talent on thee East Side! I'm envious. So glad you included your photos and the links. The papier mache piece is wonderfully whimsical, and I like that Arntzen uses recycled materials for his furniture. It's the way of the future, I think.

Come to think of it, I'm glad I wasn't there. I would have been tempted to buy something.

Mon Nov 26, 01:49:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger T. Lee said...

Oh, believe me, it is not easy to refrain from overspending. And there are quite a few others in the community who use recycled works to beautiful effect. Next year, maybe you and Colin should consider coming over. You can use the 'travelling by car' excuse to help you resist any temptations.

Mon Nov 26, 03:10:00 pm GMT-5  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

It's a date, T. I'll try to remember to check with you in advance next year.

Wed Nov 28, 01:53:00 am GMT-5  

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