My Experience as a First Time Artist on the Eastside Culture Crawl
Let me just start by saying, there is absolutely no way I could have taken part in the Eastside Culture Crawl this past weekend without the support of my partner Boris. Not only was he okay with the transformation our home into an art gallery for three days, he also played the gracious host and spoke with people about my work when I wasn’t available. He was in this thing as much as I was, and for that I am very very grateful.
Our apartment transformed beautifully into a cozy little gallery space. The living and dining rooms were open to the public and filled with artwork while the back hallway, bedrooms, and bathroom were not accessible. I set up a table in the hallway to block the way and created an installation of paper snowflakes as a point of interest that also acted as barrier to places I didn’t want people going into. The snowflakes are made of individual dictionary pages cut into shape and glued together. It was a last minute crazy-person project I decided to do the day before the Crawl.
I cleared out most of our furniture and clutter to create an open space for people to walk through easily. The living room walls were hung with altered books, with the wooden animal series along one wall, and an eclectic mix of altered books on the opposite wall. I also had a small table full of lower priced items, such as cradle frame collages, small metal prints, and postcard sets.
In the dining room I set up my installation work. The Tree of [Un]common Knowledge was against the back wall with an improvised light made from a bare lightbulb housed carefully in an arrangement of books. I set this up so the lighting cast interesting shadows on the wall above the tree.
The Forgotten Knowledge series of books was set up on a table arranged in a circle with the paper flowers on top. People found both of these projects fascinating, and it was great when someone recognized these works either from Container Art or the CreativeMix Conference where they’d separately each been previously shown.
The remaining walls were hung with large metal prints and the few altered books I couldn’t fit in the living room. It was a wide variety of work for people to see and gave us much to talk about explaining the ideas or process behind each one. Every item (except the installation work) was clearly marked with a price, and I had business cards placed around the room for people to grab. I also posted by the front door a printed copy of articles featuring my work in both the Georgia Straight and The Province.
I had a really good experience for my first ever time as a participating artist on the Culture Crawl. I was told not to expect too much but I surpassed even the lowest expectations I did have. Almost three hundred people came through my apartment over the course of the weekend, which is really good for someone unknown and slightly off the beaten path of the rest of the Crawl. I sold two altered books, two collages, three metal prints, countless postcard sets, and had many new people sign up for my mailing list. I also had wonderful feedback from people and many a good conversation about art and books. I feel very lucky things went so well, and I hope to do it again next year. (I’m pretty sure Boris and I will recover by then).
I started this blog post with a thank you and must end it the same way, because I wouldn’t be able to do any of this without the people who support me.
Thank you to Horst and Anne for bringing food throughout the weekend and helping out. Thank you to James and Monique for whisking us away at the end of Saturday for a delicious home cooked meal and a relaxing evening after a crazy day. Thank you to Jess and Stewart for helping me keep count and letting people into the building on Saturday. Thank you to Kai for keeping count on Sunday, and to Ariane for bringing me a bag full of snacks on Saturday.
Thank you to so many of our other friends for taking time on a very busy weekend to drop in to see the show. It was wonderful to have everyone here, and I’m very grateful for the kindness and support.