Last Friday I went to the Eastside Culture Crawl. And I haven’t blogged about it not because I didn’t enjoy it or it didn’t make an impression me, but because I just didn’t know what to say. It’s… art. I don’t know much about art. Like the saying goes, “Talking about music is like dancing about architecture.” And I feel the same applies here. Still, let’s give it a go.
For starters, it really wasn’t what I expected. I’d imagined big art galleries and showrooms, but the two studios I visited (the Mergatroid Building and Parker Street Studios) were very utilitarian warehousey buildings each housing many independent little studios. Which I should have known just from looking at the Web site, but there you go. And you know what? It was a lot better that way. It brought the exhibits down to a more human scale; looking around the small studios, I could see half-finished work (especially in furniture shops) and the tools of the trade. They felt like very productive spaces, and I could easily imagine the creative process going on.
Mind you, it didn’t bring the artwork’s prices down to a human scale, but hey; artists gotta eat too. I won’t go the “Why pay $1.8M for three coloured stripes?” route.
Crowds were fierce, and didn’t let up even when we left shortly before the exhibition was supposed to close. Not bad for studios set square in the middle of an industrial park, where parking was definitely not easy to find.
At first I took photos of the studios (including the studio names) but quickly stopped. I’d tried that before, when I went whale watching in Tofino and it just didn’t go anywhere. So instead of taking photos, I got up close and personal with a lot of the art. It was purely unconscious; didn’t even notice I was doing it until it was pointed out to me, which is even more interesting since I never thought of myself as a very tactile person. But there I was feeling and running my hands over the smooth ceramics, warm carved woods, cool plastics and cold metals. (Not the paintings hanging on the walls, of course. That’d be silly.) Neat. I’ve never tried building anything with my hands except IKEA™ furniture, but now I can totally see the appeal.