Below is an unofficial Eastside Culture Crawl guide created by yours truly. I hope it will offer some insights on how to get the most out of your art experience! A guide? Yes! Even the seasoned Crawler can feel overwhelmed or finish unaware of all the wonderful options available. This is my third time participating as an artist. I’ve also been a Crawl attendee a few times. Embark on your art journey feeling confident and leaving inspired, enriched and connected to Vancouver’s thriving art community! Return to this post regularly. I will update periodically.
Crawling is like traveling to a new city. It’s all about managing priorities and preferences. Personally, I like a focused plan that allows some time for the unexpected. I think this holds true for a great Crawl as well. You do you! It’s your Crawl. Whatever you decide you’ll have a great time. You can’t lose!
Here’s some ideas to help you set your course!
- Make a Plan
You can’t see every artist or building. So, some kind of game plan is a must! Here are some ideas to consider, from the highly strategic to the go-with-the-flow.
a) The Seriously Fun Plan
This plan is for the most ambitious Crawler, someone who starts early and does the research. Get started now reviewing the Eastside Culture Crawl Catalogue or online artist profiles. Select your top six artists. Map out the corresponding buildings and away you go! I recommend you know your top three must-see artists. It’s so easy to run out of time with this much to see. Start early on Thursday night to kick-start your tour allowing time to come back later, should you wish to see a work of art again. Another idea is to get some artist intel and artsy socializing in at one of several NEXT Exhibit 2022 opening receptions. NEXT artworks were curated by three, important Vancouver curators giving you an idea of who they thought who would best represent this year’s Crawl out of hundreds, if not over 1,000, submissions! Attending will give you a taste of our vibrant, art scene while giving you a sense of which creators you might like to learn more about. Not to mention, attending will give you opportunities to speak with some of the artists; many exhibiting artists attend. Eastside Culture Crawl is BC’s second largest art festival known to attract as many as 45,000 visitors over four days. Finally, some art collectives and artists have their own preview events before the Crawl, including Eastside Atelier. We are hosting an exclusive friends and family Pre-Crawl Preview weekend. You’re invited! Attending a preview will give you more time with the artists to learn about their work and make decisions. You’ll also see the best selection of art to simply enjoy or buy.
b) The Building Strategy
Consider the weather and the time you have to research. Is rain expected? Need a plan fast? Visit one of the larger buildings! Eastside Atelier is the second largest, Vancouver art collective with 48 artists, many of whom are in the Eastside Culture Crawl. Other large buildings include Parker, Mergatroid, Arts Factory, Portside and Arc. Some buildings have food trucks nearby! Pick a building. Go have fun. Easy peasy! 🙂
c) The Explorer
If you like to be outside, have already mastered the large buildings, or are a born adventurer, The Explorer Plan might be the tour for you! There are so many wonderful artists who work from a home studio or one of the many smaller buildings who would love to share their work with you. Pick one of your favourite artists or a choose random place on the map then meander out from there. I’m a history and architecture buff. So, one of my favorite, walkable Crawl areas is the historical Strathcona region. Consider starting at Paneficio Gallery and Studios. Did you know the Crawl started in this building 26 years ago!? You’ll be sure to discover some wonderful artists in surprising places! Pick an Eastside Culture Crawl Building.
- Get a Map
Typically, the Crawl produces a pamphlet with a map. In past years, I downloaded PDF map or used their App. At this time, it seems the online map is what’s available and possibly printed maps. Not sure. This may change as we get closer to November 17th. In the meantime, check out the buildings/map here. Printed pamphlets are often distributed to libraries, coffee shops and community centres. Of course, you can go right to the source and pick up a map directly Culture Crawl Office Tue/Thurs 10am – 3pm. Where are pamphlets are in your neighbourhood? Drop a line below in the comments!
- Discover Supporting Events
The Crawl is so much more than the art studios tours! For example, check out my Easy, Abstract Painting Demo on Thursday, November 17th. As mentioned in Step 1, there are several, multi-venue, NEXT shows and opening receptions. Additionally, there are artist talks, performances and demonstrations that may be interesting. Too many to mention! Explore Crawl Events now!
- Be a Supporter
Supporting the arts has never been more important. If you’re able to contribute financially, there are several ways you can help Eastside Culture Crawl remain a valuable source of art and connection for the creative community. Check out Take Flight‘s wildly successful Art Roulette or Silent Auction. New this year is an intimate Collector’s Cocktail Party! Have fun and take home a beautiful work of art for a good cause.
- Stay in the Know – Get Reminders!
– Join My Mailing List or the Eastside Atelier Artists Mailing List –or both–for invites and updates
– Follow the Eastside Culture Crawl and Eastside Atelier Artists on Instagram
- Look for Crawl Signage
Some buildings will have black, cast iron crows fixed on the side or snazzy A-Frame signs on sidewalks. I love these cute kiddos and can’t wait to see them again soon! 🙂 Annnnnnnd, Eastside Atelier is super proud to soon show off our very own A-Frame sign. As a collective, we pooled our limited resources and volunteers made it happen. Go team! Special thanks to Christina Peressini for her beautiful, minimalist design.
That’s all for now, folks! Come back later as I update with more tips later. What’s your favourite way to Crawl? Leave your tips in the comments!