Four exciting days await art enjoyers on the East Side, as the Culture Crawl returns for another stunning weekend of visual arts, design, and craft. Located within Vancouver’s largest presence of artists, over 425 creators will open their doors to the public to exhibit their craft. Patrons are invited to browse a total of 68 buildings and studios featuring works of photography, traditional art, ceramics, and more. I spoke to a few participants to get a better picture of the event and present the profound creative diversity of this year’s cast.
Denis Guitérrez-Ogrinc is a photographer specializing in portraits, fashion, and street photography. He’s converted his studio space into a gallery presenting photos from a series he dubs Long Distance, all taken during a trip to Sicily over the summer. The exhibit shares a curated series of photographs from his travels, meticulously crafting an experience that serializes a landscape of isolating yet familiar beauty. “The series of photographs take the viewer on a journey from the seaside up to the mountains,” says Denis.
His photos have an incredible ability to distinguish monuments from moments. In one shot, he contrasts gorgeous Sicilian cliffsides with speckled crowds of people, miles apart. In another, rowboats float on pristine waters against a horizon of houses some unattainable distance downrange. The way he plays with magnitude is remarkable. “It’s my first culture crawl,” he says. “I’m excited. I think it’s a good opportunity to showcase new material.”
Denis expressed in our interview how the Culture Crawl creates a unique room for engagement with patrons, stating, “This is a great chance for me to meet the audience and have a discussion, observe people as they walk through the gallery. It lets me really get a feel for how people interpret and respond to my work.”
In addition to the works on view in the gallery, Denis has published a book to coincide with the exhibition, featuring over seventy works from the series taken throughout that same summer in Sicily. You can visit his space at 1220 East Pender Street during the Culture Crawl from November 17th-20th.
Serena Chu is a contemporary ceramics artist based out of East Vancouver who creates colouring-book style murals with a focus on “bringing people together through art.” She provides a unique approach to group creativity with her bright and bubbly murals, designed to be coloured in by multiple participants. Groups of people working together to make their mark towards a final image is a scene she aptly describes as “adults becoming kids again.” It’s clear how important people are to Serena. She mentioned how she wants her work to “In a really simplistic way, make people happy.”
Her exhibit this year will be a community mural based on “Diversity and art.” She invites Culture Crawl patrons to stop by and contribute their colour to the mural. She’ll also be presenting her suite of sleek and stylish contemporary ceramics.
In addition to community murals, Serena also teaches creative art classes. You can visit her Studio at 1630 Pandora Street during the Culture Crawl from November 18th-20th. She’s on Instagram @chuchudotca and @chuchucolouring, and you can find her website and online shop at www.chuchu.ca
Tess Paul is an artist specializing in acrylic paintings. She describes her work as “modern, close-up portraits of trees and waterfalls.” Her use of colour and fluid brushwork create monochromatic representations of natural beauty. Rivers cascade on canvas with a silvery hue, trees with jagged branches jut violently into frame and skylines serpentine with the suggestion of sunset. Each painting has a captivating flow. “I guess it could be described as landscape,” she apprises.
Tess says her art has found a home in the Lower Mainland, “Being in Vancouver, I feel way more inspired. There’s so much to do and so many different people.” She continues, “I feel like I could live here my whole life and grow exponentially.” Her workshop is at Shady Acre Studios, 1235 Hastings St. She will be presenting her paintings from November 17th-20th as a part of the Culture Crawl. You can visit her website at www.tesspaul.ca.