First Fridays in the Exchange always bring out the crowds.
The monthly evening event is an opportunity to meet artists in their studios, attend an art gallery opening and explore the unique shops of the Exchange.
At Cre8ery on Adelaide, it’s a long work day for Director Jordan Miller, who welcomes a steady flow of visitors to the gallery for the latest exhibition.
But it’s not all art, all the time. This Friday hundreds of people lined up on Albert Street for the Fast and Furious Feast. The annual fundraiser in support of Winnipeg Harvest closed the block for the event hosted by Shawarma Khan, Kawaii Crepe, East India Company and nearby Bronuts.
This is part of Give 30, a national anti-hunger campaign during the month of Ramadan. It has raised close to $400,000 in the past for four years and currently partners with eleven food banks in six provinces.
A walkabout in the Exchange always seems to bring something new.
Jennie O’Keefe’s Le Codfish Cowboy and some of his friends are part of Cre8ery’s current show, What a Doll, which runs till June 7.
O’Keefe, also known as Jennie O, is exploring some of her Acadian roots and the Cowboy and crew remind me of East Coast folk art. In this case, there is more ceramic than wood in the mixed media pieces.
The exhibition includes three more Winnipeg artists – Allison Moore, Cindy Garrioch and Kevin Friedrich, plus Vince Moskowec from Guelph. The exhibit is a real variety pack of different mediums loosely grouped around the theme of dolls “but not in a traditional sense.”
Around the corner The Talentless Lumps were working a sidewalk promoting their upcoming Winnipeg Fringe Festival show. They have to fill the seats, they explained. It’s slated for Venue 1 at the John Hirsch Main Stage.
They are literally keeping the fires burning at this gallery: a video piece has a campfire blazing.
Urban Shaman is an Aboriginal artist-run centre that presents contemporary Indigenous art.
First Friday in the Exchange is taking July off and will return on Aug. 5.
The next morning “First Saturday” brought the third annual WildWoodRose Vintage Market to the Exchange. A reported 4,000 visitors dropped by to check out vintage and vintage-inspired goods over the course of the day. From jewellery to tin ceiling tiles, the re-cycled and re-purposed were offered by dozens of vendors.
Winnipeg songwriter Scott Nolan was the headliner at the Cube on Saturday afternoon. He brought the sun back with him for appreciative visitors to the WildWoodRose Vintage Market. Don’t miss his latest album Silverhill, recorded in Silverhill, Alabama.
If your walls couldn’t take anymore art, there were lots of weekend opportunities for the dedicated shopper, at two ends of the spectrum:
You could visit Rubia Darya’s stunning showroom on James to check out antique rugs. Rubia Darya deals in old and antique hand-woven rugs and textiles from central and west Asia. The rugs on their walls glow.
Or at the WildWoodRose Vintage Market, the one-of-a-kind shopper could pick up a custom made Little Free Library for your front lawn. Its maker assured me it must be the only one of its kind in the world – sturdy but hopefully not indicative of the quality of the literature.
Walk on. It’s summer in the city.