First Friday in snowy February had a little less street life than warmer months, but was still a great opportunity to visit art and its creators in gallery or studio.
It’s a dry cold but the event shows no sign of running dry.
In Flowing Colour
Wally Dion’s Colour Wheel exhibit at the Urban Shaman contemporary aboriginal art gallery has some marvelous constructions.
The works span computer circuit board art to mechanical contraptions that apply repeated flows of paint. Visitors were engaged and they could get “hands on”, giving wheels a spin to get paint flowing.
Dion was born in Saskatoon but is now living and working in New York state. He is a member of Yellow Quill First Nation (Salteaux).
Taken in Hand at the Exhibition
Not all galleries have tour guides for you.
Winnipeg artist Kae Sasaki’s Blue Vessel exhibit opened at Gurevich Fine Art Feb. 3 and Sasaki’s young daughters were on hand to lead patrons through the background of the paintings one by one. They have made guest appearances in some of the art and were happy to point it out.
“You know this is going to go viral,” said one impressed viewer.
After a circuit of the room it was, “If you have any more questions you can ask the artist – she’s my mom.”
Japanese-born Sasaki is a graduate of the University of Manitoba School of Art.
The paintings incorporating gold-leaf were particularly striking. Per Sasaki: “In my painting practice I have created a method of patinated gold-leaf that evokes aged or damaged Japanese folding screens which consequently brings a distinctive complexity to my paintings.”
Get on Board on Main Street
First Friday attendees have a new and improved watering hole.
The popular restaurant, Across the Board, has migrated from its original Albert Street location. It recently re-opened at Main and Bannatyne in the McKim Building (former Crocus Building).
This licensed, full service restaurant and coffee house has a library of 800 board games. For a fee of $6 per person, patrons can play any game for as long as they like.
And they will sell you games too.
Aladdin’s Cave on James Avenue
Rubia Darya Gallery is tucked behind the Concert Hall at 132 James, a bit away from most other events, which take place west of Main.
Herbal tea and chocolate were offered to anyone making the trek to the East Exchange.
This family-owned business imports old tribal rugs and textiles from Central and West Asia. Most are 40 to 80 years old, handwoven by the many different tribal groups from Afghanistan to the Caucasus.
The business grew out of a love for traditional weaving and time spent time working in the region.
Every rug or kilim tells a story and the owner was happy to fill you in.
At the Edge
Yet another opening night was on at The Edge.
Street: a look at life on the street by photographer Bill Macpherson is showing till Feb. 20 at The Edge on Main Street. Dozens of portraits by the former Winnipegger (more lately a Victoria resident) vividly showcase the people of main street Canada.
First Friday returns on Mar. 3.