The annual, three day East Side Culture Crawl (November 26, 27, 28) is our favourite thing going down in Vancouver during November. We look forward to it big time. Why? Because it sees East Side artists of every stripe open their studios up to the public and the atmosphere in the neighbourhood abruptly rises from really cool to freakin’ awesome. The Crawl covers Terminal Avenue to Burrard Inlet between Main Street and Victoria Drive. We’re right in the middle, surrounded by homes with black crow signs (signifying a Crawl studio) above their doors and the crammed Parker Street Studios just a few kicks away. That might not be a lot of ground to cover, but it’s a lot of art, especially this year with over 370 artists taking part. And so, we figure it’s a good idea to meet a few of them in advance so as to better familiarise ourselves (and perhaps you) with what to expect. For starters, meet Laura Bucci…
Three things about your Commercial Drive neighbourhood that make you want to live there: This is one of my favourite neighbourhoods because of the variety of people (from hippie to hip), the number of locally owned businesses, and the mix of cultures. Walking up ‘The Drive’ you can easily hear Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and more.
How many years have you participated in the Eastside Culture Crawl? This is my first year!
Three words you would use to describe the ECC to someone who has never attended: Inspiring. Exhausting. Energizing.
A one sentence artist’s statement describing your work: Bold, textile-based accessories that add thoughtful meaning to the everyday.
Three places you like to take out of town guests to show off Vancouver`s art scene: South Granville gallery row, the little alley ways with artists’ studios on Granville Island, Portobello West fashion and art market.
What are you most excited to be working on right now? I am revisiting my travel photos of Italy and experimenting with screen printing. I am pretty excited about this as it gives me an opportunity to use my own imagery and pair it with Italian text. Italian is my mother tongue. I’ve already used French in my cup cozies (back of the cozies), so I’m ready for some Italian.
What inspires you? As you probably guessed from my current work I am currently inspired by vintage imagery and objects. I enjoy walking through vintage/retro antique shops and thrift stores. I also love browsing through other people’s work. One of my favourite venues for this is Uppercase Magazine — a Canadian magazine full of Canadian and international talent.
What sort of music do you listen to when you work? I listen to a lot of Cuban music. I love Spanish.
Why is Vancouver a good city for art? There are a lot of affordable resources if you want to try something new (like Blim) and there are some great buildings full of artists’ studios.
If you were going to recommend a Vancouver artist/designer/musician/personality for Scout to interview, who would it be? Heather Martin of mono clothing. Fashion designer.
Is there a local designer or artist that you admire above all others? I admire Keri Smith (currently local). She is an illustrator and author on creativity. I haven’t read her books but I really enjoy her mixed media illustrations. I love the colour and the quirkiness of her compositions. I can see looking at her work to explore new directions in mine.
Best Vancouver place to be inspired by emerging artistic talent: The Emily Carr College Student Show is absolutely a great place to discover wonderful emerging artists. I am the proud owner of some wonderful paintings.
One thing you would like to change about the art scene in Vancouver:
I wish the Vancouver Art Gallery was free! Right now it’s $19.50 for an adult. Hardly accessible to all!