Winnipeg's Exchange District is a swell place, packed with intact turn-of-the-20th-century buildings and cool, very contemporary galleries, restaurants and indie boutiques. But it's nothing without people.
First Fridays is all about getting people out. A program that's worked in dozens of American and Canadian cities, it's been going in Winnipeg's Exchange District since last August.
It's a simple idea: On the first Friday evening of every month, everyone in this heritage neighbourhood works together to draw a crowd, offering art, music, food and fun. It's meant to generate that indefinable sense of big-city buzz, as people spill out of galleries, walk the streets, and linger at cafe tables.
This Friday just may be a crafty one. That's because the Manitoba Craft Council begins its group exhibition Hovercraft, which runs from August 5th to the 26th at aceartinc -- terrible pun, we know.
But seriously, crafts these days aren't what grandma was into. This is cutting-edge, exceptionally well made and provocative stuff -- for an example see the piece by Takashi Iwasaki at the bottom of this page. Other crafters whose works will be on display include Jeanette Johns, Heather Komus, Chantel Mierau and Suzie Smith (to name but a few).
Hovercraft is being curated by Kerri-Lynn Reeves and Jenny Western and promises to be a glutinous-feast for the eyes.
Aside from the absolute abundance of art (and there is a tonne), other interesting tidbits this First Friday include Winnipeg's first "hackerspace" at Skullspace (3rd floor of 125 Adelaide). We'd tell you what goes down during a "hakerspace" session but we are totally afraid they will hack our mainframe.
As well, Mayberry Fine Art will be hosting another community canvas session to further the current work in progress. It will be guided by the very talented Andrew Valko.
Finally, on the music side of things, Keith and Renée will be performing from the Cube in Old Market Square.
Takashi Iwasaki's Hatsugaseicho. Wood, glass, horn, bamboo, quartz, metal, bone, sea urchin spine, polyvinyl acetate glue, epoxy glue, tung oil 55cm (height) x 40cm x 30cm, 2011.