The Queen West Crawl is one heck of a cornucopia of awesome creativity
By Emily Ramshaw
Express yourself (Image: Queen West Art Crawl)
This weekend marks the tenth anniversary of the annual Queen West Art Crawl. Organized by the Parkdale Community Development Group, the Crawl puts Toronto’s most interesting (and often underground) visual talent in the spotlight within the bounds of the city’s most fixedly artistic neighbourhood. It’s a great reminder of the creative communities that exist all over Toronto. Here, we break down the most noteworthy (read: artsy-fartsy) events of the weekend.
Opening Night Gala
The weekend kicks off with a come-one-come-all opening night gala at the Drake Hotel’s Underground, from 6 until 9 PM. The evening will be centered on an auction of works donated by some the Crawl’s artists, hosted by CP24 personality Jamie Gutfreund. There is free entrance to all and will include a cash bar and plenty of opportunity to mingle with the weekend’s supporters and creatives.
Outdoor Show and Sale
The outdoor show that takes place on Saturday and Sunday in Trinity Bellwoods Park is the weekend’s most visible component. Taking over the park for the weekend – Pabst-sipping sunbathers, beware – the show is a juried event that features over 250 artists, as well as food vendors, a “Kidz Zone”, community booths, and a main stage. Tented galleries will be set up along the park’s many winding paths, exhibiting and selling the wares of local artists.
Happening on Saturday night from 7 until 11 PM, the nightcrawl is all about participation and immersion in visual and performance art. The event’s website promises that participants “will be able to create or interact with art in a number of unique and memorable ways depending on the theme of each venue.” Those interested should visit the night’s headquarters at Gallery 1313 where one can purchase a $10 pass and take a number of free guided tours, or choose to brave the streets and go it alone. Venues include the Cadillac Lounge, The Rhino, Poor John’s, and many more, all of which will host artistic activities as diverse as concerts, participatory story-telling, and group art.
Walks and Talks
The weekend is also chock-a-block with daytime tours, wherein experts will guide visitors through the neighbourhood’s featured artistic enclaves; all are free of charge. There will be a studio and gallery tour along the whole strip, offering a behind-the-scenes look at the various creative practices and show spaces to which the community plays host, as well as a tour focused solely on lomography, and another on indie art haven the Gladstone Hotel, among others.
Queen West Art Crawl, September 14 – 16, 2012