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Graduates and instructors from Langara join local artists to showcase their talents at Eastside Culture Crawl

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Hundreds of local artists got a chance to show off their craft at the annual Eastside Culture Crawl, which took place Nov. 16-18 in Downtown Vancouver in the artists’ studios and homes.

Established in 1997 in collaboration with 40 artists, the event has since grown to feature more than 300 artists annually, displaying everything from pottery and paintings to sculptures and photography.

Local beginnings for internationally-renowed artist 

Photo Credit: Alex Skerdzhev
Lori Goldberg lounges in her east Van studio awaiting the throng of visitors for the Eastside Culture Crawl. Goldberg graduated from and formerly taught at Langara’s fine arts department. Photo: Alex Skerdzhev

Lori Goldberg is an internationally-acclaimed painter, whose original work has been collected by the City of Vancouver Art Collection and the Canada Art Bank.  She is one of the artists participating in the crawl, and hails from Langara College.

“I was in the fine arts department and I won the top award there,” she said, sitting on a bright-red sofa in her studio on 1000 Parker St.

Born and raised in Vancouver, Goldberg said she has been participating in the crawl almost from the beginning.

“I really believe in community,” she said.  “I believe in participating and this is great, I love the idea.”

“When I was a young artist and I wanted to see what artist studios were all about … it was very hard to find anyone who would open up their studio. It’s a very private place, but here people are just so willing [to do it].”

Many artists transfer their skills to the art of teaching

Goldberg said she found it easy to translate her art and passion into teaching in various institutions, which included Langara, but is now directed exclusively towards Emily Carr.

“I see my students as part of a project, where I come up with ideas; they’re open to learn and I’m open to share,” she said.

“We do this interaction and in the end everyone leaves, hopefully, satisfied.”

Andrea Sirois, a photography instructor at Langara, participated in the crawl for the first time.

“The work that I am presenting at the culture crawl this year is landscapes photographed from a moving vehicle, so they’re very painterly and have a lot of sweeping motion to them,” she said.

“They’re all made in the camera, my husband drives and I take photographs out of the window . . . I decided to go into landscapes because I’m passionate about nature and, being self-employed, I want to do what I love.”

Career switch to self-employment proved a fruitful challenge for Sirois

Sirois decided to pursue her passion full-time six years ago, a decision she says was a very hard one to make.

“It was really quite difficult to leave my full-time job. I loved the security of having a paycheck every two weeks,” she said.

“There are days when I wondered if I was doing the right thing. But as my work has grown and I’ve had more success, it really does make it a lot easier to continue.”

Aside from teaching and photography, Sirois also creates fine art work for public art installations, some of which are blown up to massive size and presented as murals on sides of buildings.

Reported by Alexander Skerdzhev

VIDEO: Below is a short feature of the artists mentioned in the above article, showcasing several of the many venues in this year’s Eastside Culture Crawl.

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