Odds and Ends – Hamilton’s Art Crawl

Odds and Ends for Monday, July 13, 2015

Chris Erskine, Urban Landscape Artist @erskinec
Chris Erskine, Urban Landscape Artist @erskinec

I came to art at an age before the birth of the art crawl. So, I remember the dark ages when artists really had to look towards Toronto.

For emerging artists, Hamilton Artist’s Inc., provided the only real opportunity to stage a solo or group show. Of course, your art had to match the current trends in the non-profit scene.

So, the creation of the art scene on James Street North (around 2005) has been a truly remarkable development. I understand there is an excellent documentary made on the birth of the Art Crawl, but after 4 weeks I am still waiting for the arrival of my DVD.

Today, the Hamilton gallery scene is really quite small, and struggling to find enough buyers from a really small pool  of art collectors.

Chris Erskine, Urban Landscape Artist @erskinec
Chris Erskine, Urban Landscape Artist @erskinec

On Friday, I join a healthy crowd of visitors who walked up and down James Street North, despite the competition from other local events and the Pan-Am games.

I don’t get down to the Art Crawl that often because the kids are usually heading to bed around 8 pm, but today managed to get there and I was struck by two things.

1. With a warm and pleasant evening, why are places like Artist’s Inc., and Centre3 not open at 6 pm versus 7 pm? There is certainly enough people walking around the area to justify their doors being open earlier.

Chris Erskine, Urban Landscape Artist @erskinec
Chris Erskine, Urban Landscape Artist @erskinec

2. While there are some people selling art and craft items, the rest were certainly not threatening the status of the Quebec City street artists. The side walks seem filled with sellers with only the weakness link to the arts.

Fear for the future of James Street North. Does it become the future bar district or some sort of flea market?

Chris Erskine, Urban Landscape Artist @erskinec
Chris Erskine, Urban Landscape Artist @erskinec

Maybe what is required is some sort of organized effort to provide quality art that may not be ready for or have access to the gallery scene; something like the maker’s market.

Visiting the art crawl always leaves me dis-spirited.  Am I alone with this uneasy feeling?

Chris Erskine

Urban Landscape Artist
chriserskineartist@gmail.com
@erskinec

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