Free tour celebrates local art

Don't miss the bus for Off The Grid art Crawl

Even hop-on-hop-off bus service will be free for Off the Grid Art Crawl, Friday June 10.

Even hop-on-hop-off bus service will be free for Off the Grid Art Crawl, Friday June 10.

What if there was a way to see more than 25 art galleries, with transportation and after-party included, all for the low, low price of, well, nothing? Yes, you read that right.

Don’t miss the bus on the fifth-annual Off the Grid Art Crawl. Doors will be wide open to 27 art galleries and artist-run centres as well as eight off-site art projects around the city, Friday, June 10.

“The whole event is free,” says Aubrey Burke, event coordinator and co-minister at the Ministry of Casual Living on Haultain Street.

“You won’t pay for the galleries, the hop-on-hop-off bus or the after party. We’re trying to make the event as inclusive as possible,” he says.

The first crawl five years ago started on a budget of just $20. “Now it’s escalated to the point where we have two free shuttles, an after party and a printed map and program. We couldn’t do it without the support of the community and the businesses who pulled together and chipped in to make it all happen,” Burke says. “It’s nice because we always hear about arts cuts everywhere. We’re going back to more grassroots and we’re excited about the community support because that’s all a part of keeping this event free.”

Art crawl maps will be available at participating galleries as well as online. Participants can walk, bike, drive or ride the free shuttle buses, which will be stopping at all the major venues.

“It will be about a 20-minute loop,” Burke says. “The bus stops, everyone gets off and it’s an instant party at the gallery.”

The open house-style event is a chance for artists and art lovers to connect and communicate about what they’re doing.

“It’s a celebration of art and culture in Victoria. We’re raising the vibe really high and making some hoopla,” Burke says.

Participating venues include Dales Gallery, View Art Gallery, Boucherat Gallery, Martin Batchelor Gallery, Out of the Mist Gallery, Ministry of Casual Living, Victoria Emerging Art Gallery, Victoria Film Festival, The Well, PiCNic, The Fifty-Fifty Arts Collective, Cornerstone Cafe, Collective Works, Monster Party, Alcheringa Gallery, Madrona Gallery, Olio Artists & Workers Cooperative, Open Space Arts Society, Polychrome Fine Arts, Slide Room Gallery, Xchanges Gallery, Winchester Galleries (Humboldt Valley), Winchester Galleries (Modern) Absolute Underground, Ground Zero Printmakers Society and Kickoff.

The eight off-site art projects include Fernwood Pole Painting, Open Action Group, Witch Hazel at Goo Goo Goggles, Silver Tree at Government and Bay, Bigger Dipper in Centennial Square, Studio Twelve Nineteen, Balcony Gallery and MediaNet’s A Sense of Place.

“The off-sites are about art leaving the gallery — this white walled area that some people may think is elitist or inaccessible, and taking it to the streets,” Burke says. “It’s great because even people who may not be participating in the crawl might stumble on something really exciting. We’re going to blow people’s minds and leave them thinking ‘I’m floored. This is Victoria?’”

After the galleries close, the festivities will move to Open Space Arts Society (510 Fort) for a free after party featuring music by local bands and DJs and media installations from 10:30 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Visit offthegridart.ca. M

 

Off the Grid Art Crawl

Friday, June 10,

6 to 10pm. Free

After party at Open Space (510 Fort). Free. 10:30 pm

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