If you are looking to get some early holiday shopping done, the Winnipeg Art Gallery’s (WAG) show CRAFTED might be the place to start. The gallery will host the second annual edition of this enormous craft sale and exhibition Oct. 28 and 29 in collaboration with the Manitoba Craft Council (MCC) and Nunavut Arts and Crafts Association (NACA).
Over 50 artists from Manitoba and Nunavut will be displaying their handmade works, taking up all four floors of the WAG. Each item on display – ranging from clothing to jewelry – is unique and carefully made via traditional artistry. The event merges the convenience of a shopping mall with the cultural richness of a craft fair.
As the shoppers explore, do-it-yourself workshops will be going on as part of the show’s programming. The workshops will include interactive sessions on beading, calligraphy, paper marbling, and fly tying.
CRAFTED was created to help artists overcome their biggest challenge: visibility in the marketplace. Our marketplaces tend to favor commercial and cheap goods. Producers of such items can engage in large scale advertising campaigns and mass distribution. Meanwhile, handmade and crafted products go unnoticed.
“People are putting a ton of time and energy and money into their craft and it is hard to recoup that when there is so much competition from cheap goods,” said Tammy Sutherland, executive director of the MCC.
As science and technology advances, people are becoming disengaged from the processes of production and manufacturing. The art of crafting gives artisans the creative experience they need and adds a human touch to the process of producing wearables. that needed creative and innovative experience.
This WAG initiative provides a platform for artisans to connect with their audience and showcase their talents and trade. It gives Winnipeggers the opportunity to connect with the local artisan community and a space to purchase beautiful artworks.
That being said, this is a great opportunity to introduce Nunavummiut artists and their works to Winnipeggers. The WAG has the largest collection of Inuit art in the world and works closely with several Nunavut-based organizations, including NACA.
Due to the success of the inaugural edition last year, the upcoming show has been expanded to feature more artists. Last year’s featured artists made over $100,000 in sales with over 3,500 attendees. This goes to show that artisanal goods ought to be celebrated more.
CRAFTED will be held at the WAG on Friday, Oct. 28 from 12-9 p.m. and Saturday, Oct. 29 from 11-5 p.m. The event is $5 entry, and is free for children under 12. Tickets are available online or at the door. For more information, visit wag.ca/crafted