The third annual Sunshine Coast Crawl was a resounding success, leaving organizers and participants astonished and happy with the numbers of crawlers, sales, and commissions.
Even though it rained most of the weekend (Oct. 19 to 21), some artists and galleries had as many as 350 visitors a day, from the Sunshine Coast, Lower Mainland, and Powell River. In fact, some studios had crawlers arriving on Friday afternoon, eager to start their experience.
Marlene Lowden, painter, photographer and first time participant in Langdale had early Friday visitors, and estimates a total of 260 people came to see her work on Saturday and Sunday.
“I welcomed many people I have never met, and the spirit of the crawlers was so positive,” said Lowden. “Couples travelled up from the Lower Mainland together, girl groups, even neighbours that I have never really met came by to look at the work and say hello. The exposure was amazing. For someone like me who is just tip-toeing out there, I was kind of nervous.”
However, post-Crawl, she said she is a changed person.
“I sold some paintings, and response to my work was so positive, I feel validated,” she added.
She said people actually continued to visit on Monday and Tuesday. And other artists who were too busy themselves as crawl participants came by then as well.
“It was wonderful,” Lowden said. “Now I am so excited, new ideas and painting are popping up in my mind so fast I can’t keep up. I am defiantly going in the crawl next year.”
Goldmoss Gallery in Roberts Creek opened Friday night of the crawl for a second annual anniversary celebration. Owner Lee Roberts estimates 800-plus crawlers came out over the weekend.
“The Sunshine Coast Art Crawl weekend is a great motivator for the development of art on the Sunshine Coast. It’s a fabulous gift to the Coast,” Roberts said. “Sales are naturally the obvious measure of success, but we believe they are relatively insignificant when compared to the amount of exposure, art creation, cultural education and opportunities that arise from such an event.
“Paintings and sculptures sold at Goldmoss over the weekend and we've received painting and large sculptural and art installation commissions as a direct result of the Crawl, all from local people.”
Art Crawl organizer Linda Williams said she was thrilled that so many people came out to experience and purchase local art.
She was still counting when Coast Reporter spoke with her Oct. 29, but estimated, 16,000 people visited studios on the lower Sunshine Coast alone.
“Many Powell River did extremely well, too. Many folks just came out to look at the work and watch the demonstrations in an atmosphere that had no pressure to purchase. And many Crawlers from near and far came to the Coast specifically for the Crawl,” Williams said.