Thursday, March 08, 2007


Editorial - Why Is Marketing a Dirty Word?

Over a fairly long lifetime, I have watched with some amusement and a great deal of frustration the on-going war between “art” and “craft” and the implied sneer at the making of a piece that members of the unwashed public would actually like to buy.
This attitude was implicit in the recent downward plunge of MCC in its avowed championing of only the “best” art forms – i.e. those that were “significant” enough to cost over $200. (lowly mugs need not apply). And the mad project to crash the SOFA show and set up a marketing program to promote a few insiders, without benefit of jury. In so doing, the organization began the inevitable alienation of many of its members.
Now it is laudable and indeed appropriate that the Council should celebrate fine craft and take on the role of encouraging excellence in craft. But the danger lies in the lack of understanding the esthetics of craft.
A crafted object does not have to be a “big” piece, replete with profound concepts in order to be a statement of art. Much lip service is given to the fallacy that good art doesn’t need marketing – it sells itself. And related to this fallacy is the idea that handcrafted objects are not art. Hence the consignment of such forms to the “Minor Arts” category.
It is possible to meditate upon the artistic merit of the aforementioned lowly mug - its dialogue with space, its characteristics of shape, colour and texture, indeed its very relationship to daily life – how it fits into the holding hand, its promise of comfortable warmth, its attributions that reflect the maker’s creativity, etc.
I know the community well enough – over 30 years of contact with other craftspeople – and three stints on the board of the organization, to realize that what is needed and wanted from the Council is a marketing showcase of our work.
In the past, the excuse to get rid of Craftspace, our marketing gallery and prime showcase, has been that it cost too much. I have looked at financial statements and know that it’s possible to set them up in such a way as to make it look as though Craftspace was costing more than it earned. Particularly if the grants received are listed only as income for the administrative side and not for the whole organization, including Craftspace. These are grants that would not have been received without the high profile in the community that Craftspace gave to the organization.
No other arts organization in the city is expected to break even in terms of the income it receives from its main production. The Manitoba Theatre Centre would fail if it relied on only ticket sales to its theatrical productions. The Symphony, Opera, and Ballet also would founder if relying on income from their performances alone.
Craftspace was our performance. Just as much as a play at MTC or Swan Lake at the Ballet. It brought in quite a lot of income, but was apparently expected to underwrite the whole effort. This expectation does not exist for other arts organizations. Why couldn’t the case have been made for Craftspace as a pre-eminent program, central to the organization?
Instead the poor, beleaguered thing endured insults because work was sold there! Hands were dirtied by the crassness of it all. At the same time the catch 22 conundrum was introduced by claiming that it didn’t show a profit. So it was bad to sell work and it was bad not to sell enough.
I say a lot more education needs to be done at many levels.
- Jo'Anne Kelly
WHO:GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS! - The Black Velvet Show?(not just for Elvis anymore)
WHAT:?A showcase of Winnipeg's finest female talent featuring fine art, comedy, theatre, music, dance and more...
WHERE: The Gas Station Theatre - corner of River and Osborne
WHEN: Sunday March 11, 2007Artist's Reception @ 6 PMPerformances @ 7 PM(note: art show runs from Feb 19th - April 5th 2007)
HOW MUCH: $12.00 for members of the Gas Station Theatre$ 20.00 for non-members BUT includes a GST membership in ticket priceReservations can be made by calling 284-9744
WHY: It's the 3rd Annual GIRLS! GIRLS! GIRLS! event!Never before has black velvet been used as a launching pad for such an incredible melange of work.It's a chance to support your favorite female artists and performers!?It's a night out on the town with culture AND laughs!It's a great time to mingle with friends over a complimentary glass of wine and food!BUT MOST OF ALL...It's a once in a life time opportunity to see a topless accordian player with a bottomless cello player!
Winnipeg Girls Night Out
April 25 – 27, 2007
5 p.m. – 10 p.m. nightly
Caboto Centre, 1055 Wilkes (Italian Cultural Center)

Winnipeg Girls Night Out is looking for craftspeople to join with other vendors to sell items at a “girls only” fun night of shopping, complimentary cocktails and doorprizes.

Running April 25 to 27, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings from 5-10 p.m., the idea is to create an informal and fun evening of shopping and indulgence.

Tickets to the event are general $10 and deluxe $30 (includes a $50 - $60 value “Goody Bag”). We are expecting 200 – 250 shoppers each of the three nights.

Up to 30 spaces are available and vendors will include skin products, fashions, jewellery, salons & spas, candles, perfumes, etc. Although a couple of spots are still available for jewellery we are really interested in other personal use categories such as fashions (hats, sweaters, dresses, etc.), accessories (scarves, handbags, shoes, etc.) and candles, soaps, hand creams, etc.

Booth space is reasonably priced at $300 for all three evenings and includes tables, chairs and electricity. There is also plenty of free parking for everybody.

For more information about participating please call Ron Mark at 982.1836 .

Our web site will be fully functional by the end of March.

Hope to see you there!! --- Ron Mark
MCC Fundraiser

Come enjoy a fun evening of entertainment with friends and fellow members at the Label Gallery!Dance or simply enjoy live music provided by Cruinthe and Look Out Below. Tickets are $10.On Friday, March 9, at 8:00PM MCC has organized a social at theLabel Gallery at 510 Portage Ave. across from the University ofWinnipeg.Tickets can be purchased at the door.

The MCC interim board has completed the membership> survey, the audit and the restructuring business plan for the Craft> Council. We would like to present that information to you and to set> about building for MCC's future. There will be a meeting on March l8> to share our results and ideas with you and to start the process of> getting the craftspeople of the province involved in rebuilding this> organization.> Before the meeting, our survey results, audit and business plan> will be available online for you to look at. Make sure you mark your calendars and plan on attending as thefuture direction of the Council will be discussed. Please visit our web site as the re- structuring business plan and other information will be posted .. Persuade> your colleagues to come to this meeting also. With good involvement> we can develop a council that is thriving and a help to craftspeople> throughout the province and at various stages in their career.> The meeting is at> 2:00 PM Sunday, March 18> Crossways in Common, 222 Furby St @ > Broadway Ave.> > See you there> MCC Interim Board.
This from Nancy Hall:
Just a note to say several of my rugs will be hanging in a group show called Women's Ways at the Portage and District Arts Centre, 11--2nd Street N.E. in Portage la Prairie, from March 6 through to March 30. There is an opening reception on Sunday, March 11 from 2 to 3:30. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The 6th WAVE Artists Studio Tour
June 9 and 10; and Sept. 1 and 2, 2007
The WAVE is a self-guided tour when artists open their studios to show thepublic their works of art and field questions. This takes place twice ayear. The 2007 dates are June 9 and 10; and Sept. 1 and 2, 10am-6pm. Aunique cultural site, St. Volodymyr Chapel, with its old icons in thebyzantine tradition, located in Ukrainian Park, is added to this year's tourcircuit. Studio and gallery sites are along the beaches of Lake Winnipeg inthe vicinities of Winnipeg Beach and Gimli. Often artists live on formerhomesteads where the shelterbelt is still in tact and at another studio onecan walk down to sandy white beach and take a swim. The Lake Winnipeg Beachand the greater Interlake region have historical and cultural points ofinterest. Fine Art and Fine Craft are the focus. For more info or call 1.204.642.1261


Craft Supply Donations Required
Bring Us Your Craft Supplies
The Winnipeg Folk Festival needs reusable household items for kids to make craftswith in the Festival Family Area this year! * old jewellery* cardboard tubes* Kleenex boxes* film canisters* cardboard egg cartons* colourful fabric or fabric scraps* ribbon* colourful yarn* beads & buttons* white or light-coloured no-pattern bed sheets (for flags)* clean cardboard milk cartons (for bird feeders)The deadline for dropping off your recyclables is April 30. Bring them to the Festivaloffice at 211 Bannatyne Ave., Winnipeg, second floor. If you're not sure what youhave is something we can use, call us first at 231-0096.


cre8ery gallery
Call to Artists of All Disciplines,
Deadline Apr. 6Call for Submissions“Breaking Ground”(cre8ery’s grand opening exhibition)cre8ery gallery is seeking submissions from artists with new, innovative,earth-shattering, mind boggling, interesting and explorative artwork thatchallenges the viewer to think “beyond the box”.Performance, video, paintings, installations, drawings, sculptures, etc. are allwelcome.Submissions should include:1. Artist Statement of Intent2. Artist Biography/C.V3. Photographs, slides, CD, Video, DVD, etc. of proposed artwork4. Dimensions and special instructions of area required/equipment5. SASE (if submission information is to be returned to artist via postal service)Please email, mail, or drop off submissions to:cre8eryattn: Jordan Miller/Shawn Berard2nd floor - 125 Adelaide St.Winnipeg, MBR3A 0W4e: Jordan@cre8ery.comph: 204.510.1623Deadline: April 6, 2007, 6 p.m.current hours: (if we are not open and you submit materials, you may leave it in ourmail box just inside of the building’s entrance)Mon. 6:00 - 9:30 p.m.Tues. 12:30 – 6 p.m.Wed. 12:30 – 6 p.m.Thurs. 12:30 9:30 p.m.Fri. 12:30 – 6 p.m.Exhibition will be in the spring of 2007, specific dates TBA.*Please note that artists accepted into this exhibition will be required to pay a $15.00submission fee. (The application of submission is free!)


Art City & A Label for Artists
The Faces of Our Youth, Done by Our Youth,Opens Mar. 8The Coalition of Community Based Youth Serving Agencies presents...look at meThe Faces Of Our Youth,Done By Our YouthExhibition OpeningThursday, March 8, 20075 - 8 p.m.The Label Gallery510 Main StreetSupported by the United Way and The Winnipeg Foundation.


Art From The Heart The Art of Teaching
Monday, March 5, 7-9 pm at Art City, corner of Broadway and Young StreetAs you know, most artists need to find creative ways to express their vocation and earn some money. Local artist and educator, Karen Cornelius, will be facilitating this workshop on teaching art in the community. She'll be sharing about her wide variety of teaching experiences, letting us know what kind of teaching opportunities are available in the city, and how you can go about applying for these. She'll help us think about how you can develop your own workshop outlines or curriculum based on the art form you practise. Karen is a vibrant and engaging teacher, and we know that all who attend will have a great experience.Refreshments provided.Free.You do not need to sign up ahead of time. BRING A FRIEND!Art City is accessible to wheelchairs.Call Tammy at 774-3794 or email for more info.


At 4:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: Editorial--Is Marketing a Dirty Word? Amen and Right On! is what I say. You go, girl!

I have noticed these attitudes you discuss over a number of years. I remember when I pointed out that much of the jewellery I make cost less than $200 and was very salable, and someone turned and said to me that the MCC couldn't lower their standards that way and sell such trash! Lordie, I'm not competing with Birks... A $60 or $80 pin or earnings for $45 is what you find at the Winnipeg Art Gallery Shop and it's not trash. The MCC went belly-up for a reason, and there has been a lot of alienation of various people into various "camps". Let's grow up and just get on with creating great craft! CDL

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