WeMakeStuff Studio Series 002: An intimate arts evening

by Margaret Ritchie, kindly reposted from ChurchForVancouver.

Friday, November 8, we attended a charming arts evening at  The Happening Studio in Mount Pleasant.

Last year around this time, my husband Flyn and I were at the book launch of WeMakeStuff, held at a lovely venue overlooking False Creek in the Olympic Village. The book is a compilation of emerging Lower Mainland artists of all stripes — design, acting, dance, visual arts, music, etc – describing what they do and their philosophy of art.


Friday’s Studio Series Part 002 event proved to be delightful. In a sense bringing the book to life, it featured dance by Vanessa Mayrand and Michelle Appenheimer, art by Jenny Hawkinson, a dramatic monologue by Aaron Caleb and music by Luke Nielsen.

The evening began with an hour to socialize, then the doors were closed to enjoy the performances respectfully. The Happening Dance Studio is also a private home, and many at the gathering knew each other, so the atmosphere was welcoming. The variety of performances gave the feeling of participation in a multi-course dinner; each course was rich and satisfying.

The WeMakeStuff website talks about artists’ vulnerability, even making a badge of honour of it. Aaron Caleb’s offering epitomized that outlook; I don’t remember the last time I saw an actor use his body so effectively to express vulnerability. Jenny Hawkinson not only had her art on display, she also told one of her family’s stories.

I realize artists need to make a living, too, so the $10 a head admission is not going to go far, especially in a relatively small showplace. I wonder if there are more ways we could, as a larger church community, support the artists in our lives?

Once a year our church holds an arts service which showcases, in accordance with a theme, the various artists in our congregation. I often feel we should be doing more of this in smaller settings throughout the year, so that our lives would be enriched by exposure to art which is being produced now, and by people we know. WeMakeStuff is leading the way.

All photos by Michael Kiesz.

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