The Window Art Walk 2022 was an open air group exhibition, displayed on and in houses between Commercial Drive to Fraser Street / East Broadway and 16th Avenue.
A walk like this should not be undertaken alone. As a team, we were chaotic but happy to participate and see some art. I was photographing and recording, M. was there for commentary and dog petting, and O. was navigated and cat spotted. As a group we had a lot of crossover in artistic taste, but had our own standpoints which made the walk more engaging because we didn’t always like the same works.
We started off later in the day — all of us tired from work and smoke. Vancouver had the worst air quality in the world due to wildfires, and the pollution had dimmed the light to grey, and then, as the sun set, to a golden hue.
Our first stop was This house is not a home is not a house, a work by Lana Connors and Josh Neu (flavourcel). As an animation based on the theme of the house and the home, it was ironic viewing the inside of a house on the outside of one — a tongue extending from an overstuffed couch licked household objects that were drawn in bright candy colours.
After this video piece and a couple of others along East 10th, it didn’t take much for us to be thrown off course — despite double fisting Google Maps and a physical map, we became focused on the points system we developed for whoever spotted the next piece of art first, rather than direction.
As art viewers we were met with some interesting challenges. We were looking into non-public exhibition spaces, literally toeing the property lines to discover the details of each work. We lingered around pieces that had a high level of detail which we could get close to, like My Soup Your Soup by Annie Canto, a piece made from Food paper and cotton stitching. Spanning a kitchen window it traced the instillation encounter of the Canto and the volunteers hosting the work.
The pieces that made us the most excited were the ones that were easily seen and obviously placed, like the bright LED scroll of Good Job! by Shizen Jambor, or the long hands and feet depicted in Aman Aheer’s Limelight, an il and acrylic painting on wood board.
Overall, it was fun to engage with art in a community setting without feeling like we needed social capital to be allowed into the gallery space. This wasn’t a serious or critical walk through the neighbourhoods, but the experience left us with some important thoughts — We asked the question can the combination of house site and art medium transcend the binary of ‘art’ versus ’not art’, but couldn’t decided either or. Then, we wondered, could this walk work in more dense neighbourhoods? Potentially, but it would have to be more curated and more dense as an exhibit and be more inclusive for local emerging artists connected to the buildings displaying the art.
Although we were not able to see all the pieces, it was made up for by the many good pets we caught along the way; cats out and about, on their evening stroll, and dogs who got a little anxious if we looked into their yards for too long. It felt good to participate as an art viewer in the urban landscape, and we are looking forward to more opportunities to peer into stranger’s yards in the name of art.