Finding Inspiration in Local Art

As you likely know, the Diane Kennedy studio is located in Vancouver. Specifically, we’re in “East Van”, which is a hotbed of inspiration. There’s an amazing concentration of talented artists and creative people working in our area, not to mention lots of craft breweries and new restaurants.

Every year in November, a collective of painters, jewelers, sculptors, furniture makers, weavers, potters, printmakers, photographers, glassblowers, from emerging artists to those internationally established, open their studios to the public for the annual Eastside Culture Crawl. This four-day visual arts festival attracts an audience of more than 35,000 studio visits. It's always a pleasure to attend and see the spaces where all these imaginative people work.

This year, I was especially excited to visit a longtime friend, Karen Lorena Parker, who is also a former DK model. I couldn’t resist digging up this photo of her from our Spring 2008 collection!

This incredibly talented woman is now a full-time painter who does everything from sweeping landscapes to commissioned fashion illustrations.

In January 2018, Karen was chosen to illustrate the Special Edition box of Lindt Chocolates for the 75th Golden Globe Awards.

It was wonderful to re-connect with this incredible artist.

Denna Erickson is another of my favorite local painters. Denna specializes in using oil on wood and plaster. Her paintings consist of personal symbols and organic shapes layered in glazes of luminescent color.

I own one of her original works, and seeing it my home every day reminds me of how important art is in my life. Being in Denna’s studio was a concentrated dose of inspiration!

I was very excited to visit the studio of Megan Majewski this year for the first time. She has a very unique style; her cute and creepy art shows a world of twisted girls, forgotten pets, and other sweet but “formerly living” things.

I'm doing some redecorating in my living room, and Megan’s prints will be featured prominently.

Events like the Culture Crawl help keep my creative juices flowing, and remind me how important it is to support local artists and businesses. We’re all likely to do a lot of shopping over the next month or so – remember that your spending has power. Buy local, and encourage the small businesses that make our city vibrant and unique!

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