Bird on a Wire is a mecca for all things local, but most specifically locally produced art. From their website, “We are the ‘Yes’ store for artisans and those looking for locally made arts and crafts”. Besides Bird on a Wire being amazing in itself, why are we interested? Art is accessible, art is affordable and for the couple who has everything art can purchased as part of your wedding registry.
Karen opened Bird on a Wire in October of 2010 with 42 artists. Now the store boasts 150 artists and acts also as a community meeting place for knitters and crafters alike. Karen’s mandate is to change starving artists into thriving artists and she is doing a very fine job indeed.
When Karen was first inspired to open her business it was to answer a calling to build community through creativity; to create a space where “dreams can flower, where one can stir the imagination and feed the soul”. What I also love about her vision is that she wishes to keep alive traditions and techniques from the past. The store contains upcycled, recycled and handcrafted wares from a wide range of artists and artisans.
For couples, Karen will set up a wedding registry and that beautiful piece of art that you have spied on Bird’s wall can be yours. Art can move quickly though so keep abreast of the “spotlight on artists” series through the store’s blog and website. Karen keeps on top of local artists and is always visiting local galleries and artist’s own studios so the store’s walls will have something to match anyone’s tastes. I currently am impressed with Lori Bagneres’ crow paintings such as the large one pictured above.
It is not just art that should entice you to visit. The store supports many diverse artisans from fabric artists, jewellers, soap makers, ceramic artists ( Grace Lee of eikcam is also shown above), wood workers and so much more. I personally always search for locally produced goods when purchasing gifts. Ask your family and friends to do the same. Why register at Home Sense or The Bay when you can choose to support your local community and receive one of a kind creations.
Karen’s suggestion for your art choice, “buy it because it moves you” and not simply as an investment. With the criteria for the art work present being produced within a 100m radius of Vancouver and of good quality, you are sure to be investing instead in your local community. With all the cutbacks to the local art scene it is up to the community around to support our local artists and artisans.
I would like to thank Karen for sharing her story and the inspiration behind Bird on a Wire.
article by Shona Dion, sweet earth photographics