Eastside Culture Crawl 2023 - Parker Street Studios

As always, the Parker Street Studios opened its doors for the Eastside Culture Crawl.  Parker Street Studios is a 100-year-old Vancouver landmark, hosting 4 floors of artists diverse in style and discipline. This 152,000 square foot industrial building was originally home to the Restore Mattress factory and now features 110 studios for over 200 artists, designers, photographers, woodworkers, and more all creating under one roof.

At the 2019 Culture Crawl, 23,000 visitors went through the Parker Street Studios alone. [Georgia Straight Nov 2021]

Parker Street Studio parking lot with food trucks during Culture Crawl 2023

Angie Heintz

Photo of the artist in her studioAngie mentioned that she usually starts with an idea, and then let's that idea lead to the medium in which it should be expressed.  Her practice includes material explorations in acrylic and oil paintings, natural dyes and textiles, collage, printmaking and sculpture.

I was particularly drawn to her prints for their un-wordly feel.  The particular one shown here is called "Dream Land"  and has a fascinating focus on the foreground of what I take to be reeds, leading the eye to a building outlined in front of distant mountains. 

In her artist statement, she says "Land and building underpin my artistic practice while meditating on themes of transparency, dwelling and belonging."

Fiona Ackerman

We had a lovely chat with Fiona, reflecting on story telling, the malleability of memory and the need to let art happen, switch off our judgement and trust our 'lizard brain'. "Rooted in abstraction, I want to push my work in divergent directions, to surprise myself, and keep the possibilities for my painting wide open. " [Artist website]  "I’m doing lizard brain,” she says. “I’m going to go to my reptilian self. I’m going to stop overthinking everything.” [Nuvo 2023]

Fiona Ackerman has been painting from her Parker Street studio for over 15 years. Her work is represented in Vancouver by Gallery Jones, where her next solo exhibition will open in spring 2024, which I'm looking forward to visiting!   Also check out: [Interview ShoutOutLA 2022]


Fiona Ackerman studio art

Left to right: "I'm So Green", "Lizard Brains", "Motorik" from the 2022 exhibition Lizard Brains at the Gallery Jones.  

Absolutely loved the trompe-l'œil of her studio wall, I was smitten with how she had re-recreated her space, inserting fictional dimensions.  Based on Foucault, Fiona refers to this as heterotopic space:  "a place that reflects someplace real but at the same time inverts it or shows it in a completely other way" [Sad Mag 2014]



Fiona Ackerman stdio

Sonya Iwasiuk

Photo of Sonya Iwasiuk talking to a patron

"Disconcerted characters and lonely entities documented within my mixed media paintings, sculptures, and translucent hangings, are partially exposed and brought back to being." [Artist website]

Sonya art









"At times, photographers visited Pier 21 Halifax and other ports in Quebec and New Brunswick to photograph immigrants disembarking off of the ships. The date of this stoic young girl’s arrival is unknown, but we do know her last name is Choban. " [Artist website]




Close up of metal barrel with painting













Photo of the ally at Parker Street Studios

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