Exchange District on a First Friday

On Friday, I went with my husband and some friends to the Cre8ery in the Exchange District of Winnipeg. We didn’t plan this adventure in advance – it was more of a last minute decision because I actually knew nothing about First Fridays.

Then I read my friend Jackie’s blog post about the initiative:

Businesses open their doors and allow the public to participate in free art exhibitions, take advantage of discounted merchandise and to simply come together.

We were curious and wanted to check out what downtown had to offer, so, without being too sure what to expect, we headed over to the Cre8ery, an art studio/gallery right by Red River College’s downtown campus.

Once we figured out which building we were trying to get to, we climbed a flight of stairs and joined a small crowd of people milling around the studios. The first room we went into featured photographs around the walls. The photographs appeared to be of a trip that some art students took to a developing country.

In the middle of this room was a table filled with a whole bunch of food. I didn’t know what ANY of it was. Do you? Please tell me! I took a picture hoping someone would be able to satisfy my curiosity.

We wandered through a couple of hallways and into the next room. It appeared that the Classroom Studio was the only place displaying photographs; the rest of the artwork was various artists’ work in pastels, oils, paints, jewelry, and more. The other gallery room had some more Canadian-looking snacks, too.

I’m usually not a huge art or museum person, but this was a lot of fun. There was no pressure to buy anything (except one lady in her own little room who offered to give us a discounted reading, which I refused), and everything was open to us to explore.

There was a photographer who was circling around, taking photos of the crowd of people as they interacted, ate, and examined the pieces of art.

I was curious about who he was, and I hate not having an answer about something I’m curious about, so I went up to him and asked what he was taking pictures for.

He told me that he was documenting the showing for one of the artists. I told him I’m a blogger (I had a camera too) and we talked briefly about photography.

Then he added, “Want me to introduce you to her?” (Meaning the artist.) I didn’t know what I’d do if I met her, but I said yes, so a few minutes later I found myself shaking hands with Bronwyn Thorndycraft. Her business card says she’s a painter, illustrator, and neckwear designer (which is a creative way of saying necklace).

We chatted for a few minutes, I introduced her to my husband – which caused an outburst of disbelief over us being married so young (“You guys have made me believe in love again!”) – and she gave me her card. I hope to conduct a follow-up interview with her sometime soon, and provide it to you. This is the Art of Winnipeg, after all!

Have you ever been to an art gallery or showing? What do you enjoy or not like about them? They’re a whole new ball game for me so I’d love to hear what your experience has been.

By the way, if you love the Exchange District or if you’d like to learn more about it, check out Jackie’s blog! She’s an excellent writer and artist, and she’s focused on learning more about the core of our city. Pretty sweet stuff.

Please note that the quotes are from my memory. I’m capturing the essence of what was spoken and I am quoting the more memorable bits of what was said, but they still might not be verbatim. I did my best though!


About Jenna Marie

Jenna is a communications student from Winnipeg, Manitoba. She's almost finished studying at Red River College and looking forward to whatever's coming next.
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3 Responses to Exchange District on a First Friday

  1. Tracey Seida says:

    good pictures!

  2. Monique says:

    I love the Cre8ery! I took life drawing there a while ago. Awesome space! Nice photos 🙂

  3. Alana Odegard says:

    Really great post and photos! I especially like the one of the back of Cameron’s head 😉

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