It was out-of-this-world experience as 200 artists from every one of Durham’s seven municipalities descended on Oshawa’s downtown for Oshawa Space Invaders 2014. Ten different artist groups and satellite shows like Oshawa Rocks filled the downtown with over 1,000 works of art in unusual venues that made the viewing experience quite exciting.
The Downtown Oshawa BIA sponsored event got underway with the diverse Art Vendors Market on Celina Street and a rousing and funky impromptu parade featuring the MaracaTALL Afro-Brazillian stilt walking drum troupe surrounded by the Living Room Community Arts Centre's huge puppet creations and local band Hairy Holler, Dan Reiff's drummers and various others. The official opening featured MPP Jennifer French, Mayor John Henry, Greg Murphy, Dean Durham College's School of Media, Arts & Design, Oshawa Space Invader organizers Steven Frank and Grant Cole. Paul Koidis Jr., Assoc. Dean of Durham College's School of Media, Arts & Design was the emcee.
Honourary Space Invader Ron Lambert, a pioneer in Canadian abstract painting was honoured as his proud family members looked watched from the Avanti patio.
The music portion of the evening got underway with a short set by singer songwriter Paul Irvine and then Oshawa's nine-piece The Professors of Funk brought the funk and more as they found themselves in an unplanned jam with the Afro-Brazillian stilt walkers - only in Oshawa! After the Professors, Hairy Holler took their style of bohemian rhapsodies to the streets complete with horns and washboards. This turned into another street parade while Silver Elvis made the moves with his futuristic Rocket Car as the search lights scanned the skies for other lifeforms!
Most of the earthbound life had moved to the seventeen art venues, many that were jam packed with artcrawlers.
The Tapas Tour proved to be a success as some of the restaurants had run out of their special Art Crawl offerings.
The Art Crawl wrapped up at midnight then the party continued with local musical acts at many of the local bars and restaurants.
Overall Oshawa Space Invaders' Artcrawl was a great kick-off to a week that would feature the best of Durham's art scene, complete with school tours and Culture Days tie-ins featuring tours, workshops and even theatre by the Durham Shoestring Performers.
Oshawa Space Invaders had a shorter run this year due to the logistics of keeping so many venues open. If you blinked you may have missed it. You can catch up by checking our blog and Artist Groups/Spaces will be showing installation views of the amazing work that was on display.
You can bet that we will be back next year for an even larger art invasion. Help spread the word and don't miss it!
A five dollar 84 page show-catalogue is available at the Open Vault at 19 Simcoe St. N.
Oshawa Space Invaders would like to give a sincere thank you to all of our sponsors who made this event possible. They are listed below and then there is a list with links of those that supported us through placing ads in our impressive catalogue.