Exchanging craft

Manitoba Craft Council members trade crafts

The C2 Centre for Craft is finding ways to connect local crafters, despite having to cancel its Januarary 2021 Member Show.

C2 Centre for Craft (C2), located in Winnipeg’s Exchange District, has found a crafty way to connect to its members and foster a sense of community. 

C2 is a shared initiative of the Manitoba Craft Council (MCC) and the Manitoba Crafts Museum & Library. In order to combat the isolation that COVID-19 is having on parts of the community, MCC members can participate in a craft exchange from Feb. 10 to 13. 

“It was with a heavy heart we cancelled our 2021 Member Show in January. We reflected on the role of the member show: showcasing member work and facilitating the connections that create a strong and vibrant craft community in Manitoba,” Katrina Craig, the program co-ordinator for C2 Centre for Craft, says in an email to The Uniter.

The exchange furthers the MCC’s mandate of benefiting members through information sharing and promotional reach. Sharing each other’s crafts allows for networking, discovery of new members and reconnection between old friends and colleagues. 

In order to participate in the exchange, members drop off a piece of functional or decorative craft and receive a surprise piece of work. All items are dropped off and randomized. The following week, the packages will be ready for pickup.

They get to “interact in a physical way through the creation of someone else,” Craig says.

The trade is designed to help people feel a sense of community during this time of isolation through fun, discovery of a new artist, and reconnecting with old colleagues. A member who receives something that doesn’t align with their personal tastes can share it as a gift to someone else.

“The past year has been heavy, without as many opportunities for surprises and novelty, and we are happy to provide opportunities for this at the Manitoba Craft Council,” says Craig says. “In addition, many artists trade work at craft fairs, especially their seconds or slightly flawed work, and without seasonal fairs, this little tradition has been skipped this year.”

The exchange is only open to MCC members. Membership costs $30 for students and seniors or $50 for a regular membership. In addition to the option to participate in the exchange, members receive a biweekly e-news bulletin with current news, information, events and opportunities in contemporary craft, as well as access to exhibition and sale opportunities, professional-development workshops, artist talks, an online gallery page and a subscription to Studio: Craft and Design in Canada.

Upcoming programming includes a winter and spring talk series co-sponsored by MCC and MAWA on YouTube Live. Connie Chappel is slated for March 18. Find out more about MCC membership by visiting the C2 Centre for Craft website.

Published in Volume 75, Number 18 of The Uniter (February 10, 2021)

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