The West of Main Art Walk is an open studio tour, art exhibition and art sale in Vancouver. Hosted by Artists in Our Midst, in 2022 the event takes place in May.
This year the Preview Exhibition and Sale happens at the Roundhouse Community Centre on the Wednesday and Thursday of May 18th and 19th. The Studio Tour part of the event is on the weekend of May 28th and 29th.
The West of Main Art Walk provides an exceptional opportunity to see beautiful art and meet local artists. The art you’ll see is exceptional! And for all four days and at all the venues, admission is free!
For the event’s official website click artistsinourmidst.com.
West of Main Art Walk
The West of Main Art Walk is the longest running open studio tour and art sale in Vancouver. The annual event began in 1993 as Artists in Our Midst which is also the name of the non-profit group of artists that open their studios to the public each year.
The individuals that put together this event aim to promote local and visual art to communities in the Lower Mainland. All activities are free to attend. Through the events, people can connect with local artists, get an inside look at their studios and buy beautiful art.
What, When and Where in 2022
2022 marks the 30th anniversary of the West of Main Art Walk. This year the event runs in late May with things to do on the 18th, 19th, 28th and 29th. There are over 80 featured artists, some of whom are already known on a global scale. The 2022 event also features 30 new artists which is exciting to see.
The 2022 West of Main Art Walk offers two main events. There’s a Preview Exhibition and Sale during the third week of May. The second main event, the Open Studio Tour and Sale, is on the final weekend of the month. Also taking place this year is the ART FOR ALL Fundraiser and the Merchants In Our Midst program.
Continue reading for more details about each of this year’s events and activities.
For the event’s official website visit artistsinourmidst.com.
Roundhouse Preview Exhibition & Sale
The first event of the 2022 West of Main Art Walk is the Preview Exhibition and Sale. It takes place at the Roundhouse Community Centre from 10:00 am until 9:00 pm on Wednesday, May 18th, and Thursday, May 19th. The venue’s address is 181 Roundhouse Mews in Yaletown.
As its name suggests, this event provides an opportunity to preview artwork in-person and to buy pieces that you like. The event features over 80 artists that specialize in different types of art. Expect to see beautiful paintings, photography, ceramics, jewelry and more. Some of the artists are also on-site hosting live demonstrations.
In the final two hours of the event, so on May 19th from 7:00 to 9:00 pm, there’s an Evening Reception. This is when you can meet many of the artists and learn more about their work.
The ART FOR ALL Fundraiser also happens throughout the Preview Exhibition and Sale. There are 70 different square pieces available on wood, all donated by different artists. Each item measures 6 inches tall by 6 inches wide and costs $50. The money raised goes to Coast Mental Health and helps fund free art programs in Vancouver, so it’s a great cause!
Open Studio Tour & Sale
The final weekend of the West of Main Art Walk is when the Open Studio Tour and Sale takes place. In 2022 it happens between 11:00 am and 5:00 pm on the Saturday and Sunday of May 28th and 29th.
A good number of artists open their studios to the public over the weekend. This is your chance to see and explore what it’s like to be an artist in Vancouver. You can see what artists are currently working on, take a tour of their workspaces, and buy pieces that are on sale.
The majority of studios on the tour are east of UBC, north of 16th Avenue and west of around Granville Street. A lot are concentrated in the neighbourhoods of Point Grey and Kitsilano in particular. The full region covered by the event, however, includes parts of Vancouver west of Main Street, north of 41st Street, south of False Creek, and east of both Blanca Street and UBC.
If you want to see several artists and their works in one building, rather than touring individual studios all around the city, then visit the Aberthau Mansion (at 4397 West 2nd Avenue), Art at Knox (at 5600 Balaclava Street) or the Pacific Arts Market (at 1448 West Broadway).
For a full map of all the places to check out, visit the Artists in Our Midst website.
Merchants in our Midst
Another component of the West of Main Art Walk is the Merchants in Our Midst program. Throughout the whole month of May, more than 30 different businesses and buildings have local art on display. This is a wonderful way of promoting artists and bringing more colour to banks, libraries, small businesses and other participating venues. Most of the art on display at each merchant is also available to purchase.
For the full list of participating merchants in 2022, visit the Artists in Our Midst website.
For the event’s official website click artistsinourmidst.com.
Tips and Advice
Below are some tips and suggestions that you might find helpful.
TIP #1: We highly recommend the Roundhouse Preview Exhibition at the start of the event. The art is beautiful, admission is free, and it gives you an idea of what to expect a couple of weekends later. It might also help you decide which artists’ studios you’ll want to check out during the Studio Tour at the end of the month.
TIP #2: If you attend the Preview Exhibition at the Roundhouse Community Centre, either before or after, combine your visit with a walk along the nearby False Creek Seawall. It’s a beautiful area! There are also lots of great restaurants in Yaletown too!
TIP #3: Don’t just go around snapping pictures of everything you see. Before taking photos of artists and their work, ask for permission. Some artists won’t mind, but others might. If you share content on social media, use the hashtag #westofmainartwalk (plus maybe the hashtag of the artist of the art you take photos of). Help spread the word!
TIP #4: For folks interested in buying artwork at the Preview Exhibition and Sale, Visa and Mastercard are both accepted, as is cash.
TIP #5: Parking can get expensive in Vancouver. Public transit is recommended, especially since many of the events and studios are close to each other and just a short SkyTrain or bus ride away. Use the map on the Artists in Our Midst website to help plan your routes.
TIP #6: If you want to buy one of the $50 pieces of art that benefit Coast Mental Health go early and on the first day for the best selection. They are sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
To learn more about the event see the Artists in Our Midst website.
Other events you might be interested in at other times of the year include the following:
- Art Vancouver (an art show at the Vancouver Convention Centre in May)
- Art Downtown (free art exhibits in downtown Vancouver in the summer)
- Eastside Culture Crawl (a studio art tour in the fall)
Other articles that might be of interest include the following: