A multidisciplinary arts showcase, THREADS, will take place at the Graffiti Gallery (109 Higgins Ave.) on April 8. The event promises to celebrate Winnipeg’s art scene by bringing together some of the city’s finest artists and creators.
“There will be a hairstyling showcase by Lovely Kitty of Berns & Black Salon, a fashion show by Lennard Taylor, a clothing showcase from Greg Blagoev of Szoldier, a live organic improv band featuring special guest artists, a visual arts exhibition on the walls of the Graffiti Gallery space – with works for sale from eight emerging visual artists – and a funky dance party to end off the night with DJ Maverick,” said multidisciplinary artist and event co-organizer Nereo Jr. Eugenio (a.k.a. Nereo II).
The showcase is a collaborative effort between VA Productions’s Arturo Orellana and Love Life Productions’s Niki Trosky, with the help of Nereo II.
“This event is a way to shine a spotlight on people who are working hard on their creative paths. We are not alone in this. We have over 43 volunteers working with us,” Trosky told the Manitoban.
“The plan was proposed by Arturo, who contacted Niki and myself after attending two events that we each hosted,” said Nereo II.
“Arturo was very impressed with the quality and content of both of our events, but the only critique he had was in regards to the lack of media attention our shows were receiving. He expressed a lot of interest in wanting to work together, so we organized a meeting to visualize what we potentially could create with the combined efforts of our individual specialties.”
Nereo II has made a name for himself in the Winnipeg arts community over the last 16 years. He specializes in a number of art forms – spoken word, visual arts, dance, and painting amongst others – and has performed at events across North America, Europe, and Asia.
With the THREADS show, Nereo II hopes to share his passion with local artists and push them to appreciate various art disciplines and the local arts community.
“It feels right to say that all these disciplines balance me. Each of them serve as both creative inlets and outlets, and the relationship between each one is so close that they naturally complement each other,” said Nereo II.
“Me and the Winnipeg art scene have a very loving relationship with each other. I love it, and it loves me […] I’m all for any event that pushes towards expanding community circles and intermingling all kinds of cultures together. Constantly pushing creative boundaries and maintaining a wholesome, classy, fun, feel-good vibe is the goal.”
Both Orellana and Trosky share Nereo II’s vision.
“Collaborations are fun. There is more power in co-creation. The benefits include expansion of self and understanding,” said Trosky.
“Not only do the artists get to riff off each other, but also the audience gets to watch the process of creativity. That’s where the gold happens. It’s in the making of something great.”
Together, these three artists and entrepreneurs are creating a basis from which they can build on and play their parts in creating the Winnipeg they would like to see.
“Winnipeg is small, but our talent is huge. Our climate breeds extreme people. We have six months out of the year to stay indoors and get really good at whatever our craft is,” explained Trosky.
“The talent in this city won’t change, but perhaps our ability to support them will. As a community we need to support each other. Without art the world grows dull.”
Nereo II would like to see downtown Winnipeg in particular become more artsy.
“I would love to see more support and better recognition for the importance of the arts, and an increased drive towards the revitalization of Winnipeg spaces,” he said.
“Why not have more young, hip graphic designers and artists and architects design interesting installations in back-alley spaces? Why not spend less money priming walls, and provide more opportunities for young, talented emerging artists to prove that they can transform Winnipeg into a beautiful, attractive city? Let’s give people a reason to want to come downtown with cameras, and take photos.”
Trosky warned that guests of Friday’s showcase should by no means come expecting the quiet, reserved atmosphere typical of an art gallery.
“[Artists and audience can expect] to have some fun. This isn’t a typical art show where you come and sip wine and chat quietly with your friends. This is a party. It is a chance to let loose, check out something new, and hit the dance floor.”
To purchase tickets for the THREADS, visit www.eventbrite.ca/e/threads-tickets-23071611812
To find out more about the event and the production companies behind it, visit www.vaproductions.ca and www.lovelifeproductions.ca