Meeting the demands of Calgary’s arts community

Being a fine artist is tough. Unless you get a gallery exhibit or a government grant, it’s difficult to make a name for yourself, but it’s even tougher for student artists still learning techniques to help them piece together their particular artistic vision.

That’s where Calgary duo Angel Guerra and Angela Dionne step in with their Market Collective project. They recognized the difficulty that student artists had to overcome and sought to improve the situation.

“It was just something we really wanted to do. We wanted to make something available for pre-professional artists,” says Guerra. “I think we saw a bit of a void for pre-professionals. If you couldn’t show in a gallery, there weren’t as many spaces. When we realized there may really be a deficiency was when so many people came out and supported it.”

“It was just an idea we had and it was the right time and place.”

That location changed recently. The event started out in the Carpenters Union Hall in Kensington, but has since moved across the street to the bigger Ant Hill Building, effectively tripling the available space. The organizers have been able to leverage this advantage effectively — this weekend’s Market Collective will feature approximately 100 artists and artisans selling their wears at 40 tables. There will also be 15 musicians playing sets, a pumpkin carving room and a haunted stairwell.

The two have contributed to Calgary’s burgeoning art scene with their project and though their original goals were modest, they now boast a waitlist for every event.

“Angela [Dionne] really wanted to propel the art scene in Calgary,” says Guerra. “I was really interested in the community aspect and the musical aspect at the time, so we meshed a lot of our ideas together and just ran with it.”

Mission accomplished.

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