COMMUNITY... happenings in the hood

Things are on fire!! No, quite literally arsonists’ have hit the city. Crazy right? Little did I expect to get a text Saturday morning from a neighbour telling me about an artist building which had been hit with a fire. He advised me because of my role as past-chair of the ECCS (Eastside Culture Crawl Society) and felt I should know. Well that led to ARTDOG KOKO and I hitting the scene to discover…

Can you imagine coming to work in your studio and finding this? (…as if it isn’t hard enough being an artist )

That is the studio of an artists who’s work I collect: Carylann Leoppky. I like her work as she’s fearless with the brush and her strokes are genius. Her surreal images are inspired by her fierce nature and honest soul. Take a look at her work and see what I mean. I’m sure there will be a limited edition coming out of this most unfortunate mishap. That’s the kind of person and artist she is, one who will make something positive out of a not so positive situation.

My heart sank as I went into her studio and saw the hole in the wall and called her to let her know. As Artdog Koko and I walked over I hoped her studio wouldn’t be one that was effected, but alas that wasn’t the case. Once on the scene we snooped around to see what we could find out.

We sniffed out that the fire hit around 3 am. It was reported by people who go for early morning walks in that area is often occupied by homeless and derelict types. It was started from the outside by the very thick wooden door. The second floor got it the worst and about 12-13 studios were effected. Management was on site and calling artist while assessing the damage immediately. Later I found out from artists that it appeared to be arson as gasoline was used and one firefighter was hurt.

As the story was shared I also learnt that the Astoria Hotel on Hastings had been hit with fire 4 times within the last month. Also an artist building around Hastings was also hit by arsonists. Hmmmm, could there be a connection? I’m not sure, but it certainly speaks to the need for the City of Vancouver to address this human disaster of homelessness and “bad” behaviour that is taking place presently.

The good news story is that FINALLY Oppenheimer park is getting addressed. Here’s the link to that story . It’s a big hurrrah and it will be a bigger hurrrah if the social housing is spread throughout the city and other suburbs and throughout the province. Who’s to say all these “bad” behaviours throughout the city are connected to the growing camping situation in Oppenheimer? Who knows, but it is odd that one can observe some pretty gross stuff happening in the areas where the city has permitted to become ghettoized.

Here’s to wishing all the best to the community of Artists who are trying to just get to work.