A Walk Through the Crawl

Posted on : Monday, May 13, 2013


My nephew announced at dinner one night, the week before Easter, that he was putting together a Sketch Crawl for any family & friends who wanted to go out into the streets of downtown Lethbridge and express their art. 

I was intrigued. I had been on a pub crawl once in Halifax; the act of visiting various pubs to experience the culture and tastes of the city. That particular crawl was very organized yet flavorful. Crawling from pub to pub was one thing, but sketching? This was an interesting concept. I was invited as a photographer and wondered how I would fit in. 

When asked, Zachary Meierhofer, the organizer, commented, "Alberta is largely a "car" culture, so taking to the streets on foot gives a very different close up perspective. My main objective was to bring together artists of various mediums to enjoy our downtown core and see something that they may not have 
noticed before. New perspectives are often undervalued I find. It's more comfortable to stick with the familiar." 

On Good Friday, we gathered at 5:00 pm at the Lethbridge Public Library and our fearless leader introduced the group. 

Zach Meierhofer 
Brian Meierhofer 
Faith Meierhofer 
Maddison Meierhofer 
Noah Meierhofer 
Noel Bowman 
Rachel Vanderpyl 

Rebecca Vanderpyl 
Jeannine Hyde 
Merrilea Templeman 
Wickus Polis. 

Kye Bowman 
Daniel Vanderpyl 

DJ Block 
Bryce Procee 

Location #1 
Our first stop was across
the street from the library
on the corner of 8th St &
5th Ave. Chairs or curbside,
the location had a real downtown LA. appeal. 
"I chose this location for the plain rectangular facades which surround and contrast the curvilinear clock tower just visible above the cloud of gray." 

Our eyes sought for perspective. Sketchers looked for lines and contrasts. Photographers looked for lighting and artistic angles. Musicians looked to the other artists, absorbing the atmosphere and creating a musical background and connection. All were creative yet unique. 

Location #2 
Next we wandered down 7th Street towards 3rd Avenue. Zach suddenly veered into an old deserted alley and we found ourselves facing the backside of the Catwalk building. We stepped into the past, tasting the contrast of the polished storefront with the faded brick. 

The large casement windows brought to mind the dwellings of a lost era, and we could imagine two elderly gentlemen enjoying an easy rest and some great conversation in this dilapidated alley. So much history of Lethbridge hidden away in this one narrow lane. 

The most astonishing realization of this event was the stillness of the downtown core. It was almost erie to find such quiet, in an otherwise busy sector of our city. It was an ideal setting for our creativity. 
Zach’s instincts to capture this side of the Catwalk was brilliant. 

“I really enjoy trying to capture the close up details and textures of materials. Brick, wrought iron, and wood all make good subjects." 

Location #3 
The last stop was to be our moment of creative glory. Rachel Vanderpyle, a c0-organizer, had the idea for chalk. Zach had requested permission to do chalk sketches in front of Dove Christian Supplies and SAAG, which they did with relish! 

Colorful shapes and expressions of personal conviction were shared without a word, mimicking days of old when past cultures drew on the rocks and caves of their own. 

In a time when budget cuts are demanding
creative artists to put down their brushes, their camera’s and their pencils, this innovative and interactive event exposed a truth; art can and does happen with or without funding. The freedom to be creative is in us because we are created in the image of God - The Master Creator. It brought us together for a sweet, brief time, and in the quiet of the city streets we remembered what day it was.... 

A Good Friday. 

Note from the BRZ: DJ Block approached us about this endeavour she took part in this Easter and asked if we would post her the article and photos. We're excited to see people interacting with the downtown and making it their own and were happy to share this with our followers. We will let the public know about any future Sketch Crawls in the future for those interested. All photos used with permission from DJ Block.