The residency: From November 2021-Feb 2022 Works-in-Progress Artist Collective had a spot as one of three artists in residence at Double take Thrift store, a fundraising shop that supports the work of Yonge Street Mission. It was a time of change for the store: opening a new Upcycling Studio and adding in staff to support more of an online presence and an upcycling program. For us, we have not really been interested in retail as a collective, though individual artists have run etsy stores and craft markets. So this was an opportunity to dabble, with staff support and 75% commission going to the artists on all sales. PLUS Double Take hosted (and funded) a workshop that we ran and we maintained a street presence in the big store windows of the studio. It was great for all concerned.
art of our mandate as a collective is to support artists and encourage makers, and we added new artists to our collective through this project (Profiles and links to all the artists we play with are on our website, here)
In the end, we gained new subscribers to our newsletter and on our instagram feed, we were able to reach people via the website as well, with 75-100 views a week.
And over the 4 months we were in the store we made
$300+309.75+345= $954.75 for Works-in-Progress individual artists including $18 from sales of Tshirt bags and Extember 'zines
100+103+115=$318 Profit for Double Take store.
We sold a total of 61 items + 49 items + 72 =182 upcycled items all together AND
one artist donated her 39.75 in profit to the collective
And of course, we all did a little thrifting and met some new artists along the way.. One artist who joined us in January- Alex Verkade- decided to apply to be artist in residence this Spring and is now one of three great new artists in Double take. Another artist- Anya Laskin- joined in December and made a few dozen patches that we can use in future projects. Former participant turned maker Cairine Fong joined us to make masks and beeswax wraps; Lukas Bautista displayed his hand-painted clothes, Anna Borstad had collage cards, Safiya Saskin contributed pompom earrings (a big hit and Gabrie Adair kept us supplied in masks and scrunchies throughout. Nancy Rawlinson brought her repair and upcycling passion to our swap in September and then brought us an eclectic mix of chickens of encouragement, knit socks and wine sleeves. Marnie made a backdrop of textiles and biophilic lamps for the display and a good collection of her cozy items from her stash and I tried muffs, scarves and very dense pillows. Everything found at least one home and we had fun making the sewing kits and patches. Could not have gone better.
--blog post by Tanya Murdoch
art experiments turning waste into beauty