You don't so
much get around in Sunalta as you just get through it.
But that's changing. I'm noticing Sunalta has attracted the sorts of places worth inputting in your GPS.
Take Beakerhead, for instance. It's a self-described “spectacle” combining art, science and engineering (robot furniture, for example) that just moved into their new headquarters beside the Sunalta community hall.
Beakerhead ran a workshop for building “pedal-powered contraptions” over the weekend, one of a handful of such events leading up to their main “spectacle” this September.
“We're getting quite attached to our new 'hood,” says president and co-founder Mary Anne Moser, noting I can expect to see their crazy contraptions rolling through Sunalta streets soon. “There's something—there's a charm.”
When I tell Moser I'm a member of the community association board she is excited to toss me a few early stage ideas for collaboration and I’m hopeful we can integrate robots somehow, which would make meetings more fun.
Five blocks south of Beakerhead is the Gorilla House, which moved in last July. The shabby white building is slated for redevelopment, but for now it’s overflowing with activity every Wednesday night.
Gorilla House is a gallery and studio seven days a week, but Wednesdays are when the live art battles go down. Artists have two hours to work on their pieces before the live art auction gets underway.
Founder Rich Theroux tells me most of the regulars at the weekly showdowns are from the neighbourhood.
“Sunalta seems to be two different cities,” Theroux has noticed. “There's really kind of expensive houses and tennis courts and then there's young, urban apartment rentals.”
He says it results in a “cool mingling” at the Gorilla House between those who spend freely on the art and those who are there to party.
Theroux too, is full of ideas when I mention I’m on the CA board: murals to dissuade local graffiti; a painting party that could double as a neighbourhood clean-up; an outdoor mural on the gallery in memory of a young fan.
Theroux is eager to collaborate, but notes he doesn’t feel quite part of the neighbourhood yet.
"I sort of feel like we're the new neighbour just waiting for someone to come by with pie and welcome us to the neighbourhood," he says.
I think it might be time to bake some pie.
Photo: At 10 p.m. on a Wednesday night, the action at Gorilla House’s live art auction spilled out into the street.
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