Young Winnipeg artists launch platform to support community
By: Rainah Uhl
Winnipeg boasts an ever-growing art scene, but for some young artists, selling their work can be a daunting task. After experiencing this problem first-hand, a group of local designers created a platform where they can share their art online.
Dave Lang, 26, is one of the founders of Wormz.ca, a website tailored to helping Winnipeg artists share and sell their work. Lang currently sells vintage clothing finds through the website, which was launched in September.
“Initially Wormz.ca started between my group of friends from design school as an outlet for any ideas that we had or continued to think up,” Lang said. “Mostly stuff that made us laugh or we felt was missing in the world.”
As Lang and his friends began to share their own work online, he said the group realized other local artists might be in need of a similar platform.
“It can be a scary and discouraging endeavour trying to sell your work that you’ve put a lot of time, money, and energy into. It’s been super exciting for us to have already been contacted by various artists who are interested in our website,” Lang said.
One of those artists is Adelle Rawluk, 21, who Wormz.ca initially contacted to sell prints of her paintings. Rawluk is a student at the University of Manitoba School of Art. Her work explores themes of morality and the human experience.
“Because I do not have a website or online shop of my own, Wormz.ca has allowed me to share some of my work without the hassle of Instagram advertising through stories or posts,” said Rawluk. “I did not find it difficult to sell my work that way, but it did require a lot more attention and time,” she said.
Two of Rawluk’s paintings are currently available as prints through the website, which are printed in large batches so they are readily available to buyers.
“Selling art in Winnipeg has, to me, felt largely community-based with a lot of artists becoming known through mutual acquaintances and word of mouth,” Rawluk said. “I believe that a shared platform emphasizes this sense of artistic community.”
“This is especially helpful for young artists who are beginning their artistic careers,” she said.
Aside from prints, the platform allows artists to submits other kinds of art such as poems, articles, songs, and recipes.
Wormz.ca will also host a collaborative art market on Dec. 11. Lang said he and his friends hope that seeing these works in person will bring more attention to their project.