Upcycling for art: a great concept

I’m not sure how I even came across the store Urban Source in Vancouver online, but when I recently traveled to Vancouver, I made a mental note to check it out.

LINDA COTE-Urban Source StoreAs these things go, my time was chock-a-block with visiting my son who lives there, celebrating his birthday, attending his jazz recitals, and visiting galleries and artist friends.

By the time I could carve out a bit of poking around time, I found myself on the way to the airport.

Luckily, though, I had just enough time to pop into Urban Source on my way to catch my flight. As soon as I walked in the door, I knew … I should have come to this store FIRST not last!

The store was filled with material sourced from over 100 industries including off-cuts, discards, misprints and overstocks that would normally be bound for the landfill. It was a cornucopia of inspiration for a magpie like me — and apparently the many designers, artists, teachers, students and daycare workers that frequent this lovely store.

LINDA COTE-Urban Source wallpaperWhen in Vancouver, I am always on the look out for great art supply stores. So, I was surprised to learn that Urban Source has been running for 15 years!

I thoroughly enjoyed my quick look around the store (I had about a  half hour) and was able to find some cool pieces to bring home. I particularly loved the way the pieces were displayed: in an organized fashion with tons of enthusiastic labels (actual! amazing! fantastic!) recommending uses for the materials.

Here is a little taste of what I found.

LINDA COTE-Urban Source maps

Fragments of maps to use in art, altered books, journals — anything! Check out the price! I swooned!

LINDA COTE-Urban Source slides

Transfer foil, calendar fragments, old slides! Sigh.

LINDA COTE-Urban Source shelves2

Every size of tag you could imagine: from wee to shipping. And, some lovely art to display how it could be used.

LINDA COTE-Urban Source envelopes

Lined mini paper bags and library card envelopes. Check out the tag: “Am I the cutest bag of them all?” LOL.

LINDA COTE-Urban Source shelves

Little farm animals, magnetic letters, powder tempura. Oh, that I would have brought a bigger suitcase!

LINDA COTE-Urban Source shelves3

Too much here to mention! Just so much deliciousness!

LINDA COTE-Urban Source stamps

Tiny stamps, metal thread, game tiles!

This was the most fun I have had in a store in a long time. It made me wonder if something like this could be viable in every town.

Maybe it was good I came on my way to the airport when I was already (over) packed! I would have definitely needed to pay for an extra container had I found this store early in my trip to Vancouver. Who could resist?

LINDA COTE-Urban Source bins


2 responses to “Upcycling for art: a great concept

  1. Thanks for giving such a great review! I have been telling people about this store and I will point them to your post now. This store is a little gem, I love it. Before I moved I stocked up like crazy in there. (I think I went a little overboard). And I agree, they SHOULD have a store like this in every town! 🙂

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