We are a collective of fantasy artists primarily based on the West Coast of Canada. The collective was created out of a need for representation, community, and and visibility in our part of the world for magical art. Though Europe and the United States have well-known fantasy art hubs, Canada lacks in this arena. So Melissa Mary Duncan banded industry friends Tracy Ernst and Janice Murphy together and forged an alliance. An outlet where talented artists could reach audiences and present their art to the world.
Once upon a time, The Wylde Wood had a brick and mortar shop in New Westminster, BC. First it was housed at River Market upstairs by the Vancouver Circus School. Then it moved to 633 12th Street which, we discovered, has a fascinating history including being the starting location of the renowned tattoo artist, The Dutchman. Many famous and interesting people shared those walls over the years. . .
We were embraced by the community, and became a well-loved magic spot full of wonders: “Comprised of art and services by predominantly local artists, craftspeople, musicians, readers, and authors, there you will find steampunk fancies, fae whispers, gothic charms, medieval relics, and more character than you can wave a wand at. The store changes every season and there is always a friendly face to welcome you into the glammourie.” We created The Wylde Wood Faire, a summer series of fantasy craft faires, The Wylde Wood Christmas Faire, and The What IF discussion Series. We hosted tarot readings, classes, workshops, demonstrations, celebrations of various kinds, and more.
Abruptly, Covid-19 foiled our plans! By Mid-March, 2020, having sensed what was to come, we closed. Our beloved little shop was no longer.
...but as we said goodbye to our artists' lovely wares, a common sentiment permeated the closure. Everyone was sad to see us go. No one wanted this. What we had created over our nearly two years in business was highly valued by our artists and surrounding communities and they made sure we knew it. There was shock and tears. Gifts. Offers of help, of money, of anything that could be done to keep us afloat. Customers and Wylde Wooders baked for us, brought coffee, volunteered their time, expressed sorrow, and asked what they could do. Their kindness meant so much to us during that difficult ending and will not be forgotten.
After some reflection, and doing all of the work associated with closing a business, the support we received for the collective dream carried on. We came to realize, how could we not continue? The Wylde Wood Collective still exists, albeit in the digital realm for the moment. On facebook we continue to share whimsy and convey what our artists are making and doing. Some of us are live streaming from our studios, doing online events, creating new partnerships, branching out creatively, and helping fellow artists. We are still producing, still selling, and still trying to make the world a little more magical.
If you love fantasy art, craft, story, and song, we welcome you to our realm. Enjoy your stay.