As a young adult, there were two things Vikki Wiercinski knew: She was not made for a nine-to-five job, and she loved to make art. After graduating university with a degree in graphic design, Wiercinski began her uncharted career as an artist, often taking part as a regular vendor at the Royal Bison Art and Craft Fair — where she found makers like herself who had chosen the rocky career of a creative.
Over 10 years later, Wiercinski’s career now involves bringing together Edmonton’s creatives and artists who seek the similar path of creativity. As the lead organizer of the Royal Bison Art & Craft Fair, Wiercinski is far from behind the scenes. “The purpose of the Bison is to help create sustainable art and design studio practices in Edmonton. This means that, sometimes, designers can create vibrant careers while based within Edmonton, without having to move Toronto or New York.”
In 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Wiercinski and the Royal Bison team once again faced uncertainty. She watched as the livelihood of Edmonton’s artists became threatened. “There are artists who rely on Royal Bison to sell their pieces. I knew close to nothing about taking an arts and craft fair online,” she says, “but what I did know was enough to try.” Over 10,000 items were ordered in 2020’s first online fair.
“Designers, like me, love challenges and puzzles and taking the Royal Bison online was just that. I pursue things because I am passionate about them. There often is no path.” And yet, through art, she finds her way.
This article appears in the November 2021 issue of Edify