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Penticton Art Gallery's latest three exhibits open to the public – Pentiction Western News

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Some of the art by the En’owkin Centre’s National Aboriginal Professional Artist Training program student artists is on display at the Penticton Art Gallery. (Brennan Phillips – Western News)
Author Catherine Jameson gave a reading and talk about her book Zoe and the Fawn on Jan. 24. The pages and art from the book are on display at the Penticton Art Gallery. (Brennan Phillips – Western News)
The pigments and the sources used by local artist Autumn Kruger to make the paintings displayed at the Penticton Art Gallery. (Brennan Phillips – Western News)
Autumn Kruger’s paintings, made with traditional paints, at the Penticton Art Gallery. (Brennan Phillips – Western News)
Some of the art by the En’owkin Centre’s National Aboriginal Professional Artist Training program student artists is on display at the Penticton Art Gallery. (Brennan Phillips – Western News)
Art by the En’owkin Centre’s NAPAT teachers is also on display at the Penticton Art Gallery. (Brennan Phillips – Western News)
Phyllis Isaac, a student at the En’owkin Centre, made all of the clothes, the moccasins, and the necklace on her piece “The Dancer”, as well as the woven mat it stands upon at the Penticton Art Gallery. (Brennan Phillips – Western News)
‘Forgotten Warriors’, by En’owkin student Shianna Allison greets visitors as they enter the exhibit at the Penticton Art Gallery. (Brennan Phillips – Western News)
Featured artist Scott Price has several sculptures on display at the Penticton Art Gallery. (Brennan Phillips – Western News)
One of feature artist Corinne Theissen’s paintings, currently on display at the Penticton Art Gallery. (Brennan Phillips – Western News)
One of Scott Price’s sculptures, with the art of Corinne Theissen in the background at the Penticton Art Gallery. (Brennan Phillips – Western News)
Corinne Theissen’s art is currently on display at the Penticton Art Gallery until March 15. (Brennan Phillips – Western News)

The Penticton Art Gallery opened its latest exhibits on Friday, Jan. 24. The three different exhibitions will be open to the public until March 15.

In the main gallery, the artists of the Penticton Indian Band’s En’owkin Centre had the centre stage with their Messages from the tmxʷulaʔxʷ and the sqəlxʷɬcawt Renewed.

The art on display is a mix of students and their teachers from the En’owkin Centre’s National Aboriginal Professional Artist Training program. This year’s exhibition features eight first-year students and nine second-year students, alongside some selected pieces from their teachers, alumni and one invited artist, many of who are having the first public showing of their works.

“For a lot of our students it’s the first time it is the first experience they have in being able to showcase their work in a contemporary art gallery that is a public art gallery with more well-known national shows,” said Michelle Jack, one of the professors at the En’owkin Centre.

“It’s a huge opportunity to them, that opens their eyes to what is available in the greater contemporary art world, and how it works to showcase those things and what goes into the curatorial process.”

READ MORE: Soup Bowls Project raises over $20,000 for Penticton Art Gallery

The students at the En’owkin Centre come not only from the Penticton Indian Band and the other bands in the Okanagan, but from other bands far and wide.

“We have a lot of people from across Canada who come to the En’owkin Centre to study and do the NAPAT. ” said Jack.

“There used to be a lot more aboriginal centres like ours, but due to funding stipulations and all of that. We’re not federally funded, we have to do grants and all of those things to make our programs run. Because of that a lot of secondary institutions like En’owkin in other parts of the country have had to close their doors.”

The artists at the En’owkin Centre have a wide variety of styles and mediums, from painting using traditional pigments to sculpture and more modern forms of art such as photography.

“Last year we had a piece and everyone was saying, ‘Oh, that’s a really traditional pattern,’ and [Joe Feddersen] was, that’s ‘Parking Lot A,’” said Jack.

“It was the parking lot pattern painting, how they paint the spaces, and he made a pattern of that for his basket. So he’s thinking of modern ways and what we see as would be patterns and petroglyphs, and that’s just one example of the mesh of the traditional and contemporary.”

Walking through the front door of the gallery, the first thing that will first catch your eye will most likely be the small prints lining the main hall. These pieces are the pages from local publish Theytus Books’ printing of Zoe and the Fawn, a children’s book written by local Indigenous author Catherine Jameson, and illustrated by Julie Flett.

READ MORE:Celebrate summer exhibition closings at the Penticton Art Gallery

Jameson is herself an alum of the En’owkin Centre, with her book being the product of her time there.

“One of our projects was to interview a six-year-old, and my niece at the time, Zoe, was six. This story was the one she told me, with some creative changes,” said Jameson at the talk on Saturday.

The story in Zoe and the Fawn follows young Zoe and her father, as they go outside to take care of a newborn fowl, and see a lonely fawn outside. As they look for the fawn’s mother, they find many other animals along the way.

The words in the Sy’ilx language are emphasized with the colour of Zoe’s boots, along with the English translation to help readers learn as they read along.

Copies of the book are also available at the gallery’s shop.

The third exhibition currently on display in the Project Room gallery features the works of two very different artists, with Scott Price’s found material sculptures of rusted metal, stone and wood a sharp contrast to Corrinne Thiessen’s at-times grotesque paintings of once-human figures.

Price does not approach his work with an eye for a single meaning, but rather lets the pieces speak for themselves.

“I don’t know what I’m looking for,” said Price during the artists’ talks on Jan. 25. “If the ball in [the Project Room] talks to you of big or small, of the microscopic or the cosmic. If by having the void in it, that talks to you of breaking down or building him. All those things speak to me. Whether I’m looking for those fascinating things in nature and including them in my art, I can’t answer that question.”

Thiessen and Price were selected as part of the Penticton Art Gallery’s 13th year of collaboration with Island Mountain Arts and the Toni Onley Artist Project to highlight a Canadian artist. This year, the decision was so close between the two, that they were both selected to showcase their works.

The three exhibits at the Penticton Art Gallery are on display until March 15. The Gallery will also be hosting the third annual Loving Mugs chili-cook off fundraiser on Feb. 20.

To report a typo, email: editor@pentictonwesternnews.com.


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The 'power of art' inside a Toronto psychiatric unit – CTV News

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TORONTO —
Just days before Christmas, local artist Eve Crandall walked into the psychiatric unit at Mount Sinai Hospital in downtown Toronto with feelings of hopelessness and thoughts of suicide clouding her mind. 

The walls of the unit’s narrow hall showcased some of her artwork filled with messages of hope and colour, but as she walked past them that December day toward her acute-care bed, she firmly believed that no one would be able to help her this time.

At 63-years-old, the Toronto woman has been in and out of Mount Sinai for years after she was diagnosed over two decades ago with Bipolar II, a disorder characterized by cycles of depressive and hypomanic episodes.

She said her recent struggles with various physical ailments, including issues with her eyesight, had taken a toll on her mental health, forcing her into a deeply depressive state, and into the hospital.

“[Depression is like] you are walking through grey Jell-O, where everything feels slow and heavy and dark, and bleak and hopeless, you’re sort of fighting your way through,” Crandall told CTV News Toronto.

“Best I can do is play games on my phone and even that wears me very quickly, there is no motivation to do art, there are no ideas, nor is there the physical energy to pull things together.”

Crandall eventually did get better earlier this month after her hospital stay, and just weeks after she returned to her High Park home, she spoke to CTV News Toronto about her healing process.

It was partially due to a weekly creative expressions group, she said, that was nestled inside a small room at the end of Mount Sinai’s psychiatric unit and spearheaded as a side-project by a spiritual councillor at the hospital.

“I don’t know about everybody else but I certainly looked forward to our weekly get-together,” Crandall said. “It’s freeing, it lets you play with colour and form, just everything, and it takes you out of this world and into the art and that’s liberating, it feels good.”

Crandall said every time she returned to the hospital over the years, she always sought out spiritual councillor Christina Dashko, who had created the art group almost 20 years ago to help psychiatric patients find some peace and joy in making stuff with their own hands.

art program

Crandall said the program would almost always force the gears in her mind to start thinking about the art material she had back at home, and what she could do with it. 

“It was forward thinking, and that’s really important, if you do start making plans and thinking about the future and what you could do that’s a definitely a sign of improvement,” she said.

“I stopped thinking about all that I couldn’t do and started trying to thinking about what I could do with my [physical] limitations.”

Dashko told CTV News Toronto that while most support on the psychiatric unit is talk therapy, the program offers something a little different, something more creative.

Christina Dashko

“When someone is suffering from depression or is on this floor, any milestone is a big deal. To be able to say ‘I did something today,’ even if that something is as simple as knitting a single row, gives patients a sense of accomplishment,” Dashko said.

“I think in the greater scheme, in comparison to people doing surgery and stuff, I do very little but I think that I can offer them a space while they are here, where they are valued simply for who they are.”

The group has done everything from knitting colourful hats to creating dual portraits, which illustrate the face a person may show to the world and the one they keep inside to themselves.

She said the dual portraits sparked serious conversations last week when a patient spoke about how their interior world is sometimes filled with sadness and anger, but society, family and friends don’t want to know about that.

mount sinai

“People want to assume that if you are smiling that you are fine because it’s easier,” Dashko said.

“Once you take the energy to really ask how somebody is doing there’s kind of an obligation to follow through on it and most people don’t want to invest themselves.

“Here in the inpatient psychiatry we hope that people share what is really going on inside of them.”

She said the program helps build community on the unit by encouraging people to try something new, and building a connection between the members through that shared experience.

The patients on the unit suffer from various mental health challenges, including depression, bipolar disorders and schizophrenia. About four to five of the 15 patients on the unit attend the weekly program.

art eve crandall

Crandall said she would sometimes come to the program just to watch others making art if the task was something she couldn’t do because of her blurry vision. She said it helped her feel less isolated.

She said she loved watching people, who have never done art before, develop passion for their project.

“I stay the whole time and just sit and enjoy the vibe,” she said. “They [the patients] get into it, they’re not thinking about what ails them, or why they are miserable, they just think about what they are doing, a very mindful way to be.”

“I feel like it connects me to them because I understand it and I experience that myself, and it gives us a connection, something in common.”

art mount sinai

Crandall said she didn’t care what they were doing during the group, but that she just enjoyed the fact that there was an opportunity to do something. 

“You feel like you know someone a little better when you are there, people start saying hello to each other in the hallways,” she said.

“It certainly made a difference to my mood, I just felt more connected to people, I start talking to them … not very serious conversations with people but just conversation, just connecting with each other so you are not alone.

“The feeling of isolation is very common, and if you can somehow break that feeling and reconnect with the world it brings you forward, it’s healing. I think it’s important for that.”

Crandall said she now paints at her home and at Workman Arts, a mental health and art organization in Toronto that will showcase her art in their exhibition in March.

Eve Crandall

She said one of her favourite pieces she ever made is a portrait filled with invalidating statements. She said the piece was inspired by her annoyance of people who advise her to “think more positively.” 

“It makes me crazy, it puts pressure on people, it just dismisses what they are thinking and feeling, [but] this how I’m thinking and this is how I am feeling, maybe if you just acknowledge it, it would help.”

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Lecture series celebrates Okanagan art – Kelowna Capital News

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UBCO is getting creative with its latest lecture series.

Vernon residents can learn firsthand about art and creative processes when UBCO professor David Doody presents at the Vernon Public Art Gallery Thursday, Jan. 30. As part of their ongoing program: UBCO Lecture Series, the event runs from 6 – 8 p.m.

The VPAG has partnered with the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies at the University of British Columbia Okanagan to provide an opportunity for the local arts community to experience a university-level lecture and speak to artists directly. During his presentation, Doody will focus on his personal practices and the idea of collaboration. He will share about The Uptown Mural Project, an urban-art initiative he started in the community of Rutland. The goal of this project was the beautification of Rutland and to encourage community involvement.

READ MORE: Uptown Rutland kicks off street art project

“Our UBCO lecture series is an opportunity for members of our community to step up their knowledge and delve deeper into how they explore art. We are pleased to be able to tap into some of the professional expertise available to us through our close proximity to the UBC Okanagan,” said Dauna Kennedy, Vernon Art Gallery executive director.

The UBCO Lecture Series is a great opportunity for the arts community to connect. It creates a welcoming and non-intimating environment for the public to learn and interact with each other and the artists. Its programs like this that support the tight-knit arts community here in Vernon, said Kennedy.

Admission is by donation.

READ MORE: Vernon’s Caetani Centre travelogue sold out


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Lecture series celebrates Okanagan art – Vernon Morning Star

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UBCO is getting creative with its latest lecture series.

Vernon residents can learn firsthand about art and creative processes when UBCO professor David Doody presents at the Vernon Public Art Gallery Thursday, Jan. 30. As part of their ongoing program: UBCO Lecture Series, the event runs from 6 – 8 p.m.

The VPAG has partnered with the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies at the University of British Columbia Okanagan to provide an opportunity for the local arts community to experience a university-level lecture and speak to artists directly. During his presentation, Doody will focus on his personal practices and the idea of collaboration. He will share about The Uptown Mural Project, an urban-art initiative he started in the community of Rutland. The goal of this project was the beautification of Rutland and to encourage community involvement.

READ MORE: Uptown Rutland kicks off street art project

“Our UBCO lecture series is an opportunity for members of our community to step up their knowledge and delve deeper into how they explore art. We are pleased to be able to tap into some of the professional expertise available to us through our close proximity to the UBC Okanagan,” said Dauna Kennedy, Vernon Art Gallery executive director.

The UBCO Lecture Series is a great opportunity for the arts community to connect. It creates a welcoming and non-intimating environment for the public to learn and interact with each other and the artists. Its programs like this that support the tight-knit arts community here in Vernon, said Kennedy.

Admission is by donation.

READ MORE: Vernon’s Caetani Centre travelogue sold out


@VernonNews
newsroom@vernonmorningstar.com

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