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October 10, 2012

Celebrating Culture Days 2012

Culture Days is a collaborative coast-to-coast-to-coast volunteer movement to raise the awareness, accessibility, participation and engagement of Canadians in the arts and cultural life of their communities.This year, across the country Canadians celebrated the third annual Culture Days weekend on September 28-30, 2012 with thousands of free, hands-on, interactive activities that invite the public to participate “behind-the-scenes,” to discover the world of artists, creators, historians, architects, curators, designers and other creative people in their communities.

Here at ArtStarts, we celebrated by hosting a free art workshop at the ArtStarts Gallery entitled Layers: Exploring Nature’s Uniqueness through Printmaking. Led by artist Brent Clowater, the workshop invited young people to experiment with printmaking and explore their own Sense of Place.

Sense of Place, the current exhibition in the ArtStarts gallery, showcases artwork made by young people from schools across BC in collaboration with professional artists, as they explore themes of identity, land, community and home, fostering their sense of individuality as well as their sense of belonging.

Brent Clowater was one of the artists who was involved in making a piece on display in the exhibition. He spoke to the group about his experience creating a large-scale textile piece with the students from Windermere Secondary School in Vancouver, BC. For the project, Brent and the students explored the natural world through field trips to the Botanical Gardens, the local ravine and the school’s own organic garden. Photo-documenting their discoveries, the students then interpreted their specimens using different media including photo transfers, drawing, printmaking and embroidery to create a communal canvas panel.

For the Culture Days workshop, Brent wanted to tie into the theme of being connected to the land. He collected items from the land itself, natural, found items from the local  landscape in BC, such as seashells, driftwood, leaves and more. He then used these to create unique brushes and devices that could be used to make marks and create interesting textures.

Everyone at the workshop loved experimenting with all the different textures, seeing what each natural object would create ... when a little paint was added!

Kids could then add a personal touch by embellishing the images by hand, and share their prints with the other young artists at the workshop.

You can see some more photos from the event on Facebook.

Thanks to Brent for a fun and inspring workshop, and thanks to all the young artists for their endless energy and creativty!

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