Years ago, I wrote a column for the Western News and I am proud to say I am back to writing to bring awareness to one of the South Okanagan’s most important heritage assets.
The Shatford Centre turns 100 years old in 2021 and it is home to Okanagan School of the Arts, a non-profit organization that also marks a 60th birthday in 2021. Okanagan School of the Arts arranges for professional and emerging artists, musicians and performers to mentor, coach and help awaken creativity in a wide range of ages and stages of students. It is developing into a destination art school with great potential.
Together, Shatford Centre/Okanagan School of the Arts, is a convergence of creativity, heritage, community, innovation, volunteerism and resources. We like to think of it as another community centre in Penticton.
Good News Stories from SCOSA
We can feel the energy of the 97 year old heritage building shift enthusiastically when a large group of children arrive.
It is why we are proud to announce that Shatford Centre/Okanagan School of the Arts has partnered with the Okanagan Boys and Girls Club to provide a program called the Creative Academy, which is in development through a grant from the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen.
Matt Hatch, Okanagan Boys and Girls Club program co-ordinator, brings together the children and staff after school at the Shatford Centre on Tuesday afternoons.
The routine is that the children and staff land in a classroom for a snack and orientation, then children select their choice of activities. So far, choices are the auditorium for recreational and fun games and the visual arts studio for creative adventures. We are also adding the Rotary Community Learning Kitchen as another option in the next few weeks and are looking for studio and kitchen help-mates to help enhance this weekly experience. Let us know if you are interested.
The winter edition of the Shatford Chronicles is available in print and online (http://shatfordcentre.com/shatford-chronicles-quarterly-newspaper/) with interesting courses to consider taking.
One example is Anne-Marie Harvey’s Portraits – Feel the Fear and Paint Them Anyway! Anne-Marie is a Signature Member of the Federation of Canadian Artists. I was introduced to Anne-Marie at her home and studio built on acreage on the road to Naramata. These buildings are art projects in themselves and along with her husband Chris, were built over an eight year time span. Anne-Marie hand painted beautiful ceramic tiles and worked on the design of the rammed earth structures that surround their home. I was awe-struck with the architecture and learning about Anne-Marie’s background, creativity and life as an artist.
The development committee chaired by Karen Collins is meeting to work on strategies to help Shatford Centre/Okanagan School of the Arts thrive sustainably while also taking care of the historic Shatford Centre and its aging infrastructure.
During February, Dick Harris, chair of the restoration and beautification committee, and Louise Punnett, chair of the volunteer committee, are inviting volunteers to help paint the main floor exhibition space and clean/organize the storage areas. This is ideal timing for Shatford Centre/Okanagan School of the Arts Yard Sale being planned for spring. If you have items you would like to donate for this fundraiser, please give us a call. We have a room dedicated to gathering saleable treasures looking for a new home.
Bill Everden, chair of the exhibition committee, has met with his committee which is making plans for community convergences in the form of exhibitions, such as ‘Art from the Heart.’ Artists are invited to contribute up to two works of art by Feb. 6. ‘Art from the Heart’ opens at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 15 and you are invited to come and meet the artists.
Jane Shaak is the executive director of the Shatford Centre, Okanagan School of the Arts, and writes this monthly column exclusively for the Penticton Western News.