(Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

‘Local Losers’ have a place to create with Vernon art studio opening

A new art studio geared towards youth opened on main street June 1

When Noah MacLeod paints, he often starts with a shape on a canvas and lets the piece reveal itself.

“I’ll just draw a random shape — I don’t really think that much about my art when I’m making it — and then I take the lines and I make something out of it.”

It’s a somewhat similar process to how he created Local Losers, a youth-oriented art studio that had its grand opening on 30th Avenue in Vernon Tuesday, June 1.

Standing before a painting of a bright red, heart-shaped character with an eerie grin — a spray-painted piece of his called the King of Hearts — the 22-year-old summarized his plans for the downtown space.

“I think it’s one of those things that’ll kind of grow really organically as people come in.”

MacLeod has spent the month of May transforming the space formerly home to Five Fathoms Tattoo into a bright and colourful studio packed with paintbrushes, print-making tools, accessible workspaces and other art supplies for clients to use as they please.

It’s something MacLeod says Vernon has always lacked, and he hopes Local Losers will help young local artists access a community of like-minded people, a workspace full of resources and — perhaps most importantly —a centrally located venue to hang and sell their artworks.

“Vernon needed this. I wish this was here sooner honestly,” said Ris MacLean on opening day, a young artist who knew MacLeod in high school. “I have some work in here and this is probably the first time I’ve had work for sale in a public place, because it’s not accessible for so many young people, so I think it’s so exciting.”

Spencer Wylie, another opening day attendee, said he might have gotten into producing art at a younger age if a space like Local Losers had existed then.

“It’s nice to see all the pieces from people who do work around town,” he said.

READ MORE: Addams Family comes alive, online, from Vernon high school

The studio’s name originated as a clothing brand; it’s what MacLeod and some of his artistically inclined high school friends used to call themselves.

“Honestly, all we were thinking about is art,” he laughed. “Whether it was musicians, visual artists, poets, we were all kind of just super involved in our creating.”

‘Counterculture’ doesn’t fully capture the aesthetic patrons will find at Local Losers, though the art on the walls tends to be visually striking, demanding attention with bright colours and, like the King of Hearts, some uncanny abstractions.

“It’s all born of love and compassion and community, and there really isn’t anything exclusionary or divisive that are coming from that.”

Since leaving high school, MacLeod says he’s seen many friends and colleagues in the Vernon art scene leave town to places like Victoria, where less traditional forms of art tend to be more abundant.

“A large part of that is because Vernon doesn’t always serve that niche,” he said. “Even just in my personal circles, there’s so many young, interesting, unique, weird artists in Vernon with immense talent who are kind of just doing their thing, and people don’t know about them, and I want to showcase that and share it.”

The space for young artists who are “weird and unique” is a good fit for the weird and unique times artists are currently creating in. The studio’s opening comes as B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout is well underway, and restrictions are easing.

“As far as art goes it’s definitely been interesting,” MacLeod agreed. “It started with people painting a lot more darkness and despair, and then hope, and then we came back to the monotony of life being in lockdown for over a year, and so I’ve seen it in my friends, the way their art has changed and evolved.”

“What I’m excited to see is the hopefulness and happiness and the collaborative works that come out of it, where people actually get to interact more and share more and they have a more positive outlook.”

The studio will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.

READ MORE: Youth-centric art studio coming to Vernon’s downtown


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

art exhibitArts

 

(Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

(Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Just Posted

No dental coverage for low income Canadians. (File photo)
OPINION: Penticton MP’s proposal for universal dental coverage rejected

One in 3 Canadians have no dental coverage, with COVID making it even worse

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

Sandra Krauer, Penticton Mayor John Vassilaki and Barb Hoolaeff were in Skaha Park to announce the return of Ribfest for September, 2021. (Brennan Phillips - Western News)
Ribfest returns to Penticton

Festival runs from Sept. 17 - 19 at Skaha Lake Park with proceeds going to new splash park

Fiery crash on the Okanagan Connector between two semis. (Facebook)
One dead after fiery Okanagan Connector crash between two semis

DriveBC estimates road won’t be open until 5 p.m.

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Bear wanders Kelowna on June 15. (Michelle Wallace/Facebook)
Bear climbs fence, uses crosswalk in Kelowna

The bear was spotted on Baron Road Wednesday evening

201 First Street West 1980s. Prior revitalization. (Photo from Revelstoke Museum and Archives)
Man who redesigned downtown Revelstoke honoured with lifetime achievement award

Robert Inwood has worked on historical projects across the province

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A heart of ribbons is seen on the fence of Highroad Academy along Chilliwack Central Road on Friday, June 4, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Orange Heart Memorial campaign launches in Vernon on National Indigenous Peoples Day

North Okanagan Friendship Center raising funds for bench, mural memorializing 215 discovered in Kamloops

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

B.C. Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth and Attorney General David Eby attend opening of the first government-run B.C. Cannabis Store, Kamloops, Oct. 19, 2018. (B.C. government)
B.C. government to allow home cannabis delivery starting July 15

Added convenience expected to persuade buyers to ‘go legal’

Festivals Kelowna president Richard Groves and executive director Renata Mills wrap themselves in the flag during the announcement of preparations for the 2018 Canada Day festival. (Alistair Waters/Capital News)
Festivals Kelowna cancels Canada Day celebrations for second year in a row

The group cited logistic issues in their announcement

Most Read