ReImagine connects youth with art community

Penticton Art Gallery celebrates the unveiling of the ReImagine Art Festival on Sept. 27.

Mural artist Glenn Clark with Penticton Art Gallery assistant curator Brooke Nyhus and one of the art pieces Clark painted with a young artist as part of the ReImagine Art Festival earlier this year. The official unveiling of the artwork is Sept. 27. Also on Sept. 27 and 28 is the Penticton Plein Air Painting Event.

Mural artist Glenn Clark with Penticton Art Gallery assistant curator Brooke Nyhus and one of the art pieces Clark painted with a young artist as part of the ReImagine Art Festival earlier this year. The official unveiling of the artwork is Sept. 27. Also on Sept. 27 and 28 is the Penticton Plein Air Painting Event.

When the Penticton Art Gallery celebrates the unveiling of the ReImagine Art Festival on Sept. 27, it will also recognize those who helped make it a reality.

Beginning in the summer, young artists were paired with professional artists, who acted in a mentorship role, helping plan and paint a 2.5-metre square mural on one of gallery’s outside panels.

“We’ve got various teams of artists,” said gallery manger Paul Crawford. “Typically each team consists of one sort of established senior artist and a youth and to be a mentorship-type thing.”

Crawford said he originally wanted to bring the artists together with youth at risk. However, he’s since modified it to accommodate aspiring artists under age 25.

“The whole idea for me  was to try and provide opportunities for youth, the kids that are tagging downtown.” he said. “Sort of give them some direction where they could actually get out, do something and create something of lasting value with their art and learn that there is something you can do beyond you’re tagging ability and that you can actually put your mind behind it and actually create something meaningful and worthwhile and that has beauty.”

Mentors and their partners agreed to put in 40 hours of their time over the course of the summer to see this project through completion.

At the unveiling of their finished piece starting at 3 p.m., each participating youth will give a 10 to 15 minute presentation about their murals and their experiences with their mentors one the duration of the project.

Crawford said he hopes that by participating in the project, youth will come to realize the inspiration and connection their work can have with other artists and the community.

“I think that these people that are professional artists can show these kids that there is something to it (art) … and build some friendships and build self-confidence and self-esteem in these kids,” said Crawford.

The gallery will be publishing a catalogue of each team, their experiences over the summer, and their artist statements that will be available to the participating artists and spectators.

The works will remain outside the gallery for the following year for the public’s enjoyment.

Crawford noted the in addition to the ReImagine festival, artists will be visible along the esplanade at Okanagan Lake Park for Penticton en Plein Air Sept. 27 and 28.

The non-competitive event gives both amateur and professional artists the chance to gather and celebrate the arts community and a crew of artists will be busy capturing the local scenery in the city.

Also happening Sept. 27 is the exhibition opening for three artists. Levi “Snk’lip” George presents Our Nature and features an artist talk from 1 to 2 p.m.

From 2 to 3 p.m. is an artist talk for the exhibit, Distance and Displacement: Kalsang Dawa, Laurie Papou, Joseph Sanchez, Jack Wise and Australian aboriginal artists. An artist talk for the opening of the third exhibit, As Our Garden Grows, Watch Us Heal, happens Oct. 29 at 2 p.m. The exhibits continue to Nov. 9.