Chris Millin of Saint-Germain Café and Isaac Gilbert of Peach Gravy have teamed up to offer a night of art, music and storytelling at the café. Steve Kidd/Western News

Postcard art and stories from between the lakes

Art, music and storytelling in Penticton on the darkest night of the year

Peach Gravy Theatre Cooperative and Saint-Germain Café are teaming up to celebrate the solstice with an evening of art, music and storytelling on Dec. 21.

The evening includes an auction of postcard paintings created by local artists like Kristian Adam, Bill Blair, Alexandra Goodall, Endrene Shepherd, Jenny Long, Sarah Fahey and more. While the auction is going on, you can listen to music by local performers and stories from people living between our two lakes.

Isaac Gilbert, founder of Peach Gravy, said he was inspired to get together with Christopher Millin of Saint-Germain Café after doing a storytelling event there during the Arts Rising Festival.

“I did an improvised storytelling, which was a create my own adventure. Throughout my storytelling, I would ask for a prompt and then I would continue the story with that prompt and add it to the story,” said Gilbert. One of the goals for Peach Gravy, he continued, is to include as many different artists as possible at events, which fit perfectly with the postcard painting auction Millin was working on for the café.

Millin has held the café’s first postcard auction about two years ago, making this PSTCRD II. He says he got the idea when he was still living in Vancouver.

“That’s actually how I got started collecting art.”

Gilbert suggested creating an evening that mixed storytelling and local musicians with the postcard auction, and the idea for a major solstice event was born. Gilbert said it’s an ambitious project, bringing all these people together, but one he hopes Penticton gets behind — he is hoping it can be a regular item, with events on the winter and summer solstices, as well as the spring and fall equinoxes.

Gilbert said he’s always been intrigued by the idea of the stars signalling a time of change, and the darkest day of the year, along with the other three cardinal days, are great times to come together in celebration.

“We have talked about how do we make downtown vibrant? How do we bring people downtown? How do we bring our community together?” said Gilbert, adding that is one of the goals of the Peach Gravy Cooperative.

“(Our) mission is to bring theatre, performance workshops, classes into the community and this goes hand-in-hand with that. It’s about making sure that we as artists connect with other artists in town, bringing those multi-disciplined people together into one event,” said Gilbert.

The Postcard Art Auction takes place from 5 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 21 and is free to the public. Fifteen artists each created five pieces of art, for a total of 75 pieces of art to be auctioned off.

Stories Between Two Lakes follows at 7 p.m., with eight storytellers living in Penticton and the valley sharing their stories — some true, some fiction and some made up on the spot. Tickets for the storytelling session are $10, available at Saint-Germain Café and online at eventbrite.com. From 9 p.m. to midnight, it’s music and mingling until the auction closes at midnight.


Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
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