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First Summer Debrief

Boat ride to the Arts centre.

Well, summer has passed and fall is in full swing at the Arts Centre. A new commitment to keeping a regular blog is on my list (I have so many lists!).

Well, we had our first summer, with the Arts Centre, and I am only getting around to writing this now. Why? Because summer was full, and I got behind on painting. So the last few weeks, I have immersed myself in just that, painting, which has felt glorious.

Metalwork workshop with Dave Dando

Our doors opened in July with art workshops and a week long summer camp for youth. Visiting instructors, shared their artistic skills, and were well received among the youth. Metalwork with Dave Dando, sculpting with Jody Braun, recycled art with Julie Herman and encaustic painting with Erica Konrad (that's me). Swimming, cherry picking and laughs around the lunch table too.

Professional development workshop at MISSA.

I felt renewed enthusiasm from receiving a grant from the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance and the Nelson and District Arts Council to attend the Metchosin International Summer School of Arts, for some professional development with abstract artist Pauline Conley. A wonderful week of creating, meeting other artists from various disciplines and not having to cook for a week!

A Part from Nature, Erica Konrad, Kootenay Gallery of Art.

Then my own exhibit at the Kootenay Gallery of Art, called 'A Part from Nature,' which highlighted another side of my creative expression with solar prints, silk screened in wax paintings, sculpted spheres, encaustic monotypes, poured wax and mixed media. More workshops, both day long and intensive weekends, to locals and professional artists from beyond our valley. It was tight fitting this between summer camping and sailing with my family but exciting that this Arts Centre is actually happening.

Emily Nilsen,, writer in residence.

Our Artist-in-Residence program kicked off with the Nelson and District Arts Council sponsoring writer Corrine Bundschuh, who is writing a memoir of her grandmother. Writer Emily Nilsen (pictured) also came for an intensive retreat to work on edits for a new book of poems coming out in January.

Finishing touches to the Arts centre were scheduled for ‘back to school,’ as well as time for me to get into the studio on an intensive basis to create. I was so inspired by this summer, meeting professional artists from elsewhere and seeing so much creativity with the local crowd. Fall included a workshop for school youth with a focus on mask making, and collage, with another one coming up, as I am honoured to be part of the Breastfeeding Art expo in the Interior of BC - a project with our local high school youth.

Adult encaustic workshop.

I try to live my life honouring the seasons, and as bears are soon moving into hibernation, and the plant world goes into dormancy, we enter the time of year to retreat and reflect.

The Arts Centre is open mostly for residencies through this time, with a few workshops being held. If you are interested in an Artist residency, please contact us through the website.

Peaceful retreat.

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