Blue Night: Friday, September 19th
Open studio at Oxygen Art Centre from 7-9pm
An Imaginarium in progress
What happens when six artists are given free reign of the walls of an art gallery? Imaginarium – a place devoted to the imagination, is an artists’ residency underway at the Oxygen Art Centre and guests will have the chance to take a peek at the progress during an open studio during Blue Night. The walls of the gallery space already burst with colour and imagery created by six emerging Kootenay artists; Amber Santos, Sergio Santos, Chelsey Freyta, Coleman Webb, Bryn Stevenson, and Tanya Pixie Johnson.
Amber and Sergio Santos, who initiated the project, both have experience creating murals and other street art in Canada and in Brazil, where Sergio successfully worked with local government to get street art recognized as a legitimate art form. As in street art, the pair wanted to work collaboratively with other artists to inspire and support each other in the creative process. It results in art that is more eclectic and diverse than any one artist could make on their own and a rich experience for the viewer. “When artists open their process up to collaboration, infinite possibilities arise,” says Amber Santos.
“This exciting project is not just a creative collaboration between these artists. It also marks a unique collaboration between Oxygen Art Centre and the local business community,” says Miriam Needoba, Director of Oxygen Art Centre. Cowan’s Office Supply, Kokanee Camera and Dulux Paint all made generous contributions, and Business for the Arts sponsor Can-Filters developed an air filtration system for the space. “We were concerned about the air quality with six artists painting in the space, especially with the use of spray paints” says Needoba, “so Can-Filters made us a unit that filters out the paint fumes from the air while the artists work.” The project also received support from Osprey Community Foundation – BC Legacy Fund, Columbia Kootenay Alliance, Columbia Basin Trust and British Columbia Arts Council.
The public are invited to check out the vibrant work in progress during an open studio for Blue Night, on Friday September 19th between 7-9pm. The artists will continue to their collaboration until the opening during Culture Days on Friday, September 26th from 7-9pm. The artists will talk about the work on Saturday, September 27th at 4pm. Admission is free and everyone is welcome!
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