Youth Art Retreat at The Narrows

Who: Youth (15 – 18 yrs.)

When: July 2, 2024 + July 3 – 5, 2024 

Where: The Narrows Art Retreat (Nelson, B.C.)

With: Dr. Michelle Jack + Tracie Stewart via Oxygen Art Centre

What: Art, land-based practices

Explore connections with self, water, and land during a three-day, two-night retreat at The Narrows Art Retreat (Nelson, B.C.) from July 3 – 5, 2024. 

Dr. Michelle Jack, an Artist /Educator and sqilxʷ/syilx (Okanagan) person, with Tracie Stewart, an artist, naturalist, arborist, and creative from Terrace, with Scottish/ Doukhobor background, invite you to join them at The Narrows Youth Art Retreat as they share techniques in building with natural materials. 

Together we will reference the land while making prayer flags to respect all the timxʷ (all living things), the təmúlaʔxʷ (earth/mother), siwɬkʷ (water), and kʷl’ncútən (creator). We will then reference ourselves and our journey in life as we work in a team to build one functional boat and individual vessels.

When creating work, sustainability has to be considered in every sense. We will encourage youth to explore these concepts from their own personal backgrounds. Participants can expect to engage in a daily sketching practice to document our experiences as we learn about ourselves, the water, and the lands around us in this immersive experience.

Participants will travel by boat to The Narrows Art Retreat to share this retreat experience with four other youth between the ages of 15-18 years old. Oxygen’s Education Coordinator Natasha Smith will be on site to support throughout.

Together we will share accommodation, meals, and learning for three-days, two-nights in July 2024. Before the retreat itself, everyone will meet at Oxygen Art Centre for an orientation on July 2, 2024, from 1:00 – 2:00 PM. 

All food, accommodation, art materials, and transportation to and from the retreat centre are included.

FEE: $125

Method: E-transfer or Credit Card (E-transfer to or Cheque

Deadline to apply: MAY 17, 2024 at 5PM PST

Note: Only five spots are available for this opportunity.

Contact Natasha Smith (Education Coordinator) via with any questions.

Meet the Artists!

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Dr. Michelle Jack is a syilx/Okanagan creative from the communities of snpintktn (Penticton, BC) and nisɬpícaʔ (Omak, WA). She has her PhD from Washington State University in Transnational  (American Studies) with focus on Indigenous and Intercultural communication. She is a mother, working Abstract Image Maker/Scholar, who has a BFA from the University of New Mexico and an MFA from the University of Washington both in Studio Arts and Photography. Before her PhD studies she taught grades 6-8 on the Coeur D’Alene Reservation in Idaho. She has taught for 12 years at the En’owkin Centre which has a very diverse age range of learners from youth to elders. She uses her traditional sqilxʷ /syilx experiences to enhance her art practice and teaching methods as current head of Visual and Creative arts at En’owkin Centre, in snpintktn (Penticton) on the Penticton Indian Band reserve.

Tracie Stewart (mother of 2 residing in Stolo Territory) is an international collaborative installation artist -ECCAD ’95- Arborist/ Naturalist -ISA ’09. Interested in exchanging many ways of knowing with youth, she facilitates projects using Teen Talking Circle skills/ values with Artstarts, and ARTCI inc. From Terrace, BC, Tracie experienced being a settler youth raised in a logging town with high substance abuse and suicide rates. Art saves lives.  Her roots of Doukhobor (Plotnikoff-meaning people that work with hands), and Scottish (Stewart) water people, farmers, and loggers influence a daily practice. Immersion in the elements, and the intersection of land + language, influences her practice of spatial linear drawing /sculpture using natural materials. “Geopoetic Symposium’ 22“,  Walking the Stalew ’21”, “Salt water Skin Boats ‘18” Grimm collaborations,” PLOT medicine wheel + sharing garden” -Newton,  “ACSS Mural“ ‘19  artstarts, Neel, ARTCI , “Tidewater Tales”, Brittania-Shipyard- Artistic innovation award, Coq125 -Artists rendering Tales Collective inc.  @tracie_stewart_artist

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