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Creativity flowering at Penticton's Shatford Centre

The Shatford Centre is buzzing with activity as they gear up for a busy summer season of the arts.

“The summer programs are really exciting and we have a great line up this year,” said Jane Shaak, executive director of the Shatford Centre/Okanagan School of the Arts.

Okanagan artist Bethany Handfield is hosting a series of workshops exploring the art of encaustic in June at the Shatford Centre/Okanagan School of the Arts. The workshops include an introductory course and the basics of encaustic. The art series is the kickoff to the encaustic season in the Okanagan that will culminate with the Waxing Poetic II exhibition and classes in September and the continuation of the legacy left by Thea Haubrich to promote encaustic artists living in the Okanagan.

Haubrich, who died in 2013, brought the style of encaustic to Penticton from Europe and promoted the art through workshops and networking. An endowment fund was created to provide ongoing financial support to artists who want to take classes.

“We are very excited about the Okanagan being one of the premier hotspots for encaustic in Canada and also the draw that having such a centre here is for tourism and the folks coming to take art class based vacations,” said Handfield.

In September, the CanwaxWest group will host out-of-town artists for six days of encaustic instruction along with the Waxing Poetic II exhibition. This continues Haubrich’s legacy of teaching and promoting the art.

New this summer to the Shatford Centre are pottery classes with ceramic artist Kathleen Murphy. Classes for kids and adults begin in June and include a fun introduction to the art of clay which includes both wheel throwing and hand building techniques.

From June 13 to 15, the Shatford Centre will host artist Ellie Sheepens, a 3-D artist who will be teaching Heather Spears’ work Stranger Than A Wolf. In the course students will attempt sculpting the head from the neck up using a combination of sculpting and forensic reconstruction.

“This is a unique opportunity to work with your own hands and personal anatomy in 3-D through studying your own face as you go,” said Sheepens. “People have been extremely interested, involved and fascinated because it is so close to the self. It’s a subtle way to get to know yourself in a new way. It’s a tedious process with an extremely rewarding result.”

Spears herself follows that up with a life drawing four day intensive from June 16 to 19. This course is for beginner to advanced and has artists drawing different models from newborn to seniors, to learn about growth, likeness, recognition, expression and more.

A three-day portrait painting workshop, Portrait Painting with a Full Palette, is a unique opportunity for students of all levels to learn the process of painting the portrait in oils. Kirsty Gordon, whose paintings hang in more than 500 collections worldwide, will centre on the experience of painting from a live model over the three days, July 18 to 20.

Artist Anne McElroy will introduce students to an understanding of the principles of abstract painting and creating abstract art during a weekend workshop July 25 to 27.

Instructor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Lori Goldberg, is hosting Capture Naramata, a workshop for all levels from Aug. 8 to 10. She hopes painters become inspired by the colourful orchards, vineyards and historical buildings in what she calls “painters’ paradise.” Students will spend the day in Naramata drawing, painting or photographing three different locations, be given demos on techniques and then head back to the studio at the Shatford to complete a painting.

The Emily Carr University of Art and Design and Okanagan School of the Arts have also teamed up for an intensive six-day workshop with instructor Karen Yurkovich from Aug. 18 to 23. Shaak said these are accredited courses offered and students can use these to apply for a certificate of fine arts from Emily Carr. They require six modules and this summer’s course is two modules.

“This is a foundational piece for visual arts with textures, design, composition and colours. It will give everyone a really solid footing for their art career,” said Shaak. “This is a phenomenal art university and we are in negotiation to continue this. They actually have three satellite locations and we are one of them.”

For more information on courses, artist talks, exhibitions and fees visit www.shatfordcentre or or www.osarts.com.

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