A Cultural Perspective: The art of our experiences

I‘d like to start this piece by thanking all the volunteers and participants of Artists and Dragons on Feb. 18...

I‘d like to start this piece by thanking all the volunteers and participants of Artists and Dragons on Feb. 18. It was a wonderful evening thanks to all your efforts.

We are, all of us, a product of our experiences. Whether they’re good or bad, it is what we experience, and how we react to it that make us who we become in life.

On Saturday night I watched a lion dance (a cultural experience) complete with cabbage tossing, had some delicious Asian food (a culinary experience) and watched artists creating (a visual experience).

As a participating artist, I studied some Chinese watercolour painting techniques (a learning experience), to create a piece. Even though I was nervous at first, I really enjoyed painting in front of an audience (a unique experience).

When I first began experimenting with art, I was looking for a way to deal with my multiple sclerosis, when my insomnia and pain nearly drove me mad (a very unpleasant experience). I made driftwood sculptures, collages, altered books and cards (some lifesaving experiences). I did not have a passion for art until I began painting three years ago (a personal experience). Since moving to Creston two years ago, I have become involved with the arts community (a life experience) and my passion makes me feel like a sponge (a creative experience) trying new things, learning new things and becoming a part of things (a community experience).

The artist community in Creston is very diverse and deep. You can find all different types of artists, mediums and methods here; it’s wonderful. You can join clubs and guilds and societies to develop/explore your art interests and find fellowship through your passion. But what if you don’t know what your passion is (an introspective experience)?

The Wynndel Arts Centre has partnered with the College of the Rockies in offering workshops to help people experience some of the different mediums of art.

They have several spring workshops, so you could explore the experimental approach to acrylics with James McDowell or experiment with a still life in oils with Jenny Steenkamp.

If you’ve always wanted to experience filmmaking, Richard Reeves will be teaching cameraless animation, as well as Super 8 and 16mm filmmaking.

Emmie Roelosfse will be doing workshops on working with pewter (I love pewter) and painting on fabric.

With Bart Bjorkman, you’ll be experiencing the artistic side of concrete, producing concrete garden containers.

If you are not the artist in your family but one of the junior members of the household, they are also offering an after school art course for kids that will have Sandy Kunze as the instructor.

If you are interested in courses, call the College of the Rockies’s Creston campus to register. It has winter workshops going on now and more for fall in the works. I believe that ceramic jewelry and pencil sketching workshops are available, as well as working with clay. If you want more information on becoming involved with the Wynndel Arts Centre as a member, or perhaps teach others and provide them the experience of benefiting from your experience, contact Sandy Kunze at sandykunze@gmail.com.

If you would like the experience of displaying your artwork, there is an exhibition opportunity coming up for Art in the Library from May 7-June 30. Work must be ready to hang and you may be an individual or group. Contact me at loriwikdahl@gmail.com to exhibit.

It’s no wonder that people love to live in the Kootenays, a feast for the eyes and food for the soul. Picasso said, “Paradise is having a passion for many things!” If that’s the case since moving to Creston, I’ve found paradise.

Lori Wikdahl is a Creston Valley artist and a director on the Community Arts Council of Creston board.


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