Last June, Community Arts Council of Williams Lake invited poet, spoken word artists and facilitator Sonya Littlejohn to facilitate our wildfire workshop series, 100 Recipes for Ashes. These workshops guided participants to write through traumatic events, while building skills in creativity. Read more to find out about this conscious and talented writer.
Few artists embrace mystery and muse as devotedly as Miss White Spider Arts’ Al-Lisa McKay. Her body of work resembles her in spirit, beauty and alchemy. She was born to do it, to create work that belongs in a sophisticated fairy tale. As you absorb it, whether it be paintings, music, theatre or dolls, an underlying connectivity emerges, drawing the observer into the art experience.
Local polymath Ciel Patenaude (polymath: a person of wide-ranging knowledge or learning) is a true champion for the practice of art making. Whether it be for her health and wellness clients or the little people she teaches, Ciel incites a knowing passion for the transformative practice of making art.
Driving through the autumn fog, I am on my way to meet painter Simone Benjamin. In the fog, the lines of reality are blurred, and it has been said the veils between worlds are lifted. It would seem that artists of all media understand the notion that ideas and inspiration are often not of their own making. The artist opens, receives, and transmits in the act of creation, and what remains is a unique impression of the world around them. For the fine-artist, the style in which the impression comes through is akin to a fingerprint: to each, his or her own.
There’s a little slice of heaven round the corner from here. A river dances through it, and all the birds gather there. A songbird makes her home, builds her nest, in the middle of it all. Voice smooth and bright, its gossamer tones wave in the wind, her calling card.
When musician and artist Rup Sidhu, aka RupLoops, first started playing music, he knew the expanse of feeling was something he needed to pursue. He’d been writing and performing spoken word, teaching and performing theatre, but what music offered him was something new. Within that spaciousness, he could extend the rhymes he had been crafting, encircling them with sounds both electronic and organic.
Kevin Yang is a remarkable young man. Let’s just start there, and get it out front. Calm, connected and talented, he’s essentially a renaissance man in a 17 year old’s body. Here’s why: he’s managing a grade 12 workload, whilst excelling at soccer and holding down a part time job. Then there’s the music. He plays drums, guitar and ukulele, is in a band with his older brother Jin, is a member of his church’s band and teaches a few students on the side. And Kevin slays on the guitar.
There are no wrong turns on the way to the centre.
The artist and her muse plunge headlong into the waters of the unconscious, pulling up the dreams and tendrils of meaning, lovingly molding them into form. Sweeping aside the perspective of the other, she and her muse whirl around in the ethers, then tumble down into the material to see what will become of it. They shape and create in the round, bringing the dream into ground.
On the windswept plains near Mankota, Saskatchewan, a young boy rides a pinto pony, following his mother as she checks the cattle on the vast ranch she and her family have worked for generations. The boy, not much older than a toddler, sensed the land was alive. Something about this land, its great silence, left its mark on the boy.