Kootenay Gallery Newsletter: What’s been happening


August 2017

150+ Creative Acts at Festivals

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On Canada Day, 150+ Creative Acts was at Millennium Park for the afternoon. As part of her participation in 150+ Creative Acts, Shemmaho Goodenough (right) led a group in reciting the oath/affirmation of Canadian citizenship that includes recognition of indigenous treaties. Shemmaho was also at our booth, collecting messages of gratitude for Canada (photo below). Thanks to everyone who participated, especially Shemma.

1   About 3,000 people turned out for the Kootenay Festival, including these kids who made sail boats and fidget spinners. Congrats to our board chair and Kootenay Festival organizer, Audrey Maxwell Polovnikoff and her team for a great day.


150+ Creative Acts in the Community

This month, 150+ Creative Acts went out to Kootenay Society for Community Living and ESL Family Time, part of the Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy. We had a lot of fun with both of the groups.

Gallery Events and News

150 Creative Acts Report

Upcoming Exhibition – Remediating Curtis – August 4 – September 16

Upcoming Exhibition – Class Act  – August 4 – September 16

Poetry Reading by Jordan Abel – August 24

What’s New in the Gift Shop

Save the Date – Kootenay Gallery AGM

Up-coming Artists Workshop – What the $%*# Do They Want? Applications to Galleries – October 21

Other Events & Calls

Dr. Christine Schreyer – Castlegar Public Library – August 2 at 6:30

Art Walk – June 26 – September 17

Columbia Basin Culture Tour – August 12 & 13

Exhibitions around the Kootenays


150+ Creative Acts

It was a fabulous few weeks celebrating creativity. We had 1 exhibition with 6 artists and 721 viewers, 3 school projects with 75 elementary and secondary school students, 5  workshops with 69 participants, 3 festival booths with 132 visitors, and Emma made 3 candles for 477 creative acts! Phew. We were busy. But the project was worth every minute.

Thank you to all of you in the community and beyond who took part. We hope you will keep creating. Thank you to those who supported the project – Mitchell’s Supply Ltd for discounts and space on the fence, to Crumbs for wall space in the Bakery, to Miss Barnes at SHSS and Angela Duclos at KCLC. Thank you to Deb at Zuckerberg Heritage Park and the City of Castlegar for hosting public art. We are grateful to Kootenay Family Place, Kinnaird Elementary, Kootenay Society for Community Living, Columbia Basin Alliance for Literacy, Sun Fest and the Kootenay Festival for letting us come do our workshops. We also appreciated the support of media outlets, including Castlegar News and The Goat.

Val and Maggie want to especially thank Emma Chapman, our summer student, without whom this project wouldn’t have happened. It was a great pleasure to have you here, Emma and best of luck with your studies. emma.jpg

Emma’s Work Experience

I started working at the Kootenay Gallery of Art at the end of May as a summer job between my second and third year at the University of British Columbia Okanagan campus. As a new citizen of Castlegar, I loved the fact that this job required me to go into the local businesses and schmooze with community members. The longer I stayed, the more I realized that working at an art gallery isn’t just about manning the gift shop, and the craziest thing about it was that curator Maggie Shirley and executive director Val Field are the two main people to do it all! Of course, they have help from the board and volunteers, but they are the two who are at the gallery every single day. Both ladies are some of the most accepting, kind people I’ve ever met, and has helped me go out of my comfort zone and branch out into the Castlegar community more than I ever would have on my own.

150+ Creative Acts is a challenge to the local community to send us as many “creative acts” as possible, in an attempt to get people to “wake up” their creative selves. As the project progressed, we faced a problem: the dreaded artistic fear. At festivals, sometimes entire families would come to our booth but only the children would usually participate while the adults barely dared to come closer. And almost every time we asked if they would like to do something, they replied with a “oh no, I’m not an artist.” Time was also an issue for many adults, but something that I’ve found while working on 150+ Creative Acts is that when given the opportunity, the creative self will seep through. We had two workshops that took place at the Kootenay Family Place, and both times the parents stayed longer than the kids to make more and chat with us about how nice it was to create something, and I’m so glad that we got to help them with that.

I, like many others, have gone through periods of just not feeling like harnessing my passions, and therefore grown quite distant from myself. Working at the Kootenay Gallery of Art has changed that in enormous ways! I’ve been exposed to creativity in the community, which has in turn encouraged me to be creative at home. I’ve heard about all the thought that goes into exhibitions by artists, which has taught me how to think more about how I’m expressing myself, and the people around me has provided a safe environment for creative thinking. The more I’ve used my creativity, the closer I’ve gotten to my true self, the happier I’ve become, and the more I’ve healed from the stressors in life, and that’s so important.

Being creative brings you to create unique things that you can be proud of, it gives you goals to work toward, helps in healing, and gives you a break. 150+ Creative Acts showed me that creativity is in everyone – professional artists and scientists alike – and I hope that others can take that away from the project and incorporate it into their daily lives as I hope to do. I have everyone at the Kootenay Gallery of Art to thank for giving me such a wonderful experience.

Emmas Complete Story


Upcoming Exhibition


Stephen Foster

Remediating Curtis

August 4 –  September 16


Opening August 4 at 7:00 pm – everyone welcome

At the turn of the last century, Edward Curtis travelled the North American continent taking photos of the disappearing lifestyle of indigenous cultures. While his photographs brought awareness to the settler community of this immense cultural loss, Curtis often staged his photos and portrayed his subjects in a culturally-inaccurate manner. Artist Stephen Foster, of mixed Haida and European heritage, used Curtis’ body of work as a starting point to examine the colonial legacy entrenched in mass-media and North American popular culture. Foster has created an installation using video, sound and digital photo-montage to explore this topic. He will be in attendance at the opening.

Last month, we stated that Jordan Abel would join us for the opening. That date has changed to August 24 (see below)

Up-Coming Exhibition


Kootenay Gallery of Art

Class Act

Selected Works from the Digital Arts & New Media Program, Selkirk College

August 4 – September 16
Opening August 4 at 7 p.m.

The year-end show of the Digital Arts & New Media Program at Selkirk College featured exciting new work by students. The exhibition will feature selected digital 2-D images and an amazing 3-d projection designed for Nelson’s courthouse. While the world of digital technology may be foreign to some of you, these students are exploring the medium with passion.

Digital Arts & New Media Program


For more upcoming events click here

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