Arts & Entertainment Year in Review

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A selection of the best art stories from the first half of 2023.

JANUARY

26 – Artist finds spiritual healing through painting

As a residential school survivor, Daniel Rafael's works were all black and full of angry scribbles.

“I was angry and I didn’t understand why I was angry,” said Rafael, who lives in 70 Mile House.

Today, the indigenous artist uses vibrant oranges, fiery reds and brilliant yellows, the colors of sunsets and nature surrounding cultural symbols like eagles, orcas and ravens.

Art was an important factor in the self-taught artist's healing because it was always a part of his culture. One of his grandfathers carved and also showed Rafael how to do it. He learns from everything, even from his mistakes.

At one point during his journey his art took off and he considered hanging out with Emily Carr like other Indigenous artists did, but he said it was too expensive. “I know my works are worth a lot of money, but that doesn't interest me. I am retired.”

FEBRUARY

9 – Touring band PSO prepares for concert in Whistler

The Peter Skene Ogden High School touring band rehearsed for the Whistler Music Festival.

Orchestra teacher Jasmine O'Leary said they had 30 students ready to travel to Whistler, which gave them a little more motivation to perfect the music pieces.

Liam Guimond was excited to go to Whistler, as it was their first time going out of town to play music. He added that this is the largest group they have had since the pandemic began.

O'Leary said it was difficult during COVID to motivate the students in her group, which has changed this year.

“I really try to choose music that they enjoy playing and that has different challenges so they can develop different skills,” O’Leary said. “This includes their musicality, expression, tone and intonation. I always want to choose something that's a little rhythmically difficult.

23 -Artist inspired by nature in the latest exhibition

Artist Bonita Forsyth erases her mistakes by creating a cougar in a piece she was working on. Although she liked the look of the painting, the image did not match her vision of the painting.

“They're not all perfect and sometimes they don't even look good, but I can see the finished product. So I know I can continue with this and it will work. But yes, I have those moments where I like to wash it.

His exhibition “Inspired by Nature” was on view at Parkside Gallery from February 24 to March 25.

Part of this inspiration came from my life in Lac La Hache. There are so many places and so much wildlife in the area, she said.

“I can just go up to my studio, put on some music, pick up my paintbrush and research my subject, sketch out my stance and my habits,” she said.

MARCH

2 – A photographer shares the soul of Cariboo in a new book

After three years of capturing the soul of the Cariboo, photographer Neil Jolly shared his work in his first book, No more Cariboo.

He said the area is very picturesque with old log cabins and old farm equipment everywhere. He had taken thousands of photos of his new home, noting that the weather conditions here were conducive to stunning landscape photography.

After renting an old cabin on his friend Lyle Wilson's ranch, he fell in love with the peace and beauty of the area and decided to settle here permanently with his dog Frodo and his horse Jackson.

As he got to know the ranch, his photography improved as he got to know the terrain and get a sense of the soul of the place.

9 – A PSO student turns Capstone into a scenario

Grade 12 student Garrett Nash loved well-written stories so much that he decided to try his hand at creating a 40-page script for a short film for his Grade 12 Capstone project.

He said he wanted to write books since he was a child, noting that he was inspired by books like the Robust boys and movies like Ender's Match.

Its storyline tells the story of a man named Gene, who was chased by the cops after an argument with friends and ended up in a car accident, injuring three people. The rest of the story sees Gene atone for his actions and make up for the mistakes he made.

Nash said he intended to pursue a career in writing and after graduation he planned to study journalism at the University of Northern British Columbia in Prince George, saying that he saw journalism as a springboard for writing about real stories.

APRIL

20 – Capturing the essence of a person in graphite

Figure drawing is arguably one of the oldest art forms on the planet and local artist Patsy Granberg said it's one of the most reliable ways to grow and improve in as an artist.

She said it was all about hand coordination and it was super relaxing. It can be very rewarding to find a similarity and something that ultimately makes you feel good. The artist has been taking life drawing lessons for 35 years, but says he has not yet mastered it.

Granberg said he was told many years ago that lots of short drawings improve your abilities more than sitting and drawing for four hours.

When she draws someone, naked or clothed, she focuses on their face, hands and feet. She found that hands can especially be very expressive and give a lot of emotion to a drawing.

Granberg said that while most of her sketches end up starting fires, she considers a class a success if she leaves with at least four sketches that she likes.

27 – A local artist shares his love for wood heating

100 Mile House artist Lisa Haertrich discovered her love for pyrography, or wood burning, during the COVID-19 lockdown. She started out doing it to keep busy, but it has become the focus of her art over the past three years.

When she starts a piece, she spends a lot of time looking at the wood and tends to sketch out her design making sure it is perfect, because once the wood is burned, there is no going back .

She also loved choosing the right pieces of wood to sand and oil. The burned drawing stands out on a pretty piece of varnished wood.

Haerttrich made about 50 pieces and experimented with wood clocks, small posters and canes.

CAN

25 – Bathroom Murals Inspire at Mile 108 Elementary School

The boys' and girls' restroom doors at Mile 108 Elementary School were painted with various murals incorporating inspirational sayings.

Andrea Taylor, chair of the Mile 108 Elementary School Parent Advisory Committee, said she felt the message of these art murals was in alignment with the school district's core operating values ​​of respect , responsibility, kindness, care and acceptance.

She was inspired by similar murals she saw on stall doors at Horse Lake School in 2021.

It took some work to get approval for the project, she said, adding that Mark Doolan, then director of Mile 108, was instrumental in getting the murals approved.

Joanne Young and Elisha Campbell painted the murals. Taylor said they were blown away by what both artists came up with.

JUNE

29 – Dancers showcase their grace and skills during the end of year show

Hundreds of South Cariboo boys and girls showed off their dancing skills at the first annual Raising the Barre Academy of Dance end-of-year show.

It was an opportunity for students to demonstrate what they had learned, said Jelina McLean, who founded the studio last year and said she was incredibly proud of her students' growth over the course of the year. 'year.

The dance has proven popular in the community and has over 200 students.

McLean said all classes, from under-fives to adults, performed at least one dance, including ballet, hip-hop, performance and acrobatics, with several students taking multiple classes.

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