It wasn’t until shortly after I attended a couple of performances at the Edmonton’s 34th Annual Fringe Festival that I learned about it being the oldest and largest fringe theatre festivity in North America. Looking back, that explains some things.
Like why Whyte Avenue was a madhouse and why I was able to eat a nutella funnel cake on a Tuesday afternoon while watching a man juggle swords before wandering two blocks over to where a comedy show was happening. It also explains why Fiddler on the Roof the following Saturday was amazing!
As soon as anyone over 16 walks into the Seymour Art Gallery, they feel like a kid again, surrounded by bright whimsical fairies and wicked dragons. The kid-friendly Start with Art show is back for its 13th year of helping kids build art collections with works by celebrated Canadian artists.
Highlighting 16 artists this year, the show brings everything from traditional paintings to felt dolls and creepy mechanical brains with bat wings. Start with Art teaches kids about art and gallery culture, while pricing all the works under $150 so kids can afford it.
“It gives us a real chance to have a conversation with kids about art,” says the show’s curator, Sarah Cavanaugh, who flings a $6 fabric frisbee toy towards the reporter. “All the artists we’ve chosen we think are terrific and collectible.”
Better than a deck of hockey cards, building an art collection from a young age helps kids appreciate the works of art they pick.
“To choose something and then live with it, it’s an amazing gift,” said Cavanaugh.
With all the art at a lower height for kid-friendly viewing, boys and girls can tromp through the show and purchase art, as only those who are under 16 are allowed to buy anything. Kids also get to put the red dot signifying ‘sold’ next to their work, teaching them more about how galleries operate.
“It sort of takes out that lag,” said Cavanaugh, of the time in early adulthood when we often can’t afford to or don’t choose to purchase our own art. This way, says Cavanaugh, when a child goes off to college they can hang art by respected artists on the walls instead of simply posters.
“It’s really rewarding for me to see,” she said. “To be [the gallery] where a kid bought their first piece of art is cool.”
The show runs until May 4 and with about 3,000 people coming through, including several elementary school groups, the Seymour Art Gallery is sure to be abuzz. During the North Shore Arts Crawl, the gallery will be holding a free puppet show for kids.
Initially written for the North Shore Outlook newspaper, April 11 2013. In print and online.
Sadly this week was rather light in terms of beauty shots to share, but here’s a few.
Golya Mirderikvand, exhibitions coordinator at the Cafe for Contemporary Art, in front of two pieces by Grace Gordon-Collins, a North Vancouver resident artist who’s currently showing her work Phantasma at the gallery. Photo: Ley Doctor
Olympic figure skater Patrick Chan hands a Bodwell High School and Academy student a scholarship at their recent graduation ceremony. Photo: Ley Doctor
Canadian abstract artist Pierre Coupey in front of one of his works titled Riverbank I (For RB), photo by Ley Doctor