Oxygen Art Centre

Upstream Benefits – Rural Art Symposium line up announced! 

‘Upstream Benefits – Rural Art Symposium’ is a 4-day-long symposium that explores and celebrates the role and impact that the arts have in rural communities and will bring into focus artist-run culture in the Kootenays.  Symposium programming includes multiple panel discussions, artist talks, literary readings, a night of music and an art exhibition.  All symposium programming is free to attend and everyone is welcome!  (Donations are appreciated.)  The symposium takes place November 23 – 26, 2017 at multiple venues in Nelson, B.C.  More info online at www.oxygenartcentre.org

 

‘Upstream Benefits’ symposium panel and presentation topics include subjects like “Arts as Rural Revitalizer”, that examines the role that the arts play as an economic and social driver from a rural perspective.  Julie Fowler, director of ArtsWells Festival, Carla Stephenson, director at Tiny Lights Festival in Ymir and Laura White, Coordinator and instructor at Kootenay Studio Arts at Selkirk College come together for this panel and will share their extensive experience and knowledge about the pros and cons of producing art in a rural context and the value this brings to the community.    Guest speakers for “Rural Art and the Institution” panel on Saturday, November 25th at 11am are Sue Donaldson, Program Officer BC Arts Council, Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte, President Pacific Association of Artist-Run Centres, Krista Patterson, Executive Director Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance and Julie Fowler, wearing her Vice Chair of Arts BC hat. Please join us in welcoming these experienced representatives of vital arts organizations, who hold a wealth of knowledge about the current climate for art in British Columbia.

 

The impact place has on rural writers, and the impact that the arts have in rural communities will be explored in a panel discussion and reading Saturday, Nov. 25.  Participating in the panel discussion at 2 pm will be 2011-2013 Canadian poet laureate Fred Wah, and University of B.C. Okanagan author, eco-art organizer, and award-winning teacher Nancy Holmes.  Wah, a Governor General’s Literary Award winner, taught English and writing in Nelson and Castlegar from 1967 to 1989. Holmes founded Kelowna’s Woodhaven Eco Culture Centre, a joint initiative of UBCO and the Regional District of the Central Okanagan. The panel is entitled “Who Are We? Presenting and Representing Rural Communities” and is moderated by Slocan Valley poet and Oxygen Art Centre co-founder, Tom Wayman.  Then at 7 p.m., Wah and Holmes will be joined by Slocan Valley poet Jordan Mounteer, to read from their work and talk about how their creativity is influenced by where they live.  The afternoon literary panel discussion and evening reading is co-sponsored by Nelson’s Elephant Mountain Literary Festival.

 

 

For the “Art in Rural Climes” panel on Saturday, Nov. 25 at 2pm guest speakers Paul Crawford and Sylvia Grace Borda will give presentations about some of their fascinating work. Crawford, who is curator at the Penticton Art Gallery, will speak about a very timely exhibition he curated called, Behind the Lines: Contemporary Syrian Art.  Borda will deliver a presentation that she has created for this symposium called  “Regional Identity and Rural Culture – it’s so much more”.  Overall, rural Canada is in the midst of unprecedented economic, cultural, and ecological change. These dynamics demand both new strategies for engagement and a reappraisal of what outcomes are most meaningful to individuals and communities.   Then that evening at 7pm, Borda will pitch her new project “Kissing Trail”!  Following this is an evening of music starting at 8pm, with Kootenay musicians Bessie Wapp and Kiyo Elkuf.

 

The “Advice for Artists” panel on Sunday, November 26 at 11am at Oxygen Art Centre, will be an excellent opportunity for emerging and mid-career artists to gain useful insights into what curators look for in an exhibition submission, from the perspective of curators representing public galleries in Penticton, Castlegar and Nelson. Guest speakers on this panel are Paul Crawford, Penticton Art Gallery, Maggie Shirley, Kootenay Gallery of Art and Arin Fay, Touchstones Nelson.  Then at 2pm all 10 artists in the ‘Upstream Benefits: Artist-Run Culture in the Kootenays’ exhibition will join show curators Arin Fay and Miriam Needoba for the final event of the symposium taking place at Touchstones Nelson, ‘Meet the Artists”.  Fay will call on her approximately 20 years of knowledge of these artists and their practices, to lead an animated discussion about the exhibition, which asked these artists to show a pivotal piece from the artist’s past and a new work in the context of their practice as rural artists.   This exhibition is a co-production between Nelson arts organizations Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History and Oxygen Art Centre.

 

“The ‘Upstream Benefits’ project has been many years and iterations in the making and has been developed in collaboration with many West Kootenay artists” says Miriam Needoba, who is Oxygen Art Centre’s Executive Director and is also responsible for the symposium programming.  According to Needoba, this project represents a survey of artist-run culture in the West Kootenays, and one that has been developed in response to feedback from a Canada Council grant officer, whom suggested discussing Oxygen Art Centre project proposals through a “meta-curatorial lens”: Why here?  Why this here? Inspired by these comments and several years and group grant applications later… Artist and curator Maggie Shirley came up with the title “Upstream Benefits” and the rest will soon be history!  Full symposium and exhibition details can be found online at www.oxygenartcentre.org.

 

Oxygen Art Centre gratefully acknowledges support for this programming from Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance, Columbia Basin Trust, British Columbia Arts Council and Province of British Columbia, Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History, The Writers’ Union of Canada, Elephant Mountain Literary Festival, Pacific Association of Artist-Run Centres, City of Nelson, Region District of Central Kootenay, Hall Printing, Nelson Star, I Love Nelson  and the Hume Hotel.

 

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Press contact:

Miriam Needoba

P: 250 352 5905

E: office@oxygenartcentre.org

 

Cutlines: Julie Fowler, Paul Crawford, Fred Wah and Nancy Holmes

and Upstream symposium event schedule

 

Continue reading for complete symposium event details with link to all events:

https://oxygenartcentre.org/upstream-benefits-symposium-schedule/

 

Symposium venues:

Oxygen Art Centre is located at 320 Vernon Street in Nelson (back alley entrance)

Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History is located at 502 Vernon Street in Nelson

 

Symposium schedule (click on event names to link to complete listings):

Thursday, November 23, 2017


7pm – THE ARTS AS RURAL REVITALIZER panel at Oxygen Art Centre


Guest speakers: Julie Fowler, Executive Director of Island Mountain Arts, Carla Stephenson, ED Tiny Lights Festival and Laura White, Coordinator/Jewelry Instructor, Kootenay Studio Arts at Selkirk College. 
Moderator: Miriam Needoba, ED Oxygen Art Centre
This panel discussion examines the role of the arts as an economic and social driver from a rural perspective.  Guest speakers Julie Fowler, Carla Stephenson and Laura White will share their extensive experience and knowledge about the pros and cons of producing art in a rural context and the value it brings. (More info: https://oxygenartcentre.org/upstream-benefits-symposium-the-arts-as-rural-revitalizer/)

 

Friday, November 24


2pm – PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT FOR ARTS ORGANIZERS  at Oxygen Art Centre


Mentor: Julie Fowler (Registration required and space is limited E: info@oxygenartcentre.org)
For this professional development opportunity interested participants need to register by email and submit a question or a topic for discussion relating to producing arts programming and events.  Participants must have some prior experience in production and will be asked to submit a short biography outlining this experience. (More info: https://oxygenartcentre.org/upstream-benefits-symposium-professional-development-for-arts-organizers/)

 

7pm  – KISSING TRAIL PROJECT LAUNCH with artist Sylvia Grace Borda at Oxygen Art Centre

Join us for a presentation about creating a “Kissing Trail” in Nelson. A reception follows.  This event is co-presented by Oxygen Art Centre and Touchstones Nelson Museum of Art and History with support from the Hamber Foundation. (More info: https://oxygenartcentre.org/upstream-benefits-symposium-kissing-trail-project/)

 

8pm – BESSIE WAPP & KIYO ELKUF – a night of music at Oxygen Art Centre

Kootenay-raised musicians Bessie Wapp and Kiyo Elkuf are so “rural” they make the distinction between one growing up in Queens Bay versus the other growing up near Toad Rock a few kilometres down the highway!  Please join us for a night of music and reflections about becoming an artist in the Kootenays. (More info: https://oxygenartcentre.org/upstream-benefits-symposium-bessie-wapp-kiyo-elkuf/)

 

 

Saturday, November 25


11am – RURAL ART AND THE INSTITUTION panel at Oxygen Art Centre


Guest speakers: Julie Fowler, Vice Chair Arts BC, Sue Donaldson, Program Officer BC Arts Council, Mariane Bourcheix-Laporte, President Pacific Association of Artist-Run Centres and Krista Patterson, Executive Director Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance.
Please join us in welcoming these experienced representatives of vital arts organizations, who hold a wealth of knowledge about the current climate for art in British Columbia. (More info: https://oxygenartcentre.org/upstream-benefits-symposium-rural-art-and-the-institution/)

 

2pm – WHO ARE WE? PRESENTING AND REPRESENTING RURAL COMMUNITIES panel at Oxygen Art Centre 

Guest speakers: Fred Wah, Nancy Holmes and Tom Wayman

Given the concentration of Canadian media and cultural and educational institutions in the urban, rural communities (whether human or biological) appear in the national conversation mainly on the occasion of a disaster. That leaves rural artists, including literary artists, as the people to present an accurate depiction of their milieu.
But any form of artistic representation involves a range of issues, including questions of audience, societal status of the art form, qualifications and authority to speak, and more. Exploring some of their own experiences in (re)presenting communities will be authors and educators Fred Wah and Nancy Holmes. Introduced and moderated by Tom Wayman. (More info: https://oxygenartcentre.org/upstream-benefits-symposium-who-are-we-presenting-and-representing-rural-communities/)

 

4pm – ART IN RURAL CLIMES panel at Oxygen Art Centre
Guest speakers: Paul Crawford and Sylvia Grace Borda

Both panelists will give a presentation about some of their fascinating work.  Paul Crawford, curator at the Penticton Art Gallery, will speak about a very timely exhibition he curated with Syrian curator Humam Alsalim called, Behind the Lines: Contemporary Syrian Art. Sylvia Grace Borda will deliver a presentation that she has created for this symposium called  “Regional Identity and Rural Culture – it’s so much more”.  Overall, rural Canada is in the midst of unprecedented economic, cultural, and ecological change. These dynamics demand both new strategies for engagement and a reappraisal of what outcomes are most meaningful to individuals and communities. (More info: https://oxygenartcentre.org/upstream-benefits-symposium-art-in-rural-climes/)

 

7pm – LOCATED AND DISLOCATED: A READING

BY NANCY HOLMES, JORDAN MOUNTEER AND FRED WAH at Oxygen Art Centre

The writing of the three featured B.C. poets is often deeply rooted in a certain rural landscape. As they present their work, the authors will discuss how their creativity is influenced by the locales in which they live.  (More info: https://oxygenartcentre.org/upstream-benefits-symposium-located-and-dislocated-readings/)

Presented with financial assistance from The Canada Council for the Arts through The Writers’ Union of Canada.

 

Sunday, November 26


11am –  ADVICE FOR ARTISTS panel at Oxygen Art Centre

Guest curators : Paul Crawford, Penticton Art Gallery, Maggie Shirley, Kootenay Gallery of Art and Arin Fay, Touchstones Nelson
Moderator – Ian Johnston
This is an excellent opportunity for emerging and mid-career artists to gain useful insights into what curators look for in an exhibition submission, from the perspective of curators representing public galleries in Penticton, Castlegar and Nelson. Presenters will discuss the interests of the organizations they work for, as well as share some of their own particular curatorial interests.  Nelson-based visual artist Ian Johnston will moderate this panel and will draw on his own learning experiences getting his artwork out in the world and into the gallery. (More info: https://oxygenartcentre.org/upstream-benefits-symposium-advice-for-artists/)

 

2pm – MEET THE ARTISTS event at Touchstones Nelson


‘Upstream Benefits: Artist-Run Culture in the Kootenays’ exhibition artists Courtney Andersen, Susan Andrews Grace, Amy Bohigian, Brent Bukowski, Boukje Elzinga, Ian Johnston, Maggie Shirley, Natasha Smith, Deborah Thompson and Rachel Yoder. Presented by Exhibition Curators Arin Fay and Miriam Needoba.
All ten exhibiting artist will join Arin Fay in a ‘MEET THE ARTISTS’ talk as part of the symposium programming at Touchstones. Arin will use her approximately 20 years of knowledge of these artists and their practices to lead an animated discussion about the exhibition, which asked these artists to show a pivotal piece from the artist’s past and a new work in the context of their practice as rural artists.  (More info: https://oxygenartcentre.org/upstream-benefits-symposium-advice-for-artists/)

this photo…Fred Wah..NORTH OF INVENTION: A FESTIVAL OF CANADIAN POETRY at the Poets House in Battery Park today, co-presented with the Kelly Writers House and funded in parts by the Canada Council for the Arts. Charles Bernstein, Sarah Dowling, M. NourbeSe Philip, Fred Wah, Stephen Collis, Jordan Scott, a.rawlings, Lisa Robertson, etc participated. Exclusive Photos by Lawrence Schwartzwald