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Author Reading Series, Education, and moreAUTHOR READING SERIES22 February 2023 @ 6:00 PM PST (Zoom)
Kaitlyn PurcellRegister via EventBrite to attend
Oxygen Art Centre’s Author Reading Series begins its 2023 season on Wednesday February 22nd at 6:00 PM PST on Zoom featuring Joshua Whitehead and Kaitlyn Purcell.
Joshua Whitehead is a Two-Spirit, Oji-nêhiyaw member of Peguis First Nation (Treaty 1). He is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary where he is housed in the departments of English and International Indigenous Studies (Treaty 7).
In the last few years, following the publication of his debut novel Jonny Appleseed, Joshua Whitehead has emerged as one of the most exciting and important new voices on Turtle Island.
In his first non-fiction work, Whitehead explores Indigeneity, queerness, and the relationships between body, language, and land through a variety of genres (essay, memoir, notes, confession). Making Love with the Land (2022, Knopf Canada) is a startling, heart wrenching look at what it means to live as a queer Indigenous person “in the rupture” between identities.
Whitehead’s Jonny Appleseed won Canada Reads 2021, was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction and the Canada First Novel Award and won the 2019 Lambda Literary Award for gay fiction, in addition to having been optioned for a four-part digital miniseries.
Joining Whitehead is artist, poet, storyteller, and scholar, Kaitlyn Purcell who is a proud member of Smith’s Landing First Nation, and the Writing Revolution in Place creative research collective. She is a PhD student at the University of Calgary studying Indigenous Literatures, Creative Writing, and Community-Based Learning.
Purcell’s debut book, ʔbédayine (2019, Metatron Press) follows narrator, Ronnie, who learns what it is to be a young Indigenous woman, almost-alone in the city; unable to hear herself over its noise, see through the glare of its lights to find the ground beneath her feet. Winner of the 2018 Metatron Prize for Rising Authors and nominated for a 2020 Indigenous Voices Award, Purcell’s writing is a poetic force to reckon with the complexities of an Indigenous female narrator.
In talking about the book, Purcell shares that “ʔbédayine is a series of stories inspired by my adolescent years in Edmonton. ʔbédayine is about sexual sovereignty. It’s about Indigenous ways of knowing, the importance of community, and the effects of intergenerational trauma. I’ve always loved my mother’s hometown Fort Smith, but, like most small communities, it seems like a difficult place for queerness to exist” (2018, Metatron Press).
Copies of Whitehead’s and Purcell’s books will be available at Nelson’s Otter Books or can be ordered online in advance of the reading. Those interested in attending the event can register via Eventbrite through the link on Oxygen’s website and social media accounts.
Join us on Wednesday, February 22, 2023 @ 6:00 PM PST on Zoom to participate in the first instalment of the Author Reading Series featuring Joshua Whitehead and Kaitlyn Purcell. Admission is free or by donation. Register via EventBrite to attend.
This event is generously supported by this Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance.
ABOUT THE AUTHORSJoshua Whitehead (he/him) is a Two-Spirit, Oji-nêhiyaw member of Peguis First Nation (Treaty 1). He is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary where he is housed in the departments of English and International Indigenous Studies (Treaty 7).
He is the author of full-metal indigiqueer (Talonbooks 2017) which was shortlisted for the inaugural Indigenous Voices Award and the Stephan G. Stephansson Award for Poetry. He is also the author of Jonny Appleseed (Arsenal Pulp Press 2018) which was long listed for the Giller Prize, shortlisted for the Indigenous Voices Award, the Governor General’s Literary Award, the Amazon Canada First Novel Award, the Carol Shields Winnipeg Book Award, and won the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Fiction, the Georges Bugnet Award for Fiction and Canada Reads 2021.
Whitehead is the editor of Love after the End: An Anthology of Two-Spirit and Indigiqueer Speculative Fiction, which won the Lambda Award in 2021.
Whitehead’s latest book Making Love with the Land was published in 2022 with Knopf Canada, exploring the intersections of Indigeneity, queerness, and, most prominently, mental health through a nêhiyaw lens. The book was shortlisted for the Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Award for Nonfiction.
You can also find his work published widely in such venues as Prairie Fire, CV2, EVENT, Arc Poetry Magazine, The Fiddlehead, Grain, CNQ, Write, and Red Rising Magazine.
Kaitlyn Purcell (she/her) is Denesuline-Irish and an urban member of Smith’s Landing First Nation. Kaitlyn is a PhD candidate at the University of Calgary whose creative research meditates on mommy issues and intergenerational healing. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including a doctoral SSHRC award and the Metatron Prize for her debut poetic novella ʔbédayine. Her writing can be found on Artspeak, Esker Foundation, and YYZ Artist Outlet.REGISTERMOREEDUCATIONRegister today for Oxygen’s Spring 2023 Semester! We are thrilled to share an exciting line up of classes ranging from drawing and painting to acting and screen printing and more!
Spaces are limited + going quickly! Register via www.oxygenartcentre.org
*Please note a few updates to the semester and schedule as of 11 January 2023.Sculptural Lantern Making
w/ Myra RasmussenIN PERSON
1 Class: Feb. 4
Saturday 9:30am – 3:30pm (1hr lunch)Explore a lantern making technique that combines wire, string and paper, which instructor Myra Rasmussen learned from artist Chiba Sakuryu at the Aomori Nebuta Lantern festival. Participants will make a wire frame, cover it with paper, and paint with ink, wax, and dye. Lanterns will be lit with battery powered LEDs. Myra will demonstrate how to make a wearable headpiece resembling a frog. Students can follow her example, or make their own shape. Following the class, we encourage all participants to bring their lanterns to the Polka Dot Dragon Lantern Festival, held at Lakeside Park on the evening of Feb. 11th, 5 – 7pm.All Materials provided by The Polka Dot Dragon Arts SocietyTOTAL FEE: $75Moth Catchers w/ Jim HolyoakONLINE
5 Classes: Feb. 6 – Mar. 6
Mondays: 8 – 10pmMoth Catchers is a nighttime sketchbooking club. As a relaxed, exploratory practice, drawing can be an effective form of mindfulness. Via Zoom, and with a webcam above his hands for demonstration, artist Jim Holyoak will lead participants through weekly sketchbook exercises, including: warmups, air/water drawing, speed/pressure/cadence, drawing two-handed and with the non-dominant hand, blind self-portraits by touch, automatism, asemic writing (handwriting without semantic content), synesthetic drawing (drawing from sound, touch, etc.), modes of hatching, modes of contour drawing, drawing from video/film, drawings as gift exchange, negative-space creatures, hybrid drawings (such as animal/machine and house/mountain), scale (microcosm/macrocosm), drawing from memory, and approaches to drawing cartoons and comics. These exercises will be punctuated with discussion, creative writing exercises, and presentations about nighttime as subject matter, including Nocturnes, Lullabies, and ecologies of silence and darkness. Material Fee: Material ListCourse Fee: $120TOTAL FEE: $120REGISTERWriting What We Love
w/ Susan Andrews GraceONLINE
5 Classes: Feb. 8 – Mar. 8
Wednesdays: 1:30 – 3:30pmThis workshop will prompt students to bring poems that they love and admire to then develop skills and techniques to develop your own craft. Together we will investigate theory and poetic form. Through this course students will develop skills to move beyond self-consciousness in composition and come to see poetry with fresh eyes. The formal response to your study will be in your own writing. TOTAL FEE: $120Fantastical Futures: Drawing from the Imagination w/ Deborah ThompsonIN PERSON
4 Classes: Feb. 8, 22, Mar. 1, 8 (no class Feb.15)
Wednesdays: 5:30 – 8:30pmThis four week playful, process-based drawing course will focus on drawing from our imaginations to create a variety of hybrid creatures. Numerous prompt-like exercises from photographs, dreams, text, sound, and a model will aid in the development of an imaginative world in your drawings. Students will engage in collaborative drawing exercises to encourage a non-rational mind. Each class will highlight the work of a contemporary artist whose work exemplifies the ideas and processes presented. Some attention will be given to drawing materials and techniques such as line quality, proportion, scale, tonal range, and texture development, as well as the use of graphite, ink, chalk, and pencil crayon.Material Fee: $25 + Material ListCourse Fee: $180TOTAL FEE: $205REGISTERBeginner Drawing
w/ Catherine McIntoshIN PERSON
6 Classes: Feb. 24 – Apr. 21 (no class Apr.7)
Fridays: 5:30 – 8:30pmThrough a mixture of experimental exercises and longer observational drawings, this course will cover the basics of drawing to build awareness of line, volume, and form. Whether you are doing this for pleasure or wanting to develop your drawing technique, this is a great foundational course that is broadly applicable to a range of creative processes. Material Fee: $25 + Material ListCourse Fee: $260TOTAL FEE: $285Solo Performance Development
w/ Bessie WappIN PERSON
8 Classes: Feb. 16 – Apr. 20 (no classes Mar. 16 & 23)
Thursdays: 7 – 9pmIs there a particular story you’re burning to tell? An entire show already written in your head? Or maybe just a few words scrawled on a scrap of paper? Whatever the starting place, through writing exercises, improvisation, and supportive peer feedback we will move everyone’s projects forward, and share what we get up to with invited guests in the last class. Material List: Notebook pen/pencilTOTAL FEE: $230REGISTERPainting from a Model #1 (no instruction)IN PERSON
1 Class: Feb. 19
Sunday: 1-5pmParticipants will have the opportunity to work from a model holding a single pose for an extended session (3.5 hours). No instruction is offered. Participants will be asked to bring their own materials in their preferred medium.TOTAL FEE: $35Investigating the Actor’s Process
w/ Valerie CampbellIN PERSON
1 Class: Feb. 18
Saturday: 10am – 4pm (1/2hr lunch)This workshop will offer an immersive day of exploration and investigation to open the doors to actor’s work.The course will increase spontaneity, playfulness, and freedom with the intention to move out of comfort zones towards an expanded, fuller expression of your creative self.Suitable for both aspiring actors and those interested in the creative process.TOTAL FEE: $90REGISTERA Brush with Colour
w/ Deborah ThompsonIN PERSON
2 Classes: Feb. 25 & 26
Sat. & Sun.: 10am – 4pmThis two-day painting course focuses on a specific approach to painting–the exploration of colour! The study of colour mixing followed by its application through hands-on painting exercises will be the central working process of the course. It is perfect for students who have some painting experience and wish to expand both their understanding of colour mixing and their application of paint. Some of the ideas covered will include: colour as value or tone, warm /cool colour contrasts, complimentary colour palette, and how to create movement and depth in a painting. The class will include demonstrations on colour mixing, paint application, and underpainting techniques. References from artists throughout history will be utilized to illustrate the ideas presented. Ongoing feedback and sharing work will be part of the class.Material Fee: $25Course Fee: $145TOTAL FEE: $170Magic of Memory w/ Rayya LiebichONLINE
4 Classes: May 23 – June 15
Tuesdays: 6:30 – 8:30pmWe often recall memories in fragments. By accessing our scattered memories and borrowing from the container of non-linear structures we can record our life stories in authentic and innovative ways. Each week we will take a deep dive into a different literary form (prose poetry, flash non-fiction, epistolary writing, and the hermit crab essay) to enter our material sideways and find new shapes to unpack our experiences. Each class will include a study of the craft, guided writing prompts, and readings by authors who push the boundaries of hybrid creative non-fiction (CNF) forms. If you are working on a difficult memoir or looking for new ways to tell your familiar stories, this series will give you a chance to play, experiment, and come back to the magic of memory and the importance of meaning-making. TOTAL FEE: $95REGISTERPainting from a Model #2 (no instruction)IN PERSON
1 Class: Mar.12
Sunday: 1-5pmParticipants will have the opportunity to work from a model holding a single pose for an extended session (3.5 hours). No instruction is offered. Participants will be asked to bring their own materials in their preferred medium.TOTAL FEE: $35Figure Drawing #2 (no instruction)IN PERSON
4 Classes: Mar. 26, April 2, 17 & 23
Sundays: 6:30 – 8:30pm
*UPDATE*Drawing sessions will provide the opportunity to draw from a model with poses ranging from 1 minute to 20 minutes. No instruction is offered. Participants are expected to provide the drawing materials of their choice.TOTAL FEE: $60REGISTERArt Speak – Peer to Peer Work Sharing
Facilitated by Emilie Leblanc KrombergONLINE
4 Classes: Mar. 27, Apr. 24, May 8 & 15
*UPDATE*Artists of all disciplines (professional or not) are invited to share their work in a safe space and engage in contemporary art dialogue with other open-minded art loving individuals. Themes will be proposed as a potential starting point for exchanges and artistic practices to grow collectively. The objective for this workshop is for artists to make, share, discuss, and learn together.TOTAL FEE: $40Low-tech Printmaking w/ Natasha SmithIN PERSON
4 Classes: Mar. 28 – Apr. 18
Tuesdays: 5:30 – 8:30pmExplore the basics of low-tech printmaking to investigate processes that can be done without the use of a printmaking press. Simple plate-making and image transfer methods will be demonstrated and students will learn a variety of printmaking techniques including monoprinting and collagraphy. This is a very fun, process-based course and is appropriate for artists of all levels.Material Fee: $20 + Material ListCourse Fee: $170TOTAL FEE: $190REGISTERIntro to Screen Printing
w/ Marcus DénomméIN PERSON
4 Classes: Mar. 29 – Apr. 19
Wednesdays: 6-9pmIntro to screen printing is an open and welcoming course to all folks regardless of creative and artistic experience. It will take place over four sessions and cover every step involved in the screen printing process. Each member of the class will leave with a limited edition run of their artwork printed on a variety of substrates and a thorough understanding of how to silkscreen.Material Fee: $60Course Fee: $170TOTAL FEE: $230Intro to Bolex Camera, Film Processing + Cameraless Animation w/ Brian LyeIN PERSON
2 Classes: Apr. 1 & 2
Sat. 10am – 4pm & Sun. 10am – 3pmIn this two-day, hands-on workshop participants will be introduced to the Bolex film camera and how to process black and white 16mm film using a non-toxic, homemade film developer consisting of instant coffee, washing soda, and vitamin C powder.