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Youthful artists create original work

Arts Centre
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Jan DeGrass Photo

Young banner artists received recognition for their designs that will hang in Sechelt this summer. 

Talented youth along with their parents and friends filled the Sunshine Coast Arts Centre in Sechelt Dec. 16 for two presentations.

Kids from five Coast schools submitted designs for this year’s Cowrie and Wharf Street Banner Project — to the theme of Work and Play in the Woods.

“It’s amazing how many interpretations they came up with,” said the presentation’s host, Arts Council’s Linda Williams, as she introduced Sechelt’s Mayor John Henderson. They showed everything from loggers to tree houses, from forest fires to friendly yard trees.

Nineteen of the designs had been selected by a committee from those drawn in miniature by the following children: Peyton Brackett, Hayley Grunenberg, Zoe Goss, Niamh Persson, Ethan Cockfield, Lindsay Kaatz, Hannah Shelemey, Maddie Gerbrandt, Lauren Arsenau, Celeste Pierre, Charlotte Windsor, Adam Goelel, Sophia Kohuch, Violet Rae, Anika Webb, Kailiyana Denham-Rohlicek, Janeli Manitobiensis, Lauryn Stinson and Kelsey Gillard.

Volunteer professional artists who will work an average of 150 hours on the project will render their designs into colourful banners.

“They’ll be spectacular, I know,” Henderson said. “We want to make Cowrie Street the real centre of the Coast.”   

Later that afternoon, young artists gathered again to celebrate their own show in the gallery. In this case, the submissions had come from all over the Coast, from kids who work on their art outside of school hours.

“Some of their written comments were great,” said Young Artist Awards coordinator Sheila Page.

“Art inspires me,” said one child. Another wrote, “When I draw, I feel calm and peaceful.”

The emphasis was on participation, Page said, and all children received a certificate for their submission. Several were chosen for special awards in each age category by a panel of professional artist judges who spent three hours strolling the gallery and commenting on the work.

In the ages five to eight category, selected were Sarah Sparrow and Lydia Bradley — who were possibly the youngest submissions at age six — Chime Peterson, Abby Sparrow for Beaky, her three dimensional driftwood owl, Clara Dyson and Amelia Sieben, eight, for Dancing, an abstract with strong use of colour.

For ages nine to 12 Sofia Zanbilowicz earned recognition along with Isaac Oka, 12, for his interesting drawing, It All Starts with a Pen. Bela Ord, 11, showed humorous drawings, and the photographs of Saoirse Stephan, 12, drew delighted comments. Sofia Kardos-Machado, 12, was recognized for her Flamingo Beach Party painting and Mekia Bakwell for Hawaiian Sunset.

In ages 13 to 15, Jonah Peterson, 14, merited recognition for his comic book sketches. For ages 16 to 18 Elora Peterson, 18, was a popular choice for her assemblage Twitchy Witchy and her ghoulish hand knitted figure, Molly Ringworm. Peterson will be continuing with her art and will apply to Emily Carr Art College this year. Rosie Sita, 17, was also awarded for her painting, The Delicate Daisy, and Charlotte Gray, 17, for Stained Glass Robins. Best in Show was awarded to young Aran Menzies. At age 7, his photographs revealed the work of a trained eye. He had taken 600 pictures during the recent Art Crawl to select the three on show.

The Arts Centre is closed over Christmas and will re-open Jan. 9 with the Friends of the Gallery exhibition.   

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