Young artists honoured at Sechelt events

Two programs organized by the Sunshine Coast Arts Council are helping demonstrate that there is no shortage of promising young visual artists in this community. 

Receptions and awards ceremonies were held Saturday, Dec. 15 at the council’s Sunshine Coast Arts Centre in Sechelt, honouring submissions to both the 2018 Young Artists Awards and the 2019 Banner Project. 

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The Young Artists Awards was an opportunity for those from five to 18 years old to submit work they created on their own time, outside of school art programs. Some 40 young creators sent in a total of 94 pieces. 

“We had three professional artists come and give us their comments after the work was hung,” said program coordinator Julie Astalnok, who read out some of the judges’ positive notes as certificates were presented to all participants at the reception. 

The talent evident on the walls of the Arts Centre’s Doris Crowston Gallery was remarkable. Anais Bayle, 16, of Halfmoon Bay, submitted two quite different pieces, one an eye-catching, stylized portrait of a young woman; the other, a study of two colourful beetles. Even with a lingering, close-up look, the bug images appeared to be photographs, but Anais in fact had created them with coloured pencils, using a photo as a reference. “Each of them took me about four hours to finish,” said Anais of the works, which looked like they could have taken days if not weeks. 

Seventeen-year-old Bela Ord of Gibsons used pastels and felt pen to draw oddly charming, other-worldly creatures. Bela’s three framed submissions were “absolutely incredible,” said the judges. 

“It’s out of my imagination,” said Bela when asked where he gets his ideas. One of the judges encouraged Bela never to stop doing art, saying, “I want to see what you’re creating ten years from now.” 

The Judge’s Choice Award went to an ingenious work by Lucy Wolchock-Brown called The Periodic Table of the Elements. 

The day’s other ceremony marked the 2019 Banner Project, which involved nine local elementary schools. Some 400 designs were submitted on the theme of myths, legends and fairy tales. Project coordinators selected 20 of the designs, which will be made into full-size banners and hung at Sechelt’s Civic Square from February to November next year. 

Sechelt Mayor Darnelda Siegers and Neil Clayton, of program sponsor Claytons Heritage Market, handed out certificates to each of the 20 selected designers, who also received a T-shirt imprinted with their particular banner design. 

“This is one of the most feel-good events we have all year,” said administrator Sheenah Main, who helped create the Banner Project and was hosting the awards event on her last day as a Sunshine Coast Arts Centre employee. The laughter and glee that pervaded the ceremony demonstrated just what she meant.

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