Open house celebrates vibrant mix of art in downtown Nanaimo

Two Nanaimo artists want to celebrate and share the vibrant mix of performing and visual art in the city’s downtown core.

Bonnie Catterson, owner of Kismet Theatre Academy, and Yvonne Vander Kooi, owner of Bird Studio, are hosting an open house Saturday (Nov. 17) in their studios, located at 55 Victoria Rd., from 3-7 p.m.

The open house event dubbed Bird meets Kismet features live entertainment, paintings and works in progress, theatre demonstrations by Kismet Academy students and an interactive art zone.

Catterson, an actor, dancer, choreographer, writer and director, graduated from the Canadian College of Performing Arts and has taught dance and theatre around the province.

“I love storytelling, and more importantly, I love encouraging others to tell their stories – to take the brave and bold steps with their creativity and to surprise themselves,” she said in a press release. “Art is transformative and it connects us to one another.”

Vander Kooi is a painter and muralist who has lived and worked on Vancouver Island for 15 years. She has exhibited her work in Toronto and Nanaimo and has taught various arts programs.

“I have always loved painting and drawing large scale figurative work and am fascinated by colour, particularity its capacity to convey powerful emotions and responses both about the subject and for the viewer,” she said in a press release.

“I am influenced by expressionism, a movement that celebrates colour and its connection to the human psyche.”

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