Participants of the Nanaimo Art Gallery’s teen art group, Saturday morning youth sessions and staff are making their mark on the Nanaimo Artwalk.
On Dec. 7 and 8 the young artists present their Generate exhibit in the gallery’s Art Lab studio. The collaborative show features sculptural works made from recycled materials by the five- to 12-year-olds, while those in the teen group Code Switching have created a kind of scrambled triptych based on the gallery’s inquiry for the year, “What are generations?”
New Code Switching coordinator Becky Thiessen said “it’s been really nice to see their brains at work” as the teenage artists brainstormed for their project.
“It was really interesting because it’s about who they are as teenagers and how they are seeing the other generations and how they’re feeling very separate from it and trying to talk about the importance of integration between generations,” she said of their piece.
The group decided to create a trio of large panels covering themes of growth, separation and technology that will then be cut into pieces and reassembled. The works make use of ink, paint and collage.
The growth panel features a collection of magazine cut-outs that go from unremarkable black and white images to colourful eye-catching photos.
“The main thing what were trying to do is we have some really weird and distorted coloured images kind of to show a mutation within the generations that gets more and more pronounced or obvious,” said 16-year-old participant Hailey Fraser.
On a portion of the technology panel, Harmony Gray has depicted a discarded skeletal “computer person” that speaks to ideas around the obsolescence of old electronics.
“You know how there’s always a new iPhone or there’s a new evolution of technology?” the 17-year-old said. “I’m kind of playing with this computer person buried in the ground because in a lot of sci-fi movies you see there are these androids or computer people, but what happens to the old ones? Do they just get thrown out?”
Thiessen said participating in the Artwalk is a good opportunity for the young artists to show their creations to potentially hundreds of visitors over the weekend. She said they have a lot to say.
“These youth are smart and engaged and have lots of really great ideas and want to share their work with others,” she said. “And it’s important for the general public to see what is actually generating here, if we can use that word in a different way.”
WHAT’S ON … Generate comes to the Nanaimo Art Gallery’s Art Lab, 150 Commercial St., on Saturday, Dec. 7 and Sunday, Dec. 8 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.