Art finds a way.
Regardless of pandemic, strife, or any other global hardship that inhibits movement and restricts personal autonomy, art finds a way to survive and even thrive. It is with this enduring strength that the Vancouver Visual Art Foundation (VVAF) is pushing into new avenues to bring art to the public.
Beginning in September 2020, VVAF has started offering weekly workshops on a wide variety of artistic mediums and techniques. Offered on the last Wednesday of each month, participants can sign up to take a class of watercolours or acrylics, or learn about painting in the style of Claude Monet or how to sculpt clay.
Mackenzie Dorsey, media coordinator for VVAF, says each workshop will be delivered online by local B.C. professional artists.
“This will be our first time teaching classes, and I think part of the motivation for that is our goal to further educate and get people involved in art,” Dorsey says. “And it also gives exposure to the amazing and great artists and instructors that we do have in our local B.C. community.”
The continuing COVID-19 pandemic has transformed how many live and work throughout the province as people attempt to flatten the curve. As of Aug. 20, there have been more than 124,000 cases in the country, with just over 4,800 of those in B.C. Both the federal and provincial governments have asked people to practice physical distancing and to remain at home as much as possible in an effort to lessen the virus’s spread.
It is with this in mind, says Dorsey, that VVAF has diligently worked to find innovative and creative ways to make art survive and thrive.
“It took a while to research how we can do this. It’s not the most fun thing to sit in front of your laptop, especially if you’ve already worked a seven-hour day.”
One thing they were very cognisant of was screen fatigue and how delivering online art workshops could be difficult for people who do the majority of their daily work using computers.
That is why they have developed classes to be as interactive as possible, Dorsey says.
Kathy van Gogh, a local professional artist who will be instructing the first workshop, says nothing can replace in-person classes, but art is adaptable.
Her class, Paint Your Own Monet, is as interactive as it gets. Each participant will be guided through one of Monet’s classic waterlily paintings while learning the techniques he used to create it.
“My goal is for them to end up with a painting they love, which everybody will, and to learn something about the style of Monet,” says van Gogh. “And to learn some techniques that contribute to that style.”
The next workshop will be Paint Your Own Monet with Kathy van Gogh on Oct. 21st, followed by an Alcohol Ink class with VVAF's founder Lisa Wolfin on Oct. 28th. A new workshop will be offered on the last Wednesday of each month throughout the fall.
By Nathan Durec