Two budding young artists are being sought to let their creative juices flow in a dedicated summer space.
The Vernon Community Arts Centre (VCAC) is excited to bring back its annual Youth Artist in Residence Program after a COVID-hiatus and is looking to support two students this year.
Open to all aspiring artists ages 16-18 living within the Vernon School District, the program helps aspiring artists increase their confidence, enhance their skills and build a stronger connection to their local arts community.
The objective is to give youth an opportunity to explore their own creative processes, discover new art media and techniques, connect with other artists and arts organizations, and create a body of work to be exhibited at the end of the residency.
For eight weeks over the summer, the selected artists are provided with a dedicated arts centre studio space to receive mentorship, artistic support and the resources needed to build a portfolio of work.
Thanks to a generous donation by the Okanagan Artists of Canada Society, each artist will also receive an honorarium to purchase materials and supplies.
“We believe that art is not only a wonderful creative outlet, but it also helps build essential life skills,” society treasurer Nancy Vince said. “Engaging with the arts challenges youth to examine different points of view, helps them navigate and express their emotions, encourages them to innovate and take risks, and nurtures an appreciation for cultural diversity.
“We know creative pursuits improve academic achievement, enhance critical thinking and problem solving, reduce anxiety and depression and build self-confidence.
“When we invest in arts education for our young people, we are helping to form dynamic citizens for our local and global communities.”
The program has a long list of success stories attached to it with youth who have gone on to pursue post-secondary degrees and careers in the fine arts and education.
Some have returned to the centre to teach art classes and camps, others have utilized their skills and network to support other career-related endeavours, and several of them have their works in galleries and private collections around the world.
This year’s program runs July 5 to Aug. 27. Applications are due Wednesday, June 23.