The time has come the walrus said….

To speak of many things…

First on the list is that after ten years as a resident artist, I am leaving the Rotary Centre for the Arts. Now just because I am leaving the RCA, does not mean I am stopping being an artist… far from it…

And yes, it has been a blast. I met so many people, and the purpose of the Rotary Centre, to foster and nurture emerging artists, I feel has been completed in my case.

When I first came to the RCA, I was fresh out of university, new to Kelowna. I had applied for the RCA in March 2002, the same week I heard about it, and haunted Randy and Carlyn’s offices steadily until I found out I was accepted.

I had so many dreams and thoughts and wishes and goals when I went in to the studio that August 1 – eight years on my own, and the last year and a half with three friends-  I am very proud to say I think I accomplished 95% of what I was hoping and more that I did not even imagine. There are life drawing sessions now within Livessence, which grew from my drawing sessions – man that was hard work to get going – twice a week for two years, how did I do it, I am not sure even now. Participated on the board for the Arts Council, and then later helped to establish the Arts Awards with Corinne Zawaduk and Sharon McCoubrey. Still on the board for the Kelowna Museums Society – and trust me, these guys are a blast – not what you would typically consider a museum crowd.

I met a tremendous number of people from all walks of life – I remember I was so shy at the very beginning, barely could talk to anyone. (Okay, I am still shy, but not as bad!) I hid in my studio most of the time and worked my ass off, both online and off. People – including other artists – thought I was crazy for spending as much time as I did developing my online presence, selling work to begin with on ebay to pay bills. I am so glad I did that – it opened doors for tolerance that I would never expected. Many of my ebay artist friends I still keep in contact with – I find them incredibly invaluable as a source for common sense and insight.

My work has gone all around the world, clients from so many countries. Being the world citizen I am, I can only say how wonderful that makes me feel knowing that somehow my work has connected with others of different cultures and thoughts. I must be doing something right.

I did a stint as an instructor – both privately and in classes. I want to tell all my former students that you were all so fabulous for coming to see me, and thank you for believing in me enough to allow me to be your teacher.

I was on CBC Radio three times – once with Marion Barschel (Daybreak South) in Nov 2010 regarding the Culture in Kelowna and twice with Sheryl McKay (NxNW). The second was  March 2008 regarding the Okanagan Erotic Art Show. Sheryl said I was the first person in a live CBC interview to say the word *masturbation* on the air. That’s pretty distinctive. The first was in 2004 during a focused interview when I was in studio 203, and she came to visit all the artists.

Because of the “safety” of the RCA, I was able to branch out in areas I would never have thought possible. Exhibitions, books, painting gigs…. I am now working on my fifth book, three catalogs later (Livessence and two Okanagan Erotic Art Shows 2009 and 2011), and one based on my own work. More are planned.

When I think of what I have accomplished in ten years, all I can say is I am so glad I was in the RCA, it gave me the freedom and the confidence to spread my wings, it gave me the support and structure necessary, and it gave me the belief in myself, because they believed in me.

What a gift, and I thank you!

Okanagan Arts Awards Visual Artist Showcase

I am on the Okanagan Arts Awards committee, working on getting the awards underway with fellow volunteer board members Sharon McCoubrey, Sharon Lancaster, Daneen Agecoutay, Angela Bonten, James Avery, Sarah Parsons and Janet Anderson.

One of my chief duties was to put together the Art Awards Sculpture competition, and now that the sculpture has been chosen, I help out with other activities. The next main activity I am involved in is the representation of the Visual Arts in Okanagan. This is called the Visual Artist Showcase, and is a slideshow presentation representing all the visual artists in the North South and Central Okanagan. Daneen Agecoutay is masterminding the slideshow based on the entries by the submitting Okanagan visual artists.

The first call I put out for the Okanagan Visual Arts Showcase resulted in nine visual artists responding. Nine? Yes, nine, from the entire Okanagan, North, South and Central. I am not sure why it is like pulling teeth to get these visual artists to respond, but it is. Maybe because there is no cost for entering their images? Maybe if we put a $10 charge on each image submitted, there would be more people submitting? I am not sure.

The goal is to have minimum 50 artists, and currently I think we are halfway there.

Some notes regarding the Okanagan Arts Awards Artist Showcase.

1. There is nothing online about the Visual Arts Showcase because we (the Arts Awards Committee) have no direct access to the website – this is why you see me posting this on my own blog and on my facebook page and the other various facebook pages such as The Okanagan Artists Group, and the Arts Council for the Central Okanagan.  The Okanagan Arts Awards is http://www.okanaganartsawards.com and you can go there to see info on the event itself, including nominations and sponsorships. The event itself will take place  Feb 23 2011 at KCT. Tickets are on sale NOW, available from SelectYourTickets at the RCA.

2. The Artists Showcase will be a slideshow presentation (hard to have art dancing on stage or singing) to represent the Visual Arts in the Okanagan. You do not need to be Arts Council members to be included. If you are interested in having your work included, please send two images to info@artsco.ca.

3. Please do not send me images or ask me to choose for you.

4. Please do not confuse this with the actual nomination process for an award – that you would ask friends to do for you, or they would think of it themselves. Nomination Plug: If you know someone who should receive an award (in whatever category!) Why not nominate them as their Christmas gift? Deadline Jan 15.

5. 2D and 3D are acceptable! just two images, so if 3D be creative and maybe include many sides in one image.

6. If you don’t know how to do the images, get someone to help you. Just make sure they are 2000 px wide. Web images will not do. Make sure they are clear! Blurry images will not be shown.

7. This would be a great Christmas gift for your loved one who is an artist – put a note in their stocking that you have done this for them! The gift of love and respect always brings joy and tears, right?

That’s pretty much all I can tell you about the Visual Arts Showcase – two images, good quality, art only, to Elke at info@artsco.ca. Questions? Post here, likely if you have them, others do too.
All the best!
Julia

ps – all sculptors, think about submitting a design for next year’s Call to Artists, it ALWAYS COMES OUT IN JUNE, WITH A DEADLINE OF AUGUST> lol.