Westside Culture Days

Westside Culture Days

Westside Culture Days

The last few months have been taken up with Westside Culture Days, as well as work for Comic-Con and Gallery Odin.  What is Westside Culture Days do you ask?  Well, sit right down and I am happy to tell you!

Westside Culture Days came about because I am a big believer in community and I have been trying to think of a way to get artists and businesses to work together under one umbrella.  In my book Art & Money, I talk about the benefits  of businesses and artists working together.  In the spring, my friend and fellow artist Vera Peltonen posted up a poster for an event she was involved in in Michigan.

Art on Nepessing Street Vera Peltonen
Art on Nepessing Street

I was immediately captivated by the possibilities here.  The complaints normally heard on this side of the lake is that it is so spread out being about 20 square km, there are so many strip malls, so many business, so many failing because of the high cost of rent.  Artists and creatives have no recourse for renting because of that rent and are pretty much invisible.  Not only that but there are two governments on this side, both the Westbank First Nation  (WFN) and District of West Kelowna (DWK) who don’t really get along.  People live on WFN land and work on DWK land, and vice versa.

I thought wouldn’t it be great if this type of event could happen on this side of the lake?  Wouldn’t it be great for the artists and cultural entities work together with businesses to go beyond the governmental problems?  So it got me thinking …. Culture Days is coming up in September, it is May …. there is tons of time.

I approached my friend Melissa Brown who owns the Blenz here on the Westside.  We talked about it, and she said that even if it just happens in her coffee shop, she is happy to participate.  Then I went to talk to my friend Tracy Satin who is the Cultural Manager for the Westbank First Nation Sncəwips Heritage Museum.  She was excited for the possibilities too.  So we all made a plan. I went and talked to Bob Kusch with DWK who supported the idea, as well as Karen from Greater Westside Board of Trade. Tracy assigned Coralee Miller within the WFN Sncəwips Heritage Museum to work specifically on this project. Melissa talked to her many customers, also local business people, who got excited and many were able to grasp the vision and the passion.

Now, our locations for Westside Culture Days are WFN Sncəwips Heritage Museum, Westbank Shopping Centre, Dogwood Nursery, Main Street Westbank, Snya?tan Shopping Centre, Okanagan Landing Shopping Centre, Volcanic Winery, and more being added as businesses hear about it and artists talk about it. The landlord for Westbank Shopping Centre gave all the empty spaces and the use of the parking lots for free, we just have to get insurance for those three days to be able to use the empty spaces. I hope other landlords join in on that principle!  Way to support your tenants Bentall-Kennedy!

Westside Culture Days

 

 

 

 

 

We called it Westside Culture Days so that there is no differentiation between governments of WFN and DWK but included Westbank and West Kelowna as entities. We are a community and that is the focus. Below is a snapshot from the Westside Culture Days website, but you will probably hear more about this as time goes on. Small updates not yet published on that website are the inclusion of the Food Bank and the local Hockey teams.

The first press article… don’t you just love that sublimal and serendipitous ad … “Just got better” at the bottom?

Westside Weekly July 14
Westside Weekly July 14

From the Westside Culture Days website:

Culture Days is a cross Canada cultural fair on Sep 26, 27 & 28. http://www.culturedays.ca. This event encourages creatives of all types and the public to interact in various ways some of them inventive and unusual. If you can think it, you can do it!

The Westside is a mix of very impersonal strip malls with many businesses scattered throughout the area and many spaces are empty. For this one weekend it could be very exciting to see the businesses cross the line of culture to participate in a very active way on this weekend. Some already are involved, and this could be a way for them to highlight it in a very visible way.

Next The Microcosm Snapshot of How

From the Culture Days website:

Culture Days aims to:

  • FOSTER appreciation and support of the artistic and cultural life that is lived, created and expressed across the country in urban, suburban and rural areas alike;
  • PROMOTE direct interaction between creators and citizens, as a key to increasing understanding and appreciation of art and culture; and
  • AFFIRM that every citizen is the guardian of the cultural life of his or her community.

Culture Days believes that every individual — regardless of age, location or experience — has the right to access and participate actively in arts and culture.

Culture Days also believes that the arts and cultural sector makes a vital contribution to the economic and social development of Canada and contributes to the overall health of the country.

People who had never participated in the arts before found it exciting and rewarding, finding a side of themselves they did not think existed. To us, that is what Culture Days is all about.
-Pam MacKenzie, Consolidated Artist Group of 7s (North Bay, ON)

Living in the Dash – Sharing the Story

Living in the dash sharing stories

Our life happens in the dash.

It is the journey between birth and death. It is the “and”. It is everything we experience for good or ill. It is what determines our beliefs and interactions. It is the pause between the start and the stop. It is what happens between each breath.

This is a project for an exhibition, ultimately about sharing, growth, compassion and understanding.

As a part time job, I transcribe statements for a public service agency. People telling their stories and besides the person in that agency, I am the first witness to their experience. As I listen to these people, describing their trust, their betrayals, their cynicism, their strength, their hopelessness, I think because I listen with compassion and empathy, some healing has occurred in my own life.

The one thing I can tell you for sure is never listen to anyone who says “oh get over it” or “stop living in the past”. Those kinds of statements are insensitive and ignorant. They indicate a lack of understanding of you and your experiences. Don’t listen to them.

This is a project that surrounds people and their lives.  People sharing their story. You can tell whatever story you want. All anonymous. You can talk about it, you can write it.  You can tell your story as you lived it, or as you wish to have lived it.  It’s not all about the bad stuff you did, or such, it is whatever you want to talk about. Your biography, your hurts, your joys, whatever. It is open to your interpretation. It can be as long as you wish or as short as you wish. It can be your entire life, or it can be what happened yesterday. Whatever is important to you.

Audio – Record your story – Save it to your desktop then send to me.

Written – Record your story

Part Two – What I Will Do and the Show

Living in the Dash – Writing the Story

Part two:  What I will do

Writing the Story

I will transcribe your story and become your second witness. The recording, whether audio or written, is the first and the act of recording validates whatever it is you say.  When you record or write, consciously think about this as you go through the process.

If you choose to do an audio recording, I will be transcribing – writing the story for you.  Your name is not important unless you choose it to be, but your story is. I feel that there is healing in this process and there will be a healing and compassion in the process of my transcribing. There is healing in telling the story and healing in writing the story. When I do any transcribing, I always say a little prayer for each person regardless of what was done or received.

Audio – Record your story – Save it to your desktop then send to me.

Written – Record your story

So how will the show look?

The show itself would look like this. Part one would be the visual: Everyone’s story, printed out, papers, 8 1/2 x 11 would cover the walls of the art gallery, all through the art gallery, everywhere. You wouldn’t be able to get away from it. All of your stories. All double spaced stories. Part two would be the recorded audio: Stories would be told on continuous loop, all stories one after the other, different people talking, in various places throughout the gallery. Part three would be recordable audio: There would be places for people to record their own stories if they have not already or to add if they already have. Part four would be tactile: there would be a place for them to write their own stories. Part five, and the most important: the people who come in to the gallery become the witnesses, the validations of all these stories. That validation creates connection, understanding, empathy and compassion. There might be a part six, which would be people in the gallery telling their stories in person.

I believe that there are many in the community who share the same experiences. Maybe in others seeing and hearing what is said, there will be healing in them too.

This is all anonymous. No identification.  You would need to give permission to have your stories used in a public setting, but this would be implied by the very fact of submitting it. I am thinking that a book could also come out of this, because there is something empowering by seeing your words in print. This I can tell you for sure.

It’s about healing, partnerships and compassion. We can do this together. I believe it is the only way.

Audio – Record your story – Save it to your desktop then send to me.

Written – Record your story

Works on display and available for sale: Canadian Blood Donor Clinic

art mixed media painting female nude dancer julia trops

Planting Seeds – The Artworks – June/July

I tend to work in series and projects almost like writing paragraphs that create chapters that creates a book. This particular series of works has to do with some soul searching, planting seeds, growing within and going beyond boundaries, and of course, the process of self-discovery. I feel these works are gentler than my past bold bright colours and to me, I can almost hear water lapping at the shore on a calm day.   Each one has it’s own message, it’s own story to tell. I’ve labeled them as I see them but it is very possible when you look, you will see your own. I believe that what we see is a projection of what is inside, so please don’t let my titles hold you back.

All of these mixed media works started out from a life drawing in charcoal and progressed through acrylic to oil and throughout, some graphite.   There was no direct expectation of expressing a specific thought, they evolved as they wished with me acting as conductor. Where I directed the flow was in the formal elements only.

If you would like to see the rest of the collection please visit www.juliatropsart.com. They are located in the Painting/Mixed Media section of the gallery. To purchase one of these works, please contact me.  20% of the purchase price will be donated to Canadian Blood Services.  Below are a glimpse of works available at the Blood Donor Clinic.  You may go and see them in person if you wish.

mixed media art original painting female nude julia trops  mixed media original art painting julia trops  mixed media original painting female nude julia trops gratitude  mixed media original painting abstract female nude julia trops  mixed media abstract female nude original painting julia trops  mixed media abstract female nude original painting julia trops  abstract female nude dancer original mixed media painting julia trops  mixed media original painting abstract female nude back julia trops  art mixed media original abstract female nude dancer julia trops

 

 

Charcoal and Pastel Drawings – 2014

Charcoal Pastel Drawing

Some people are automatic writers; I’m an automatic drawer.  I respond with mark making, and it doesn’t always look like what I see.  I’ve had clients and friends telling me they see faces and people and angels in my work, and I never really looked until this weekend.  There’s quite a few in this one.  I’m not sure where they are coming from.  This is actually a female figurative nude based on magnificent model Donnalee, 12×16 watercolour paper.

Charcoal Pastel Drawing Julia Trops
Faces in the crowd Charcoal & Pastel by Julia Trops

Workshop at Opus Kelowna

Art Money Julia Trops Kelowna Canadian Artist

Demystifying Self Publishing

Sat, December 7, 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Julia will discuss the various platforms for self publishing and show how to format your content with Word into an ebook for Kindle or a printable book for Amazon.

There will be a discussion of various platforms, marketing challenges, budgeting for the project, making a website for the book itself and title.

BRING

Laptop, ipad or other notebook type device.

http://www.opusartsupplies.com/how/demos/de-mystifying-self-publishing&utm_medium=email&utm_content=Demos&utm_campaign=HolidaySale13

As part of the Venus is Rising project, this workshop is given to help artists take control of their career.

Target Reader for book: Art & Money?

Art Money Julia Trops Kelowna Canadian Artist

I was asked the other day, who is the artist who should read Art & Money?

Well, I answered, that’s a tricky question.  There is no one group who “should” read it, whether beginning, mid or late career.  I believe that we can all benefit from many streams of information, and that having read something is superior to not having read it.

The book talks about a lot of areas, and would be good for those who are beginning, as it gathers the information that I wish I knew about when I was first starting out.

This book would have a long shelf life because there are a great many things in the book that take years to develop, and by this I mean items on the cv, and renewed perspective on the biography, as time goes by, and you are active in your career and your community.

The book touches on the media, and how I believe they are interested in their community too, in helping it grow, and expand.  It touches on the city – or at least my city – on how those in the cultural departments are interested in helping their city grow, and how the artist can be and is a valuable resource. It describes ways that you as an artist, or a believer in culture, can encourage this kind of investment of your city. This book would help the patron understand what goes on behind the easel.

The book also describes how the beginning, mid or late career artist can interact with charities, giving a number of points of view to do with supporting non profits.  The charities would benefit from reading this information to see how they could change or adapt their policies to be more artist friendly. The patrons who frequent charities would benefit because they, as patrons, are interested in the success of their charity, and I believe they wish to see everyone successful. This book would help the patron or supporter understand what goes on behind the easel, and how they could help.

Am I an expert? No, I don’t say that I am.  I am just an interested party, and believe in the growth for the good of all. I care enough to say something, and I care enough to believe that artists can take control of their career. This book is for those who believe in culture, who believe in their community.

Art & Money Book Signing – Summerland Oct 12 Saturday 1-3 pm

Margot Logo Studio Artist Summerland

I will be at Margot Artist in Residence Studio on Saturday October 12th, from 1-3 pm for an Art & Money book signing.  If you would like to reserve your book, to ensure there is a copy for you, please send me a note.  My email is juliatrops at gmail dot com.

The address is:
9533 Main Street

Parking for Margot’s studio is easy and it’s free.  The Summerland Art Gallery is located right across from the high school, and you can park directly in front of the gallery.  Or you can come around back of the gallery and park in the big parking lot right across the street.

I teamed up with Margot to create a partnership that is mutually beneficial, and promotes the premise of cooperation between artists.  Margot has just launched her new Artist in Residence studio at the Summerland Art Gallery, and I have launched the book.

Margot has this to say:

I believe we each have a unique gift to contribute to society, mine happens to be the way I see the world and how interpret it through my ART.  Most artists work in isolation in their studios and rarely come out to share their vision with the exception of exhibitions and even then the interaction of the artist with fellow artists and the community are somewhat brief and limited.  Thus I welcome any opportunity to share my vision with other artists and the greater community.  Such opportunities however, don’t just appear magically…someone (I, you, we) have to create them and make them happen.  That’s why I applaud Julia Trops efforts in writing this book and giving artists an insight on how to make this happen.  Thanks Julia and cheers for creating the Okanagan Erotic Art Show event and all the opportunities of networking it provides“.

Thanks Margot, I appreciate that!  It is true, we can think and dream all we wish, but it comes right down to doing, and making the magic happen ourselves.  The possibilities are endless, and my belief is if we can dream it, we can do it.

Margot Art Studio Summerland
Margot Art Studio Summerland

Art & Money Book Signing – West Kelowna Saturday October 12th 9-11 am

westbank west kelowna blenz

I will be at Blenz in Westbank Centre on Saturday October 12th, from 9-11 pm for an Art & Money book signing.  If you would like to reserve your book, to ensure there is a copy for you, please send me a note.  My email is juliatrops at gmail dot com.

The address is:

h222-3645 Gosset Road,
West Kelowna, British Columbia

westbank west kelowna blenz coffee julia trops
West Kelowna Blenz

Melissa Brown and her husband Mike just launched the Blenz Coffee House in West Kelowna this year.  It was originally in the shopping Centre near Canadian Tire and Home Depot, but it has since moved into the old Starbucks location near the Landmark Theatres.  They have made some excellent partnerships with the theatre, such as a COFFEE and a MOVIE.  Bring in your TOONIE THURSDAY ticket stub to Blenz Coffee Westbank Centre and receive a FREE upsize on your COFFEE.

I knew Melissa from her Ex Nihilo days, and I can tell you she loves art.  She can talk about art, and she supports artists.

“I am a big believer in the “eat, drink, shop local’ movement and I am always looking for ways to support the local talent and businesses in our community. Having Julia in for a book signing at the coffee shop is just one more way I can support local talent and the community.”

Thanks, Melissa!  You are an outstanding example of cooperation and partnership with the arts!

Art & Money Book Signing – Vernon Oct 19 Saturday 1-3 pm

Almost Famous Vertigo Julia Trops

I will be at Gallery Vertigo on Saturday October 19th, from 1-3 pm for an Art & Money book signing.  If you would like to reserve your book, to ensure there is a copy for you, please send me a note.  My email is juliatrops at gmail dot com.

The address is:

3001 31 St. #1 upstairs
Vernon BC V1T 5H8 Canada
(250) 503 – 2297

Almost Famous Gallery Vertigo Julia Trops Vernon Artist Art

I am a long time supporter of Gallery Vertigo, and believe in their mission, which is artists helping artists at a very grassroots level.  They have an event coming up called Almost Famous which is one of my favourite events in the Okanagan valley.  The Call to Artists has just been announced, and interested artists can get the submission form here:  online form.

Almost Famous Call to Artists Vernon Gallery Vertigo Julia Trops
Almost Famous Call to Artists

Almost Famous has original artworks created by local artists up in a silent auction, but these artworks have a unique twist in that the artist “copies” or “reinvents” a masterpiece from the past.  Considering that Picasso created 58 works based on Las Meninas from Diego Velázquez and these 58 works are all on display at the Museu Picasso in Barcelona (which I saw this spring), these Almost Famous works should not be under appreciated.  You really don’t know where our local artists are going to be in fifty years, and if you are lucky enough to be the successful bidder, you might just happen to have a winner in your hands.  I contribute two or three each year.  These are fun for me, and I always learn something new about the artist on whom I am focusing.  It’s a win/win.

I hope to see you there!  All the book signings are set up to show the benefits of cooperation and partnering with your fellow artist, or your favourite business.