The Nanaimo Art Gallery’s teen summer art camp Dazzle Camouflage is moving online this year due to COVID-19.
Teenagers age 15 to 19 have until July 17 to apply for the free, three-week program. Due to social distancing measures the programming will take place online via video conference, but NAG education coordinator Yvonne Vander Kooi hopes that as restrictions on gatherings are eased limited in-studio sessions and an in-person exhibiton may be possible as well.
Returning to lead workshops are Vancouver-based performance and media artist Elizabeth Milton, who took part in last year’s camp, and Bracken Hanuse Corlett of Wuikinuxv and Klahoose First Nations, whose work includes the paintings at the recently opened Harewood Centennial Park skatepark.
Hanuse Corlett said his workshops will focus on creating a collaborative visual painting made up of individual panels to be displayed in a community space.
“The works will come together near the end of the process and we will discuss a way to sequence them into a visual story,” he said in an email. “The artists will all have access to four colours and we will take time to consider space in the overall design. We will look at how the positive space affects the negative and how we can use line, gesture and symbol to communicate a message.”
Milton said she’ll be exploring aspects of performance, masquerade and photography with the teens.
“While using their own domestic space as a jumping off point for a series of staged photos and videos, I plan to introduce the students to contemporary and historical examples of artists that have taken a performative approach to photography,” she said in an email. “Since we will be using video-conferencing to connect and ensure physical distancing, we will also be exploring the interface of these digital platforms as a site for performative play and experimentation.”
The NAG is not new to such digital platforms. This spring COVID-19 forced the gallery to shift its programming for its teen art group Code Switching online as well. Vander Kooi said that experience has been a helpful model for Dazzle Camouflage.
“It was a good experiment, a good learning curve because we had to work out a lot of glitches along the way,” Vander Kooi said. “But what we were impressed by was the fact that the teenagers actually didn’t miss Zoom meetings for the most part and I think it was because of that isolation and they really wanted to hang out.”
More information about Dazzle Camouflage can be found online.