Creative Kelowna event draws all kinds of people - InfoNews

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Creative Kelowna event draws all kinds of people

Image Credit: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS
February 07, 2019 - 1:48 PM

KELOWNA - The image of the solitary artist is a popular one. Painters such as Vincent van Gogh are famous for working in complete isolation. Once a month, Myron Campbell flips that notion on its head.

Campbell, an instructor at the University of B.C. in Kelowna, hosts a party on the first Thursday of every month during the school year. His event attracts dozens of people, from students to alumni to professionals. For two hours, he turns the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art into a social drawing party.

It's called Draw by Night, an event where people from all backgrounds and experience levels can get together and draw on large sheets of paper. The event is free and Campbell provides the supplies, which are mainly permanent markers. He thinks erasers make artists more self-conscious about their work; with permanent markers, they can't correct themselves.

"They have to commit," he said. "Just keep working."

Campbell first learned about drawing paintings when he worked as an animator in Montreal. He would often attend large gatherings where he and fellow artists would just draw.

"I found it really inspiring and freeing," he said.

Campbell experimented with the Draw by Night idea in Vancouver before bringing it to Kelowna five years ago. He's watched the event grow in popularity as students and professional artists show up to simply draw.

At the event, Campbell encourages people to keep working no matter what mistakes they make. To remove the pressure, Campbell recycles the paper after the event, meaning none of the drawings are saved (unless an artist makes a request). Participants create temporary pieces, allowing them to focus on the process and the experience instead of the end product.

"The end result doesn't matter," he said.

Draw by Night also provides an excellent opportunity for artists to form connections and networks in the community. Campbell said he's seen conversations at drawing events that eventually blossomed into full-blown collaborations.

"You get buzzed by seeing what people make," he said. "I love facilitating engaging community events."

Draw by Night is often structured around a theme. This month the theme is "Noise Farm," which is inspired by the works of Patrick Lundeen, who'll be attending the event. Participants will be asked to create drawings based on the noises they hear.

Campbell said his favourite part of the event, aside from as an excuse to draw for fun, is watching people step back at the end of the night and seeing what they've made.

"Being surprised by the drawings you make is the coolest thing," he said.

Draw by Night will be held at the Alternator Gallery today, Feb. 7, from 6 p.m to 8 p.m. Admission is free.


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