Posts in Art

Double Opening Reception: Dylan McHugh w/ Jeff Ellom & Lucas Glenn Co.

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Please join us for the double opening reception of both Dylan McHugh’s (Vancouver) Swal-low, and Thank You for Sharing, a collaboration between Kelowna’s Jeff Ellom and Lucas Glenn Co. The event will take place at the Alternator at 7 pm on September 28.

McHugh’s Swal-low is a light and ceramic based installation exploring an intersection of myth and symbol. Consisting of a sea of delicately crafted, translucent, backlit ceramic tiles, the work intends to captivate the viewer with its dream-like qualities.

Thank You for Sharing is a collection of paper-collage collaborations between Jeff Ellom and Lucas Glenn Co. The collages, mimicking the layouts of popular websites, are made up of found images and text.

Swal-low and Thank You for Sharing form part of the Alternator’s participation in Culture Days 2013.

Intersections – Okanagan Pride 2013 at the Alternator

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The Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art is pleased to present Intersections, an exhibition of six artists in the LGBTQ* (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, queer and other) community. Intersections is presented in conjunction with the 2013 Okanagan Pride Festival in Kelowna, BC.

Taking place in the Members’ Gallery at the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art, Intersections offers a chance to share with one another the intricacies of our own personal journeys, the paths we have already taken and the experiences still to come. For artists Daniel Oledzki, Jacklyn Harris, Deneige Nadeau, Kevin Michael Witzke, Shannon Lester and Dean Krawchuk, the mileage varies. The poetic work of Deneige Nadeau, a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art + Design, engages snippets of theoretical text with photographs of her own body; while Daniel Eric Oledzki explores the areas where media, gender and capitalism overlap.

The Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art welcomes you to visit our space between August 10th and 17th to view the exhibition. Please join us for a reception and official Okanagan Pride 2013 opening event on Saturday, August 10th at 7:00 pm at the Alternator Centre. This is a free public event. The exhibition will run for the duration of the festival, August 10th- 17th.

These People Are A-OK: Opal Michel

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Opal Michel has engaged in a decade long courtship with an art medium who has finally “put a ring on it”. Drawn to Opal like a farmer to a potluck, I am so excited that her skills are for sale! A Photographer, hairdresser, singer/songwriter, doula, a mother of two and a devoted wife: this Vancouver native set out on an adventure and has found her soul path, located in Chase, BC. Fascinated by light, human subjects, concepts of beauty, and defining life moments, Opal knows how to physically soothe a situation, hands on or blending in like a shadow, she has a comforting presence who naturally creates “soft places to land”.

Opal Michel Photography is your latest HOT TIP from me, Mrs. Fagervik, your CREATIVE MAVEN. Hire Opal to capture your life’s moments, and then let her loose and receive a one of a kind hand made memory. Opal Michel LIVES WITH MOXY.

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If photography were your boyfriend, what type of relationship would you have? How long have you been together? How did you meet? Give me the 411
It would probably be like an unrequited love story. Where things never really got of the ground, and then you met one day and it was kismet. And is now my life partner. It’s probably my gay life partner, because I feel like photography is a woman, not a man. It‘s very feminine work for me. My husband has competition; competition that he doesn’t mind.

You are the definition of a Creative Entrepreneur. What does that title mean to you?
That’s a really good question because I have been going through so much emotion about what it means to be a creative entrepreneur because it’s such a vulnerable position to be in. Asking for money for your vision and for the way you see the World: big and scary. It’s also really exciting. It feels really really right and good. And I love that I have complete control over everything. The thing about photography and art in general is that there are no rules. I can do whatever the heck I want. There are a lot of people saying that there should be rules, the Internet is full of them, bossy people telling me what to do. I am shutting them all out. I’m going to do what I want to do with it.

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Your photographs have a distinct sensibility. Can you walk me through your process when setting up a shot?
I consider all of the technical stuff second. First I make a decision that something is beautiful or worth capturing. Then I tap into that feeling of the moment. Then I take into consideration all of the camera settings, and the light quality, and composition. I always have a vision of what the final product will look like so that when I take it into post processing I know what I want from it. It’s so exciting when it works out. It’s a bunch of steps, not just a snapshot with a general intention. I always envision artistically which I want to achieve.

Do you prefer digital or analog photography?
Digital. (Opal answered right away). For sure. I can develop film in a darkroom and I did that in high school, and I wanted to love it because all of my friends loved it, and it seemed to be the cool thing to latch onto artistically at the time in the 90s, but I hated it. I always wanted someone else to make things happen for me. I love computers and I love doing things while sitting down in a chair.

How does technology come into play? You are clearly comfortable on a computer and advertise Creative photo shoot options for your customers, what happens for you creatively once you input your images into the computer?

I don’t want to leave. I can spend hours and hours and hours editing and doing fun creative stuff, pushing my own boundaries, learning. There’s so much to learn about digital photography and what you can do to manipulate the images gets me very excited. I guess you could say that my wife and I have a really good sex life. Yea, it’s just fun.

I have a hunch that you’re creative in many aspects of your life? Can you speak to your relationship with creativity?
I am a singer and I like to pretend to paint. And I love colour and try to inject it into every aspect of our life with my kids and our home. I feel really attracted to other creative people. I’ve never referred to myself as an artist. Growing up it was considered the A word, no one was allowed to call me that, especially my mother. When I was in the fourth grade my mom would say “oh you’re such a little artist Opal”, and I said “no! don’t call me an artist, artists suffer”. I wanted money and I didn’t know how to achieve that in art, until I went to hair school and so much creativity came out of me through that, and then I started to embrace being an artist. Now I’m proud of it. Now I’m proud to say that I’m a stay at home artist.

Where did you grow up? What brought you to Chase BC?
I grew up in East Vancouver, and my first time living outside of Vancouver was moving here to the Adams Lake Reserve in Chase. We moved for our son, so that he could go to Shuswap emersion Elementary School to learn his language. I didn’t know anybody here. No friends, no family, just sort of took a leap of faith. I really love my husband, and I trust him, and it was extremely important for his life and family and his spirit to be here on his land, so I did it for him. I’m so glad I did.

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If you were to trace your relationship with the arts throughout your life, how would it weave its way to this point, the Premiere of your official title as businesswoman?
I would say my mother used to teach me when I was younger that resistance comes before glory, and it was just a huge path of resistance and not wanting to be a professional or a business woman in an artistic field, from complete fear of failure and not having the skills to succeed. That really shifted for me about a year ago when regular work was just crippling my soul. Minimum wage was crippling my soul and doing nothing was crippling my soul. I decided to take my passion to the next level, and try to provide for my family. I was honest to goodness like 5 minutes away from applying for a job at the bank, because that seemed like the best option, and then I just realized that it really was not the best option at all.

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To be present and counted upon during people’s delicate life moments is a heavy agreement. What is it like to arrive with a camera and its lenses? What goes through your mind before hand and then during? How do you feel after?
I really love people so much and I have a natural tendency to want to be in peoples lives and witness their special moments all of the time, for everything: love, birth, any sort of celebration. Life growth, I love witnessing that. It’s a really natural leap, and people request that I have my camera, so that helps. It makes people so uncomfortable to interject photo documentation during vulnerable times, and that’s something that I take really seriously, to try to make people feel really truly comfortable. When working with little children, I like to have them hold the camera and take a picture, show them the buttons and make them play. I like to talk to people about what they’re feeling in the moment, and let them know that I can find these moments and I really do find them beautiful, I want them to know how much I really do LOVE these little details of real life. It’s amazing how many people are some of the most glowing, vibrant, physically beautiful people that you’ve ever seen, and all they can think about is that the pimple on their chin is so ugly and they’re so worried about how they’re going to look in that photo… it makes me want to cry. I can just take that pimple away!

Do you meet with your clients ahead of time, or do you nurture your relationship on site?
Both. Say for birth, I would absolutely meet the client ahead of time, stay in touch, get to know them. Weddings of course, sometimes I will just show up and meet them, but I wont bring the camera out until we’ve established a connection, just to help people feel comfortable. If they’re not, I wont take photos. I wont take a photo if someone doesn’t want their photo taken. I’m a doula as well, and doulas are very hands on, you actually physically comfort women through their pain and birth transition, and that’s always something that comes really naturally to me, to reach out and touch people. That’s something that we learned with hairdressing, and it’s very rare. Within a few moments you’ve met someone, and then you have your hands on their head right away. You’re an alien species who reaches out and puts their hands on their head and feels their skull. Doula is like that as well. You put your hands on a woman’s hips and you soothe her pain. A sisterhood connection with women. I love to take photos of women.

What type of client would make your pulse pound? Who is your dream subject?
I think my dream subjects are anybody who’s willing to take their clothes off, who normally would never take their clothes off. I really really love humans. One of my interests is photographing nudes, and especially women or men who are not your social typical norm or idea of picture perfect beauty, but really really should be the ideal of beauty.

How does it feel to own your own business?
Exhilarating. I really like attention. Now I get to plaster my name everywhere and talk about myself more than usual, so that’s pretty great. I’m not really very shy. I know how to direct people now. Everyone is expecting you to pose them and move them around. Don’t have any problem public speaking or raising my voice to direct a crowd. I also know how to slink into the background if I need too.

What makes OM unique?
I really want to capture people in their natural form and not sugar coat scenarios and families and appearances. So, if I’m used to seeing someone in a dirty shirt and jeans, and they show up in a crisp white ironed shirt and combed hair, that would not be what I want to capture. I’m interested in people as they are, in their lives, in their settings, in their natural environments. I also like to take creative photos that are not realistic at all. It’s important to me too, to do different things and not be rigid in my ideas and style. I like to be flexible.

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Working with an art medium, photography, in this commercial output can be a sticky space for many artists. How do you negotiate your ‘art’ while working for a client?
I want to make sure that my clients have seen what I’ve already done and understand my capabilities and price points, and that they know what they’re getting into. I find that people who love what I do really love what I do, and they want to work with me just based on my portfolio. I had a person recently who wanted to work with me before she saw my photos, and that felt nice: she could tell what I do without meeting me.

1040310_10151728582100336_394198792_oWhat is your vision for OM?

I really want to travel and eventually work in editorial photography and my BIG life goal would be to be working entirely on creative projects and to be published in a major publication. Fashion photography. Avante garde stuff is the direction that I’d like to head in. Yes, I’d like to work in New York city and be a very special person.

What does the word freedom mean to you?
I think that freedom for me is living without fear. Following your heart and your soul path.

Opal Michel Photography
(250) 434-4422
Chase BC
Find her on Facebook
opal@opalmichel.com

The Okanagan Tattoo Show

The Okanagan Tattoo, Art and Culture Show is the first of its kind in the BC Interior region that unites a community of tattoo shops, artists, and clients. This inaugural year had an exciting and contemporary twist to Kelowna’s already rich and vibrant arts & culture industry. Over the weekend of July 26-28, 2013 DLD Productions and Events Rising is hosted The Okanagan Tattoo Show at the Parkinson Recreation Centre in Kelowna, BC. A convention-style weekend that hosted 23 tattoo shop booths with artists in action, 23 retail vending booths and 23 Hot Rods creating an exciting atmosphere.

There were many talented tattoo artists in Kelowna for the weekend.

Many people were there to meet tattoo artists and learn about techniques in hopes of getting a high quality tattoo. Others are there for the social aspect of enjoying the company of others and having a good experience.

Fashionate: Stripes!

While it’s not unusual for the picturesque views and locations of the Okanagan to form the backdrop of innumerable photo-shoots, I can bet you’ve never seen African Safari animals involved!

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Recently L.G. photography, hairstylist Melanie Stipdonk and myself teamed up to do a creative shoot at the unbelievably unique Rawhide Ridge Zebra Ranch. With a little help from our friends at Frakas and Nateah Studios, we developed a Warrior Woman Safari setting, right in our own backyard!

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As we made our way to the distinctive farm, we were greeted by quietly perched Peacocks. There were Emu’s casually lounging about and the whole feeling it evoked was sublime. We trudged through mud until we finally came to our location, marked by a bold and striking Zebra. I pulled my high heeled gumboots up and we began what was my first-ever Zebra shoot!

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Equipped with a gorgeous Mink Pink summer frock, a Mink Pink velvet and lace top; both from Frakas, Leopord print shoes by Steve Madden, and Earrings made by Nateah Studios, we investigated gorgeous, sprawling fields in the hopes of making a little magic happen.

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What an opportunity mix real prints and textures together. Adding a pop of colour in a pair of blue shoes, a multi-print dress, or power-clashing leopard and zebra print. Don’t be afraid to wear contrasting colours or prints, just make sure there is one cohesive theme to tie the items together. Frakas is home to some amazing accessories that can help to complete your outfit, whether it’s a colour block bag or a new bib necklace.

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Love these killer shots by A-OK contributor Lise Guyot? Follow her photo postings on our blog!

Keloha Music and Arts Festival 2013

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Kealoha is a Hawaiian word which translates to “The Love”. The Keloha Music and Arts Festival is beautiful people coming together and creating magical moments under the hot Okanagan sun. This 3-day, all-ages festival is an all-weekend extravaganza of love, art, and good vibes. Over 30 talented musical acts share two stages in Waterfront Park, serenading and making dreams come true. The grassy knolls of the Island Stage provides a natural amphitheatre complete with shady trees to sit under when the heat starts to take its toll on you and The Sandbar Stage, located on the beach, is perfect for rolling out a towel and digging your feet in the hot sand. Or, you can cool off in the refreshing waters of the Okanagan Lake.

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Between the stages there was plenty else for you to see and do. Lakeside Lounge and Paradise Beach provided a tropical get away for adults wanting to indulge themselves with an intoxicating tonic. VIP pass holders could skip the line-up and enter Paradise, an exclusive area complete with tables and private port-a-potties. Sponsors Big Surf and Palm Bay provided the perfect tropical summer brews for the sun drenched fiesta.

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The Trews

If you were a Hungry Patron you could make a trip to the Food Plaza where an assortment of vendors sold mini-donuts, hamburgers, tacos, pizza-by-the-slice, and more. Everyone’s favorite neighbourhood restaurant Kelly O’Bryan’s was even on hand to sell their famed Pachos. My favorite lunchtime item was the Bronco Burger from the Good Stuff Foods vendor with their reasonable prices.

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MUTEMATH

Those with a creative side could visit Art Avenue, a stretch of space between the Sandbar Stage and Food Plaza, which hosted drop-in yoga, paddle boarding, sandcastle building, gymnastic performances, and interactive art installations. The sidewalk was even transformed into a giant chalk canvas for the public to express themselves on. Installations included pyramids in the sand, and a volcano frothing bubbles.

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Sunset Way, the path between the Food Plaza and Island Stage, became home to a small village of vendor tents where small businesses sold clothing, accessories, and more. The tent I spent most of my time at was the Merchandise Tent where you could buy CD’s and T-Shirts from your favorite bands at the festival.

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Lille Gard Music & Arts Festival

Happening this weekend at the Bottega Farm Inn is the 4th annual Lille Gard Music & Arts Festival. The festival opened tonight with Ten-Ten-Ten “Under the Stars,” a display of assorted performances by musicians, poets, dancers and artists. Tickets were ten dollars to see ten performances each ten minutes long. Thirty dollar weekend passes were also available, which would allow you into the festival for all three days.

Saturday will feature thirteen new performances and end with an Open Mic hosted by the Streaming Café. Sunday will feature a Pancake Breakfast hosted by Metro Community and six more performances. Visual Arts will also be exhibited in the gallery and on the grounds during the course of the event.

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Tonight consisted of musical performances by Singer Songwriters Norm Strauss and Brent Tyler, family east coast fiddle group Chloe, Kyle & Co., opera singer Sandra Babbel (with accompaniment by classical guitarist Alan Rinehart), and Caroline Mackay on Celtic Harp. Nygel Metcalfe performed his Spoken Word poetry, Burnet Mclean spun a nine minute story, Dylan Ranney and Liz Dumontet created a mural, Hailey Neufeld performed ballet, and Jordan McAlpine’s dance group performed an original modern dance piece.

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Lille Gard is organized by the TribeHouse Artist Collective, which is “a non-profit organization dedicated to exploring the relationship between the Christian faith, Art, and Social Justice”. All profits raised by the festival will be donated to two charities, “Hands in Service”, which helps people in Kelowna with health concerns or disabilities, and the Najenga Congo Project, which helps build schools and homes in the Congo.

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Lille Gard runs on Saturday  from twelve o’clock noon until 11pm and on Sunday from 9am until 3pm. Day Passes are still available at the gate and online, so grab yours while you’re reading this and don’t miss out on the fun. Treat yourself this Saturday and Sunday to local favorites, including the likes of Andrew Judah, JoyfulDoor, Ari Neufeld and much more!  Bring friends, family, and a lawn chair (or blanket) and be prepared to have a good time.

On the Road to Shambhala! 2013

Destination: dancefloor. You’re are on the road to Shambhala!

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Announcing their lineup (which is actually too big to even post here, download this PDF) via newsletters today, Shambhala is only two months away! Air, bus, car, bike and thumb. Come August, 10,000+ people will be on the road to Shambhala Music Festival and experience Kootenay legend. Massive PK Sound, lasers, lights, dance. Under the starriest sky, among giant trees, beside the Salmo River, six stages deliver an experience of movement unlike any other.

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To get this party started, Shambhala invites you to attend an official on the road celebration, July 25th 2013. Sixteen locations celebrate each of their Sweet 16 years. Stay tuned on Facebook and on their website for on the road pre-party locations.

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Have your wheels already hit the road? Car packed? Truly on your way? Stop at Shambhala friendly locations along the roads leading to the Salmo River Ranch. Find them on their website or simply look for Shambhala stickers and banners enroute. If you own or know a business that would like to participate, simply email info@shambhalamusicfestival.com with the subject “ON THE ROAD”. Shambhala will mail a kit and post the business and location on their website!

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