New West arts council awards seniors' arts grants

The Arts Council of New Westminster is giving a boost to 10 local art projects.

The arts council has just doled out $5,000 in grant funding for Seniors Expressions Through the Arts projects.

The grants are part of the arts council’s efforts to steer the city’s arts community through the COVID-19 pandemic. A press release notes the money is geared toward promoting creative expression and professional development for emerging, mid-career and senior-level artists in the city’s 55-plus community.

In late April, the arts council put out an artist call for project ideas, with each project eligible to receive up to $500 to cover the cost of materials, technology upgrades and professional online courses.

“The opportunity to engage creativity through the pursuit of arts, crafts, design and learning can help dissolve the boundaries and challenges experienced in isolation,” said Olivia C. Davies, Arts Council of New Westminster seniors coordinator, in the press release. “These arts awards will promote the health and welfare of our senior community by encouraging new creative expression and help ease the financial burden of purchasing non-essential items that help fulfil the artists’ desires to create something beautiful in these difficult times of social distancing.”

The award recipients are:

Candace Colmer: series of acrylic paintings and online learning

Carolyn McLaughlin: batik art fashion designs

Janet Kvammen: seniors’ weekend pop-up show event, with live demos

Jim Keyes: series of acrylic paintings for exhibition and online portfolio upgrades

Lanta Meng: series of oil paintings for exhibition

Lavana La Brey: software and equipment for online teaching and presentations

Lee Down: series of acrylic paintings for exhibition

Melissa Mary Duncan: equipment for online presentations of fantasy art practice

Susan Ormsby: series of watercolour paintings for exhibition

Rodrigo Sarrat Cave: printing series of photobooks as teaching tools

The successful grant applicants were chosen by a volunteer committee made up of New West folks aged 55 and up connected to the arts and culture community.

Each of the projects developed with the funding will be considered for public exhibition at the Gallery at Queen’s Park in 2021. Additional online content and virtual exhibition will be available on the arts council’s website this fall.

The project is funded through the Government of Canada’s New Horizons for Seniors program.



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