The Summer of 2023 has been my most rewarding time with the Nicola Valley Arts Council. I have had such incredible opportunities as an artist in the Nicola Valley. The highlights of this season for me were the chance to take part in various City Arts projects.
Working with NVCAC and the City of Merritt, I planned murals and carried them out on different buildings. My first street beautification project was painted at Breathe Bikes, with feedback from Travis Fehr and the owner of the building, Dan Dagasso. Next, my partner, Brooklyn Harris and I moved on to Rotary Park. Implementing my design, we painted a vibrant and playful mural on the washrooms. In addition, we created some sidewalk games for children. The last city arts project we partook in was constructed a flower mural at Sinfully Sugar’d. Moreover, in the studio at the arts gallery I designed a 4x8ft crow on a plywood board; this will be placed on the outside of the Arts Council building.
Another highlight of my summer was the honour of working with children. I was excited to lead the Crafty Kids day camp this year. This was an extremely rewarding experience for me, especially as my future career goals involve working with children as an art therapist. Our crafty kids had so much fun while sketching, painting, shaping clay, and puppet making. Brooklyn and I took the children on walks to Spirit Square, where we played, coloured with chalk, and made music with the pianos placed at the Square. Further work with children included presenting art activities at the Spirit Square on Wednesdays at the evening market hosted by the Chamber of Commerce. This gave me an opportunity to practice a new skill: face painting. It was so rewarding to see the expressions on children and adults' faces after I finished their temporary piece of art.
Overall, I am extremely grateful to have worked for the Nicola Valley Community Arts Council for a third summer and am so thankful for all the opportunities given to me this year.