The concept of a “Random Act of Culture” is one that the Rossland Council for Arts and Culture (RCAC) has had on their list of innovative art projects for the community for the past 2 years. The idea was conceived by Renate Fleming, President of the RCAC, who felt that since a large percentage of our community are outdoor enthusiasts, it would be a good idea to bring art into the outdoor environment rather than having it displayed in a gallery. The RCAC has also been instrumental in many youth activities over the years: the U19 Film Festival as well as various workshops.Having a youth initiated sculpture as part of their Random Act of Culture concept was on the agenda for the RCAC.
The opportunity for the project to be realised came when the RCAC applied and received a grant from the LeRoi Foundation last year. Theshini Naicker, a local fibre artist, was the lead and co-ordinator of the project. Mike Kent from the Rossland Youth Action Network (RYAN) was open to collaborating and was instrumental in gathering and bringing together interested students and organising various aspects of the project.
The students who participated were: Liam Barnes, James Klemmensen, Devin Knox, Julian Zimmer, Jake Fantin, and Connor Britton. Together they came up with the concept of “A Gathering”, a collection of 4 sculptures that would ultimately be placed somewhere on the Trail system in the Rossland area.
They all agreed that they would like to learn how to carve wood. Colin Taylor, an arborist and artist from Rossland, generously donated some beautiful large Cedar pieces and provided some initial assistance for the project. Mike Williams, a master carver from Patterson, agreed to provide instruction on wood carving for the group and was generous with his time in providing assistance. The West Kootenay Youth and Adult Wood Shop run by Career Development Services in Trail was used for the workshops. The project was successfully completed in time for the opening exhibition of Youth Art Show at the Rossland Art Gallery, part of the Youth Week celebrations this week.
The students did an excellent job in the short time frame that they had. Each of the four “gatherers” displays a unique character and beautifully shows off their newly gained skills.
The pieces will be exhibited in the Rossland Gallery until next Sunday, May 11.
If you don’t get to see them there, then look out for them soon somewhere along the trails surrounding Rossland!.
The RCAC would like to thank The Leroi Foundation, Colin Taylor, Mike Williams and Mike Kent (RYAN) for bringing this project to fruition.