A Revelstoke artist has been selected as a BC Culture Days ambassador.
Claudia Simon, known as Bambi, is one of five ambassadors across the province. For her project she is inviting people to create a collective mural with her.
She is hosting a two-day event in Kelowna, with the Francophone community, on Aug. 28 and 29 and a second event in Revelstoke on Sept. 25.
In order to create images for the mural, one person will close their eyes and draw a scribble, passing it on to the next person, who will turn the scribble into something more tangible. Those pieces will be attached to a 3’ by 10’ rolled canvas, that has been decorated with bright colours.
Simon said that the process will be filmed and when the mural is displayed a video will play alongside it so viewers have a better understanding of how it was created.
Rob Buchanan, who was a ambassador in 2018, is working with Simon as her mentor.
Simon, originally from Riviére-du-Loup, a city two hours east of Quebec City, is a full-time artist and graphic designer working in Revelstoke. She teaches art in schools and community centres and is especially involved in the francophone community in town.
“I’m involved in a little bit of everything really, as long as it’s related to art.”
“I also try to tie everything to the outdoors, because (Revelstoke) is such a beautiful place to live,” she said.
Each of the five culture days ambassadors are hosting an event between Sept. 25 and Oct. 25.
“More so than ever before, fostering connection, understanding, and healing through artistic expression is essential to our overall well being as we navigate these strange and challenging times,” said BC Culture Days Manager Nazanin Shoja, in a news release.
Coral Santana, in Vancouver, will be producing a livestream festival, highlighting the connections between minority experiences and sex, sexuality and body ownership. Activities will include live music, comedy, spoken work, aphrodisiac cuisine and burlesque.
Damian John, in Ymir, is hosting an interactive presentation exploring the history and experience of First Nations people in Canada. Participants will be encouraged to create artwork inspired by their thoughts and experiences, informed by both the presentation and their own personal journey.
Molly Beatrice, Victoria, is facilitating a 10-week performing arts workshop with queer, trans and gender non-conforming youth in the Victoria area, culminating in a cabaret performed by the youth and hosted over Zoom.
Edward Fu-Chen Juan, in Vancouver, is hosting a guided tour and workshop on how to turn foraged native plant specimens into ink material for silkscreen printmaking, thereby highlighting the importance of conservation.
BC Culture Days will officially kick off with a virtual event on Sept. 24, at 4 p.m. The event will feature performances by local artists, South Asian, Persian and First Nations dancers, an Indigenous welcome ceremony and messages from the minister of tourism, sports and culture and Linda Buchanan, the mayor of the city of North Vancouver.
Simon said doing her project the way she chose will have the group exercising imagination instead of worrying about themes or realism.
“Sometimes, art can seem like a big mountain and it’s hard to conquer, but I feel like every time I end a workshop, I hear a lot of people say ‘oh, it’s not that hard after all’, and that’s the barrier I’m trying to break: that feeling of intimidation,” she said.