On Sunday, Aug. 16 at The HUB at Cowichan Station, 24 youth from the Cowichan Valley generously shared their creative gifts with the community by participating in an art show.
As with all that Cowichan Valley Youth Services does, the CVYS Art Show was inspired by the amazing youth and their artistic expression, and wanting to celebrate and honour their talents. Also, several youth had come to us sharing that with COVID-19 there were not many, if any, opportunities to gather and feel engaged.
Each youth participant showed one to four pieces of their artwork. There were many mediums of expression, including painting, drawing, photography, a needle felt and driftwood sculpture, a doll made out of paper and clay, painted stones, garments with painted designs, and poetry. Two youth artists stood with their work to share about their artistic process and engage with those who came to view the show. Many of the other youth artists came to see the show and bring friends and family as well. There were also two youth musicians, who wowed the crowd with their incredible moving vocals and instrumentation, performing mostly original songs they had written. One of the most beautiful things to witness was how the youth supported and encouraged each other, offering compliments and even purchasing each other’s work!
At least 60 members from the community attended on the day of the opening, and more than a dozen visitors came during the rest of the week while the art remained up for viewing. Masks were mandatory, as was using the hand sanitizing station, and there were volunteers ensuring the capacity limit was being honoured. Six CVYS staff dedicated work time on the day of the opening on Sunday, as well as on the following Saturday for take down. There were also three volunteers who graciously donated their spare time to support the event.
Visitors were invited to provide positive thoughts and encouraging affirmations about the artwork on comment cards, which at the end of the show were distributed to the artists. In total, the youth made $480! All the funds went directly back to the youth, and based on the outstanding positive feedback from the youth and the community we certainly will be hosting more youth art shows in the future.
A HUGE thank you to the remarkable youth artists, the volunteers, staff, CVYS, and the HUB for making this event possible. In times like these (safely) gathering together to celebrate each other, honour self-expression and creativity, and the ways in which we can lift each other up is so important. Youth in this community are truly something special, their insights, wisdom, compassion, and deep capacity to feel and understand the world is profoundly inspiring.
To see more about the art show, inquire about commissions and custom orders from the youth artists, get Instagram addresses, and to see a video of the art show and more pictures visit the CVYS Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/cvys.cowichan