Art Lab: Teen


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Code Switching

Code Switching operates out of Art Lab in the Nanaimo Art Gallery. The program supports young artists throughout the school year with workshops, gallery visits, artist talks, and explorations in various media. Code Switching offers young people in our community the opportunity to become fluent in the language(s) of contemporary art by exploring art making techniques and experimenting with new forms of expression.

This program is generously supported by The Edwina and Paul Heller Memorial Fund, held at Vancouver Foundation, and BC Art Council's Youth Engagement Program. 

Code Switching – Pop-Up Show
Join us for the opening reception on Friday, May 25, 7 - 9 pm 
Visitors welcome: May 26 & May 27, 12 - 5 pm
Admission Free
Come celebrate the work of emerging artists! Teens from Code Switching will take over Art Lab for an exhibition that considers: How Can We Speak Differently? Since September, this dedicated group of teens have studied contemporary art practices, embarked on excursions, participated in artist-led workshops, and developed their own work. This year-end exhibition will feature their explorations in sculpture, photography, video, creative writing and sound art.  

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Dazzle Camouflage  – A Contemporary Art Immersion Program for Youth

Apply by July 3, 9 am
Program Dates: July 30 to August 31, Monday to Friday, 9:30 am to 4:30 pm
This five-week art immersion program is for aspiring artists, writers, arts and culture professionals aged 15-19! Participants receive a $300 honorarium upon project completion. 
Dazzle Camouflage introduces diverse, global approaches to contemporary art and supports participants to make their own work in painting, drawing, sound, video, photography, performance, installation, animation and more. Guided by amazing professional artist mentors, participants experiment, learn, push boundaries and have fun, making projects that are featured in a three day public exhibition at Art Lab. 
The program title, Dazzle Camouflage refers to a paint scheme designed by British Artist Norman Wilkinson that was used on military boats in the early 20th century. Rather than hiding the boats from view, dazzle camouflage was meant to confuse enemies making it difficult to estimate a target's range, speed and heading. While never proven effective, the boats themselves inspired many artists. This strange tactic of simultaneously hiding and standing out is a point of inspiration for the program. 
Dazzle runs parallel to Earthlings, an exhibition in the Gallery featuring artists Roger Aksadjuak, Shuvinai Ashoona, Pierre Aupilardjuk, Shary Boyle, Jessie Kenalogak, John Kurok, and Leo Napayok. This exhibition explores the idea of bridge art as a way to span cultures and language and links to the Gallery’s year-long inquiry How Can We Speak Differently?
Application Guidelines
Send one or more of the following: 
  1.  5 to 10 images of your visual artworks, including title, medium, dimensions & date (this can include     photography, painting, drawing, assemblage and collage!)
  2.  A portfolio of your writing, be it fiction, poetry or critique
  3.  Links to any websites, films or videos you have created
  4.  A letter indicating what you hope to gain from the program and why you should be selected. 
This letter and all materials should be incorporated into a single PDF and emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..
Deadline: Tuesday, July 3, 9 am
If you have questions about the program or application process, get in touch: 
Yvonne Vander Kooi | Art Education Coordinator | 250.754.1750 | This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
“I was accepted in Dazzle Camouflage during its freshman run in 2015, and it was frankly the most significant event in my artistic development. I interacted with contemporary art in a way I never had before, and in a way I never thought I’d be able to. I’d thought a program like this only existed in much larger cities - Vancouver, New York, Toronto - but we are so incredibly lucky that such an opportunity exists here in Nanaimo."
Dazzle Camouflage teen participant, 2016
This program is generously supported by BC Art Council's Youth Engagement Program. 



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150 Commercial Street
Nanaimo, BC V9R 5G6
Tue - Sat: 10 am - 5 pm, Sun: 12 -5 pm (as of April 8)



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