Mark Mercer shows his collage-in-progress at a Cool Arts workshop. Submitted photo.

Cool Arts’ double header event features Lake Country artist

Celebration of artist Mark Mercer’s work to run alongside community art night in Kelowna.

The Cool Arts Society will mark the opening of their next Featured Artist Series exhibition with a double-header event next week in Kelowna.

The Nov. 22 event will not only include the unveiling of Cool Arts member artist Mark Mercer’s solo show, it will also include Cool Arts’ second Community Art Night.

Both events will take place from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Cool Arts Studio (Studio 201, Rotary Centre for the Arts, 421 Cawston Ave).

The Cool Arts Featured Artist Series is an initiative focused on showcasing Cool Arts member artists who have built a large body of work through dedication to art practice.

Considering the barriers that artists with disabilities often face when seeking exhibition opportunities, the Featured Artist Series attempts to combat these challenges by working directly with member artists to curate a solo show that will be open to the public for several months outside the Cool Arts Studio at the Rotary Centre for the Arts.

Mark Mercer will be the sixth artist to be showcased by the event. Mercer was raised in Lake Country and has been attending Cool Arts classes and workshops for years. Mercer describes his art style as, “beyond wild” and states that he hopes his art inspires people to “show who they are inside of themselves.”

“I do love creating different art so that art can grow like a little weed into a beautiful garden. My art is an expression of my journey through the world.” added Mercer.

Community Art Night is a free event open to the general public that Cool Arts hopes will help introduce the Central Okanagan to its studio and artists.

This month, the event is facilitated by local artist and long-time Cool Arts volunteer Kathy Almas. Almas will guide participants through a small-scale collage process while they socialize in the Cool Arts studio.

To learn more about Cool Arts Society, visit www.coolarts.ca or find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

Related: Local art brings light to feral cats living in the Okanagan

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Painting, by Mark Mercer, The Relaxing Bathtub, which was selected for entry to the Spark Disability Art Festival 2018 in Calgary, AB. Submitted photo.

Portrait of Mark Mercer captured during the A Different Lens photography workshop at Cool Arts Society. Submitted photo.

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