The Kelowna Art Gallery will be doing Picasso-inspired face painting this weekend in celebration of Culture Days.

Get your culture on in Kelowna this weekend

As Culture Days rolls out across the country, Kelowna offers up more than a few fun things to do…

  • Sep. 26, 2013 7:00 p.m.

For some, paint on a new pair of jeans, the tinkle of ivory chords and the odd squeak from a clarinet are part of the joy of living.

For others, soccer practice and hockey might be followed by a night chilling on the couch with an episode of Breaking Bad.

Whatever your cultural palette contains, this weekend marks a time to celebrate, try something new and revel in the artistic spirit of your community—or any community nationwide—for Culture Days.

“Canadians can enjoy a one-day celebration of comic book culture in Vancouver, ballet performances at the Royal Winnipeg Ballet or participate in a public art project in Prince Edward Island,” said Antoni Cimolino, Culture Days national chairman, in the organization’s final statement before the three-day event.

Culture Days is run by a non-profit organization of the same name, which is trying to build a national cultural network of support for the arts. Part movement, part publicity wagon, it emulates the iconic I Love New York campaign—arguably a cultural icon in itself—with its I Love Culture slogan. Every event included is free and run by volunteers; altogether it has brought 600,000 artists, arts and cultural organizations, community groups and volunteer events to Canadian communities.

Here in Kelowna, the events kick off following the downtown Marina opening Westcorp is hosting in Kerry Park from 2-6 p.m. Friday. Although the two events are entirely separate, the marina opening will include artists on site in the spirit of the weekend’s activities and Festivals Kelowna is helping round up buskers for entertainment.

Those milling about will want to move from the marina to the Kelowna Art Gallery, open 6-10 p.m. free of charge according to the event listing, and again the next day to host a series of workshops and tours.

Inside the gallery, Okanagan Life Magazine will showcase a selection of its photographs from the past 25 years and there will be behind the scenes tours of the closed portions of the facility on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

In the common area, the Cool Arts crew of differently-abled artists will be yarn bombing from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, a process which sees them knitting funky colours onto trees and inanimate objects, like park benches.

The art gallery events are inspired by cubism, the avant-garde art movement pioneered by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque and widely considered the most influential art movement of the last century.

Often geometric, always concerned with breaking down the image, volunteers at the art gallery will be helping participants put the cubist principals into practice painting a mural or drawing a “cubey, wacky still life at the easel,” according to gallery events coordinator Joshua Desnoyer. There will also be origami bouquets to fold and a Picasso-style face-painting session.

Meanwhile, on Bernard Avenue Friday evening, artists connected to the heART school have stepped in to set up a Cultural Crawl. The school, located at #5-375 Bernard Avenue, will have Sarah Mainland playing Celtic harp and Sterling Haynes stage a poetry reading at 7:15 p.m.

The Culture Crawl includes the Kelowna Art Gallery events, and the rest of the downtown core, but is primarily centred around the school on Bernard.

Just down the street, Blenz will host an evening featuring artist Christina Leinemann-Knittel, Brandy Masch and Tiny Cat Pottery by Erin Cinkant. The Bean Scene will have a feature artist and an artist participating in the 60 Artists in 60 Spaces initiative the Central Okanagan Arts Council has organized for this month. And Georgie Girl vintage retro clothing store will be doing a speakeasy event with music and chalk art.

Culture Crawl organizer Jolene Mackie said she’s hoping this first event will help bring a little flare to the Okangan art scene.

“I see the value in it. I went to school in Vancouver and always loved the Eastside Culture Crawl and Swarm and I guess I’m hoping it will just continue from here,” she said.

The Alternator Centre for the Arts, in the Rotary Arts Centre, will be offering a sneak peak of Dylan McHugh’s new exhibit, Swallow, open until 8 p.m. Friday, and Studio 113 will have an open studio night until 10 p.m. as part of the crawl. Finally, the Kelowna Public Library will host the Inspired Word Café at 7 p.m., an evening of poetry.

The following night, the French Cultural Centre will also host Nuit Blanche, an all-night arts festival contained within the centre on Saturday evening from 9 pm. until 4 a.m. Sunday morning.

Twitter: @jaswrites

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