Following Your Artistic Passion

My post from a year ago “Creative Community”  is worth revisiting as last week we celebrated the 4th Annual Penticton and District Art Awards.  I spoke at the awards ceremony and talked about the Mosaic Tile Project which is now hanging outside the Cleland Theatre building. I painted one of the tiles and despite joking that it looked like something an 8-year could do, I was still proud of my work. My tile is nothing special on its own, but when combined with the collective impact of 575 other tiles it produces a stunning rendering of Penticton. The amazing work captures the beauty and the unique features that make our city such a desirable place to call home.

Art is subjective and beauty is in the eye or ear of the beholder. As critics, we are often our own worst enemy. We say to ourselves, “I will never paint or sculpt something good enough for a gallery showing in New York or Paris, create Grammy Award winning music, direct an Oscar-worthy film, perform on Broadway, or see my photography on the cover of a magazine.” Our negativity becomes an inhibitor to exploring our creative side. We forget that many famous artists started off making a lot of mistakes and it takes time to perfect a craft. As a child we all learned to walk and despite falling down a 100 times or more, we never stopped to say, “Perhaps this walking thing isn’t for me?” Later in life, it seems we often give up too early with our efforts and spend too much time thinking about what others will think or say.

Earlier this week I attended the film premiere of “The Darlings” which was produced, acted, and filmed by local residents Ivy Elizabeth Allen and Maddison Tebbutt (along with Sydney Powers, Judy Jones and Patricia Severn).  What struck me was that I recalled attending a high school graduation ceremony just last year where Maddison Tebbutt listed film as a passion and desired pursuit. She didn’t waste any time and spent the summer creating, casting, and filming a story about three sisters and the search for the unpleasant truth after a tragedy strikes the family.

I did not expect a 90 minute feature film, nor did I expect the level of professionalism in cinematography, sound, set design, and locations. This column isn’t about a review of the film, merely an acknowledgement of a group of people that came together with a common vision and created something special because they had a passion and were not afraid to pursue it. It was very cool to attend the premiere of a local film along with 80 others at the Landmark Cinema.

I was inspired by these two aspiring film makers for exploring their creative side.  Despite very little budget and experience these two young ladies did what people told them couldn’t be done and overcame obstacles that most people would have used as an excuse to give up.

In addition to private opportunities to get involved with the arts, the arts council, Lier House and the Shatford Center all offer various opportunities to explore your hidden potential. There are also online options to learn, but the biggest learning tool or benefit will come from creative collaboration within our community. The local arts community needs to help mentor up and coming artists and be more collaborative, supportive, and celebratory if we want our local arts scene to truly flourish. 

I hope some of you who have only thought about it until now will try your hand at some form of artistic expressions.  Arts and culture is often undervalued, yet it helps create a more diverse and vibrant community.  It is never too late to try and find your passion.