Tara Sprickerhoff photos                                Maria Becker (left), Danelle Mathewson, Weston Becker, Ava Lynn and Kiera Primeau show off some of the art pieces they’ve created over the past year as part of the Uptown Art group.

Tara Sprickerhoff photos Maria Becker (left), Danelle Mathewson, Weston Becker, Ava Lynn and Kiera Primeau show off some of the art pieces they’ve created over the past year as part of the Uptown Art group.

Uptown Art encourages creativity and expression

End of year art show held by Uptown Art students Dec. 13

Masks, paintings, and even Raku pottery were some of the many pieces of art on display at an art exhibit excellently arranged at the Child Development Centre on Dec. 13.

The exhibit was a chance for the artists — aged six to 16 — to display the pieces they’ve been working on at the Uptown Art program throughout the year.

“I’ve actually never done pottery before. It was a fun experience,” said Ava Boyd, 11, one of the artists.

The program runs from May until December, and is funded by a grant from the Central Cariboo Arts and Culture Society that distributes money from the City of Williams Lake and the Cariboo Regional District.

The program is designed to make art accessible for children who cant access art due to financial constraints, who need extra help, or one-on-one support, said Anniki Egolf, a child and youth care family support worker with the Child Development Centre.

Read more: Christmas Wish Breakfast makes Christmas brighter for those in need

The art group, which has about 10 students, meets once per week at the Central Cariboo Arts Centre.

“A lot of children are just more comfortable in smaller groups and are able to make connections,” said Shelley Neufeld, who runs the program with Egolf. “It’s just nice to connect to arts and it gives them a bit if independence because they can come on their own.”

For Maria Becker, 11, the program has opened doors to different styles of art.

“I really like it because I can express my creativity,” she said.

“It made me feel more confident about my art because I don’t like drawing that much — well, I love drawing, but not around other people.”

The art students are not the only ones gaining from the program. Lesley Lloyd and Simone Benjamin are among the teachers that come work with the students.

“I love doing it because even though I’ve been potting for years the kids always do something that maybe I might have tried but it wouldn’t work – it will work for a kid,” said Lloyd.

“They come up with new ways to do things.”

Read more: Fire baby families aid a family for Christmas

For Benjamin, it’s about “going with the flow.”

“You come with an idea, you think they could do this, and then one kid starts up doing cat sculptures and then everyone is doing what the first kid is doing and then everything is out the window,” she said.

“It’s about being present with what is going on.”

In addition, they both said they get back as much as they give to the program.

“I love teaching kids because of their enthusiasm. They give back, they energize me with their ideas,” said Lloyd.

Egolf and Neufeld often recommend students attend the program from their case load at the Child Development Centre. They’ll also get recommendations from counsellors in the schools.

“I think it’s just important to give them the skills so they can express themselves,” said Benjamin. “Some kids might not be comfortable verbalizing so with your art you can always have that inner world inside of you that you can go into and that’s how you express yourself to the world.”

Students take field trips to different art studios through town, and they also can spend time working on their own program through the class. Different artists, like John Bos of Bos Glassworks have taught students everything from making glass jewelry to potted bowls.

In the future, if they receive funding again, both Egolf and Neufeld hope that they’ll be able to expand the program into other forms of art — music or other creative endeavors.

Still, for the students involved, the program has given them a new outlet for their creativity.

“Art has been an interest,” said Becker. “But I never would have thought of doing it like this before.”

Read more: Annual fundraiser supports programs for women and children


@Tspricker
tara.sprickerhoff@wltribune.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Ava Boyd and Maria Becker display a couple of their favourite art pieces at an end of year art show at the Child Development Centre on Dec. 13.

Ava Boyd and Maria Becker display a couple of their favourite art pieces at an end of year art show at the Child Development Centre on Dec. 13.

This clay mask was one of a number of fun and funky art pieces displayed around the transformed space during the Uptown Art Show on Dec. 13.

This clay mask was one of a number of fun and funky art pieces displayed around the transformed space during the Uptown Art Show on Dec. 13.

Just Posted

Seniors in the Interior Health region can book their COVID-19 vaccinations starting Monday, March 8, 2021 at 7 a.m. (File photo)
Seniors in Interior Heath region can book COVID-19 shots starting Monday

Starting March 8 the vaccination call centre will be open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily

Lorne Doerkson is the Liberal MLA for the Cariboo-Chilcotin. (Black Press Media file photos)
MLA’s CORNER: Premier Horgan needs to work harder

There are lots of people out there who are in desperate need of assistance

The first Chimney Creek Roadhouse, constructed in 1864. (Photo courtesy of the B.C. Provincial Archives)
HAPHAZARD HISTORY: The Isnardy family of Williams Lake

Amadee Isnardy was born in 1840 near Nice, France

Jim Hilton pens a column on forestry each week for the Quesnel Observer.
FOREST INK: Ecological economics not a popular topic for most people

The following is a review of the no (or slow) growth concept

Do you have a letter? Email us at editor@wltribune.com
LETTER: BC Liberals left ICBC a mess: Farnworth

Our BC NDP government has worked tirelessly to fix the mess that was left behind

The James C Richardson Pipe Band marches in a Remembrance Day parade on Nov. 11, 2019 in Chilliwack. Wednesday, March 10 is International Bagpipe Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of March 7 to 13

International Bagpipe Day, Wash Your Nose Day and Kidney Day are all coming up this week

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Donald Alan Sweet was once an all star CFL kicker who played for the Montreal Alouettes and Montreal Concordes over a 13-year career. Photo courtesy of Mission RCMP.
Ex-B.C. teacher who was CFL kicker charged with assault, sexual crimes against former students

Donald Sweet taught in Mission School District for 10 years, investigators seek further witnesses

During a press event on March 6, Const. Alex Berube, media relations officer for the West Shore RCMP, addressed a deadly shooting that occurred in Metchosin the night before. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
VIDEO: One man shot dead on Vancouver Island in ‘targeted incident’

Highway 14 reopens following multi-hour closure for investigation

Personal protective equipment is seen in the COVID-19 intensive care unit at St. Paul’s hospital in downtown Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
$16.9 million invested to improve worker safety, strengthen B.C.’s food supply chain

Money to be used for social distancing, personal protective equipment, cleaning, and air circulation

Most Read