“To prepare a face to meet the faces…” the Williams Lake portraits

There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet
– TS Eliot

On my way to Williams Lake to co-facilitate forums with youth and program leaders for the viaSPORT YOUTH INCLUSION PROJECT!  So excited to spend the week with this extraordinary community!

Bringing along the last batch of portraits I drew from last year’s art camp (based on photos by Rick Magnell)!

Recall:

Preview

Part 1: Preparation

Part 2: Travel

Part 3: Art Camp Day 1 

Part 4: Art Camp Day 2

Part 5: Art Camp Day 3

Part 6: The Photographer

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Williams Lake/ Punky Lake Summer 2016 Art Camp Diary- Part 6: the photographer

Recall:

Preview

Part 1: Preparation

Part 2: Travel

Part 3: Art Camp Day 1 

Part 4: Art Camp Day 2

Part 5: Art Camp Day 3

Part 6: Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society Summer 2016 Art Camp- the photographer

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What a treat it was to be joined by photographer Rick Magnell of Magnell Photography on Days 1 and 3!

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Rick Magnell.  Photo by Jana Roller

Contact: rmagnell@me.com

As this is a wheatpaste project developed from my initial obsession (that began in 2012) with the street artist JR…

I knew the Punky Lake project had to include photo portraits.  Rick was THE PERFECT PHOTOGRAPHER for this purpose!  He not only has a profound gift for the visual but also a demeanour that makes even the shyest participant at ease in front of the camera!

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He also has an ability to go with the flow!  It was only Day 1 and we were all just getting to know each other, but Rick managed to take EXTRAORDINARY portraits of the participants and support staff.  I am BLOWN AWAY by the beauty of these faces as captured by Rick.

I will let Rick explain:

Sarah Jackman from The Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society offered me the opportunity to photograph the Journey and Mind Mapping Art Camp with Kat Thorsen. My first task was to head out to the Old Training and Recreation Complex in Riske Creek and take portraits of all the youth and adults involved in the camp and have 8×10 prints made. The prints would then be cut out and become part of the mural project with in the gymnasium. Once I got there Kat had already got the group to all sketch pictures of raccoons and after lunch started teaching the group how to sketch anatomical hearts. These would all get incorporated in to the mural. Everyone was great, of course you get the few shy ones but we managed to get them in front of the camera.” – Rick Magnell

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Day 3 was where I brought out the 8×10’s to be wheatpasted on the mural and documented the rest of the day. The day concluded with a closing circle where everyone shared their thoughts about the art camp. Two of the youth were presented drums along with Kat who received a drum herself as thanks. Elder Gary finished the circle with a drumming song. Gary has some incredible stories, I did approach him to see if he would be interested in my Story project. Overall it was a great group and a great experience for myself to photograph. I appreciate the opportunity and it was great to meet Kat and everyone else involved in the project.” – Rick Magnell

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… the power of paper and glue… – JR

Thank you Rick for making the art camp extra-special!  I look forward to drawing all the participants from your photos! 

 

I want to thank and acknowledge the Toosey (Tl’esqox) and Tsihquot’in First Nations, Old School Training and Recreation Complex and Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society (Sarah Jackman, Samantha Dick, Bruce Baptiste, Ann Guichon) for hosting the Summer 2016 Art Camp. I also want to thank and acknowledge the elders, the chef, the photographer, the chaperones, youth workers and the participants!

Check out:

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Williams Lake/ Punky Lake Summer 2016 Diary- Part 5: Day 3 Celebration 

Recall:

Preview

Part 1: Preparation

Part 2: Travel

Part 3: Art Camp Day 1 

Part 4: Art Camp Day 2

Part 5: Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society Summer 2016 Art Camp Day 3- Celebration

Photo by Rick Magnell

 




Sitting here in my lovely hotel room organizing supplies and reflecting on this week…


It was the final day of the art camp today.  It was Punky Lake Wilderness Campy Society’s first ever art camp and I could not be more honored to have been able to facilitate it for the past three days.

We started the day with a beautiful OWL story and song from Elder Gary- speaking of our need to LISTEN and LEARN from animals for they are hurting too.  He spoke of animals, in particular owls as messengers.   I then led an owl drawing session- I loved that youth and adults alike dove right in using the techniques I have been sharing with them for the past couple of days!  FAST and VORACIOUS learners!

A team of students then pasted the rest of the drawings (wheatpasting is delicious fun!).  We were joined by photographer Rick Magnell who delivered print outs of his extraordinary portraits of the participants (blog post on Rick and his photography next week).

We pasted the photos in the midst of all the beautiful drawings and after a lovely lunch, spent time in circle reflecting and thanking each other.


I was gifted a most beautiful drum that I will cherish for the rest of my life.  There are no words to suffice to describe its beauty.


Elder Gary who shared so many empowering prayers, stories and songs this week infused my drum with his healing energy:

I have fallen in love with these beautiful people, their hearts, minds, spirits, traditions- in love with the stunning Chilcotin landscape on which we created so much art work and made so many lovely connections and new friendships.

I look forward to gifting them all with hand drawn portraits. <3

I want to thank and acknowledge the Toosey (Tl’esqox) and Tsihquot’in First Nations, Old School Training and Recreation Complex and Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society (Sarah Jackman, Samantha Dick, Bruce Baptiste, Ann Guichon) for hosting the Summer 2016 Art Camp. I also want to thank and acknowledge the chef, the photographer, the chaperones, youth workers and the participants!

Latest Inside Out Project prep at Intersections Media, Vancouver (March 2019)

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Williams Lake/ Punky Lake Summer 2016 Diary- Part 4: Day 2 The Wall

Recall: Part 3- Day 1

Today: Williams Lake/ Punky Lake Summer 2016 Diary- Part 4: Day 2 The Wall

It doesn’t take long to make connections and on the morning of Day 2 it was evident we were all a connected and creative group building new bonds and friendships!


(Portrait of youth participant from photo by Rick Magnell)

Ann Guichon (of Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society)  generously drove me out this morning to the Old School Training and Recreation Complex in Riske Creek.

We started the day by making name tags for the wall:


As the group continued to work on their name tags, I took some students into the kitchen to create a GIANT pot of wheatpaste (flour, water, sugar, white glue):


We then went onto WOLF drawings (preceded by a beautiful story and song by Gary, the elder, about his grandmother and the wolf).


We were treated to a fantastic lunch!


Then it came time to add the first layer to the wall!  (Thank you to all my helpers who cut out all the drawings)



It was messy and delirious and so much fun!  Tomorrow we add the rest of the drawings that I found at the end of the day:


We will also add new drawings, words and photographs!


I want to thank and acknowledge the Toosey (Tl’esqox) and Tsihquot’in First Nations, Old School Training and Recreation Complex and Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society (Sarah Jackman, Samantha Dick, Bruce Baptiste, Ann Guichon) for hosting the Summer 2016 Art Camp.  I also want to thank and acknowledge the chef, the photographer, the chaperones, youth workers and the participants!


Photo by Rick Magnell

Williams Lake/ Punky Lake Summer 2016 Diary- Part 3: Day 1

Recall:

Preview

Part 1: Preparation

Part 2: Travel

Part 3: Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society Summer 2016 Art Camp Day 1 

Executive Director Sarah Jackman picked me up this morning…

… and drove me through extraordinary scenery…

… to the Old School Training and Recreation Complex in Riske Creek.

First days are always about gaining trust and reading the room and getting a feel for the dynamic of the group.  As this is a group art project that starts from scratch (the end goal is a collage wall of participant drawings), it may be hard for the students to understand what I have in mind.  But these courageous and hilarious kids worked SO HARD!  They created countless drawings and tomorrow we cut out the first batch and do a test wheatpaste.


I was joined by Punky Lake staff and several chaperones (and I am very grateful for these individuals’ support and participation throughout the day.)

We started the morning with an introduction by Bruce Baptiste, followed by smudge, song and drumming by Elder Gary, and housekeeping rules (the kids are staying at the centre this week).

I introduced my drawing techniques with a raccoon drawing:

We were joined by photographer Rick Magnell who took incredible pictures of the participants for both adding to the wall: JR style(!) and for references for me in order to gift everyone with handdrawn portraits! (These will be completed once I get home and mailed to Punky Lake!)

Photo by Rick Magnell

We worked on a journaling technique and then drew anatomical hearts- definitely messy hands time and faces!


We chose a wall and the day continued with personal drawings and doodles as well as an empowering body mind and spirit talk from Gary as students drew. 


Sleep well kids!

Williams Lake/ Punky Lake Summer 2016 Diary- Part 2: Travel

Recall:

Preview

Part 1: Preparation

Part 2: Travel

I have arrived!  (Excuse any formatting issues as I am using the WordPress app on my iPad!)

Those of you that know me know that I am not used to travelling (aka NERVOUS WRECK) so a simple trip from Vancouver to wherever comes with its share of anxiety!  But I am getting better!  My two recent trips to Toronto were magical!  They showed me that I have entered to a new chapter of my life- a chapter of a new kind freedom, full of possibilities. 

So the apparent travelling theme of 2016 continues with this trip to Williams Lake!

I am happy I seem to be able to push my anxious self to realize anxiety is just that- anxiety.  It is the unknown that gets my nerves a-tumbling!  The anxiety lessens once I have a checklist and all my stuff packed:


And lowers more once I find myself all checked in and through security with coffee in hand and a good book with me.


On the Canada Line Skytrain on the way to the airport- it hit me that in that moment, I so desperately wanted to chat with my Dad about my trip today.  He would have pulled out a map, told me all the history of his many visits here, given me the pep talk.   Despite being on the Skytrain with countless travelers also headed to the airport, I felt the familiar deafening silence of nostalgia.

Strangely in the Gate B area, I made a quick impromptu purchase of a little moose-


Why?!  I mean-  honestly, the last thing I need is another stuffed animal.  But lo and behold- I sense the moose was actually from mom and dad (the moose is a classic symbol of Sweden, and also so very British Columbia to me).  Stay with me here…

I saw the plane, and once boarded, I knew the MOOSE  was NECESSARY!  I don’t do well in small spaces!  Every cell in my body was shaking!  I was looking at that open door- knowing I couldn’t bolt, yet…


Oh my , that little “unnecessary” moose was SQUEEZED!  It’s antlers were like mom and dad’s hands!  It soaked up my sweat from my palms.   SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZE!!!  Jeezus!  But what do you know?  Turns out though that that little plane was GREAT!  I knew there was a little lesson in all this for me.  

Face your fucking fears, meet them with love, and expand your wings!  FLY into the unknown!


And now I find myself in a sweet hotel room in Williams Lake and feeling incredible gratitude for the invite to this week from Sarah Jackman (who is a superstar/angel on Earth by the way), Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society and for that little plane. And that little moose.

(Time for some prepping drawing lessons- a full house of students tomorrow!)

Williams Lake/Punky Lake Summer 2016 Diary- Preview

I leave on Monday for a new adventure!  I’ll be facilitating a 3-day art immersion camp in Williams Lake with Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society.

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Though I have a plan laid out and we have a goal- this will be a youth-led project, and no doubt the results will be surprising and magical!

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I’ll be keeping a diary and will try to post at the end of each day.  For now, here is a preview:

3-day intensive therapeutic art camp and mural project, Old Training and Recreation Complex 

Lessons include:

Journaling, drawing lessons, portraiture, mind mapping, project planning, street art history, cultural exploration (imagery and identity), and wheatpasting!

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Kevin wheatpasting in Gastown, 2012

Lifeskills covered:

Project planning, creative expression, problem solving, team building, self-esteem, personal exploration, cultural identity

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Art by Hannah Pettinato
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Photo by Kali Banner

Plan:

Day 1

  • Opening circle
  • Introduction to Kat
  • Intro to drawing techniques
  • Journaling
  • Choose location for mural
  • Mind mapping
  • Project planning
  • Begin project
  • Closing circle
  • Kat draws participant portraits

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Day 2

  • Opening circle
  • Drawing warmup
  • Intro to the portrait techniques
  • Intro to street art
  • Make wheatpaste
  • Project process underway
  • Closing circle
  • Kat continues to draw participant portraits
Day 3

  • Opening circle
  • Drawing warmup
  • Full portrait drawing techniques
  • Add portraits to wall
  • Mural project completion
  • Celebration
  • Closing circle
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Ernst wheatpasting in Gastown, 2012
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Parmida. Photo by Megan Quigley

Inspiring program: Work2Give via @PunkyLake

It was such a delight to meet the extraordinary Sarah Jackman of Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society http://punkylake.com/ on March 15, 2016 as we presented together our experiences in restorative practices in CRIM 442 at SFU.

My name is Sarah Jackman and I am the Executive Director of the Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society.

I was born and raised in the west Chilcotin and though I’ve since moved into Williams Lake I still have very close ties to the area.  My family has lived in the Chilcotin since 1950 operating a fishing lodge, guiding business and, a cattle ranch.

I accepted the position as Executive Director for PLWCS in August 2012 and have enjoyed my experiences here immensely. This position also allows me to sit on the Boards of other groups with similar goals and like-minded missions such as the Canadian Restorative Justice Consortium and Big Brothers & Big Sisters of Williams Lake.  The growth and development I’ve witnessed in all aspects of our programs, our staff, and most importantly in the community members we serve has been remarkable.

Our goals at PLWCS are to promote and build self-worth, leadership, experiences of culture, and, healthy, strong life choices in the youth of our communities and in the communities themselves as a whole.  I believe very strongly in both the Youth Success Program as well as the Tsilhqot’in Restorative Justice Program that we offer.

I am honoured to be a part of this team and these goals. – Sarah Jackman

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I am blown away by Sarah and the incredible work she is facilitating and leading in the Chilcotin region and within prisons in the Lower Mainland.

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I am particularly moved by the Work2Give program:

The Work to Give Project, a partnership between the Punky Lake Wilderness Camp Society and Corrections Services Canada, is an initiative designed to provide incarcerated offenders with employment skills while contributing to low income communities and families.

Check out:

 

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And- OMG- they make sock monkeys!!!!!!!!   My heart!!!!!  Sarah sent me a calendar!  Look!!!!

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Looking forward to developing some collaborative projects with Sarah and Punky Lake!