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



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!

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!


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





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


… 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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The portraits. Foreshadowing of the next large art event: a take on the Inside Out Project. Another #massarttherapysession!

The art event as a huge success and is now a catalyst for bringing more of these happenings to Vancouver.  It left attendees hungry for more creative and interactive art experiences.

I met with the muses last Monday and our next event will likely be some time in May 2011.  The focus will be THE PORTRAIT, as inspired by THE INSIDE OUT PROJECT (see details about this project below).

Photos by Julian Bowers.


Jay Fisher
Jocelyn Louise

Rebecca Rawlinson


The premise of the night will be to install 12 large canvases in the creative space.  Each canvas will have a portrait of a local (through pre-registration and subject will be in attendance).  The portrait will have been started by me in charcoal prior to the event- essentially an outline/layout of the essential form of that person.  The subjects and a group of participants will then finish the individual portraits during the 3 hour evening.  The process will be filmed and participants interviewed (if they choose) regarding their relationship to the pieces and their experience of the creative process.

There will also be body art, cash bar, aprés dinner snacks and film.  Afterwards, the portraits will be photographed and be made into posters for pasting around town.  This process will also be filmed and a blog page will be started to record the relationship of the pieces to the community.   The original pieces may travel and be re-exhibited once the film is completed.



Support the project:

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I do not paint a portrait to look like the subject, rather does the person grow to look like his portrait. – Salvador Dali