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Lake Country Pivots Art Festival

posted on 10:57 AM, July 23, 2021
Osoyoos-Gena-MacKay-Andrew-McKillop.jpg
Lake Country ArtWalk’s Art Chairs, in Osoyoos. Credit: Judy Shoemaker

As happened to many art festivals last year, Lake Country ArtWalk was shut down by the Covid-19 pandemic. Lake Country ArtWalk is a multi-arts festival, featuring theatrical performances, music performances on four stages, roving dancers, and work displayed by about 300 artists.

“This wonderful festival, which supported hundreds of artists and which was anticipated by thousands of visitors, could not take place in 2020,” says ArtWalk’s Sharon McCoubrey. “At first, we considered producing a modified version of the festival, but decided it would not be possible to capture the experience that is ArtWalk—that magic mix of artworks, music, people, the energy of mingling creativity and unexpected encounters.”

But organizers were determined that the community should see art and artists should be working, so they created something new that would comply with health restrictions—ArtWalk Art Chairs Public Art Project.

“The two factors that directed our thinking as we planned an alternative event, a Covid-19–permissible event, were the two goals of ArtWalk’s mandate: to support artists, and to provide good-quality artwork for the general public,” explains McCoubrey. “The vision was to transform wooden chairs into original works of art.”

Organizers prepped 45 Muskoka-style chairs for local artists to paint, and once painted, ArtWalk gifted the chairs to Okanagan municipalities, to be set up in locations accessible to the community.

“The Art Chairs were installed in groups of three to encourage coming together during a time when that was discouraged, but at six-foot intervals so the gatherings would be safe.”

Input Spring 2021
Download Spring 2021

For more about ArtWalk and the Art Chairs project, read McCoubrey’s “ArtWalk Art Chairs Keep Art Festival Alive” in the Spring 2021 edition of Input. Download Spring 2021

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