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Art program close to taking off

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A new Elmwood art group is zeroing in on a home.

Nurturing Nature is in talks to host four weeks of classes for students at Elmwood High School, and will hand out $20 gift cards to Wal-Mart for successful completion of the program.

Together in Elmwood community co-ordinator Leilani Estaban said the goal of the program is to bring in local youth to talk about community and make art in various forms. The art group originally tried to meet Friday nights at Chalmers Community Centre, but when the response was underwhelming, Estaban regrouped and is making an effort to bring the program to youth. She hopes the change will give Nurturing Nature proper footing to move forward.

She’s excited about what participants can learn.

"Youth are learning how to do airbrush tattooing, so they do body-painting and working on canvas," said Estaban. "One of the projects they’ll have for the program is to depict what their community looks like on canvas."

The program will be run by airbrush artist Jasmine Anderson (known as Jasmine Orchid in the artistic community) and by Donna Lee Munro, a graphic designer.

"Together, they have put together an art curriculum with a focus on connecting to nature," said Estaban.

Munro said lines are usually long when there are art programs offered in the neighbourhood, so she felt one more could be useful.

"We wanted to engage them in activities and crafts, so we started developing these programs," said Munro. "With the body art, it gives the children the opportunity to express themselves. It gives them something to do."

Munro explained each artist will create their own designs on approximately a locker-sized canvas and then work on one of two larger canvases as a team.

"We’re going to come together to create a community piece," said Munro. "Each week, we’re going to be developing a different component of the canvas."

Anderson said the larger canvas will have a theme of community, featuring a tree with inspirational words. She said those who participate will not only inspire themselves, but others as well.

"It’ll create a more positive identity," said Anderson. "(Artists) will get a look into their own artistic abilities because they’re going to have access to a whole bunch of different supplies, have a little bit of instruction, learn how to use them."


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