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Community youth go urban
They won’t be leaving with their grandmother’s type of scrapbook.
An upcoming series of workshops at city libraries will help teens start building and sharing their own art collections, taking a cue from urban artists.
Youth aged 13 to 17 will have a chance to create their own piecebook, a classic way urban artists share and collect artwork, at the Windsor Park, West End, St. James-Assiniboia, Pembina Trail and Charleswood libraries.
The program starts Tues., July 24 and runs to Aug. 14.
"We’re hoping to promote this idea that the artwork you and your friends make is worth sharing and collecting, and that anybody can appreciate art," said Jill Ramsay, programs director for Graffiti Art Programming, which is operating the program.
"Anybody can start their own collection, it’s all relevant. Everyone can contribute to the arts and visual culture."
During the two-hour workshop, youth will learn urban art techniques such as stenciling and markering to manipulate the content of recycled books and invent new stories.
"You pass around the book, do art in each other’s books, and you create a new story and life for that book," said Ramsay, who lives in the North End.
"It’s not just scrapbooking, it’s a little bit more exciting. Here’s an opportunity for young people to help tell a new story that’s relevant to them."
The skills participants learn can be transfer beyond street art, she said.
"These are techniques that translate to things like graphic design, basic form, balance, color," Ramsay said.
"Those things are exciting to step back from and look at urban design, and how those designs impact the way we feel about things."
Plenty of spaces are still available for the workshops at the West End (July 25), St. James-Assiniboia (Aug. 1), and Pembina Trails (Aug. 10) libraries, said Karin Borland, co-ordinator of youth services for the library.
Partnering with Graffiti Art Programming gives the organization more reach into the community while bringing skilled artists into the library, Borland said.
"It’s unique expertise," she said. "Kids have time in the summer to come to something like this."
The library was happy to partner with GAP because of its ability to keep finding the pulse that drives teen interests.
"When we approach them about summer programming, they’re able to tell us this is really hot (with kids) right now," Borland said. "We’re hoping to offer things with that kind of appeal."
The workshops are also a chance to keep youth in touch with their community and local library.
"The library is there for a lifetime for people," she said. "As they become adults and have families of their own, we want them to bring their children in and keep the habit going for their kids."
Registration for the workshops is required. For more info, call your local library.
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