We all have childhood dreams of what we’ll be when we grow up. For me, it was becoming an artist. I pursued this goal until late high school by taking many art classes to learn how to paint and draw. I slowly realized that I didn’t have the natural talent of others, so I left my dream behind.
Fast forward many years and I’ve discovered that I don’t need to work with painting or drawing materials in order to be creative. I’ve found other outlets through cooking, crafting and textile arts, and I’ve discovered a thriving arts scene in Prince George through which I can enjoy beautiful creations made by others.
It can be tricky to find where to make and enjoy art if you’re new to Prince George, or even if you’ve lived in the city for years, so I’ve put together a list of some art-related activities that I’ve either experienced or are on my bucket list.
Find your creative calling
Do you remember arts and crafts time in kindergarten? I have a vague memory of being given what seemed like endless materials for making whatever my heart desired. The sparkles were my favourite. You can revisit these memories or create them for the first time as an adult by dropping in for a makerlab session at the Two Rivers Gallery. You can bring your own materials, or pay $5 to access a huge array of items that will inspire your creative side. So go ahead: stop by the Two Rivers Gallery any Thursday night, bring a project you’re working on or dive into the materials they provide and see what you end up making. You might even meet some new friends while you’re there. If you’re interested in learning a specific art form, the Two Rivers Gallery offers a wide variety of classes and workshops. Take your pick!
Take your mate on a pottery making date
If you’re looking for something different to do for a first date or a night out with your partner or a friend, look no further than the date night offered by Carlson Pottery. For the low price of $94.50 for two people, you’ll be given all of the materials you need and spend a couple of hours learning how to make a clay bowl. Throw on some old clothes and add a little fun to your night by bringing a bottle of wine. Yes, it’s encouraged! Just make sure you have a safe ride home. Date nights are offered frequently, so keep an eye on the Carlson Pottery website for the next one, or check out the other classes they offer if you want to get serious about making pottery.
Learn how to knit and stay cozy all winter long
If you want to learn how to knit, but have no one to teach you and those YouTube videos just aren’t cutting it, check out the beginner’s knitting classes offered by the talented staff at the Top Drawer Yarn Studio. You might be thinking, “Is knitting art?” Well, in my mind, anything that you can create from food, to a quilt, to a painting is art. So sign up for a class, and for a very reasonable price, you’ll get needles, beautiful yarn from the shop, and one-on-one instruction that will guide you through creating your first knitting project. And what better time to learn how to knit than the fall? We all know winter is right around the corner. Learn now, and you can make enough toques, scarves and mittens to stay cozy all winter long!
Watch local artists battle live
Art Battle 430 is one of my favourite annual events. I get to sip wine while I watch some of the best artists in Prince George take part in live competitive painting. This event is hosted by the Community Arts Council of Prince George and District and never fails to attract a crowd, which is no surprise because you get to watch the live transformation of a blank canvas into a beautiful painting over the course 20 minutes. Each art battle has three rounds, with the winner for each round decided by secret ballots cast by the audience. The top three artists from each round then face off with the winner advancing to the BC Finals. Did I mention you get to bid on your favourite painting for the chance to take it home? You have to see it to understand the buzz, so check out the event page and make sure you attend this year, or next year, or the year after!
Discover local art from across BC
If making isn’t your thing and you don’t want to watch art being created, there are plenty of events in Prince George that give you the chance to support local artists. Studio Fair is one of these events. Put on every year by the Community Arts Council of Prince George and District, it offers Prince George and area residents the chance to browse and buy creations from across British Columbia. Held in November, Studio Fair provides access to artisanal food, handmade cosmetics, jewelry, paintings and every other kind of handmade item you can possibly think of just in time for your Christmas gift buying. Studio Fair runs for three days, but make sure to get there early as it’s an incredibly popular event. If you miss it, you can always stop by the Artisan Gift Shoppe at Studio 2880 or the Two Rivers Gallery Shop to get your local art buying fix.
Make sure to follow me on Twitter @christinamdoll for insight into more great local activities and events!