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Start 2020 Creatively at Oxygen Art Centre! Adult Education Semester Lineup Launched

Start the New Year off right and sign-up for one of Oxygen’s exciting new courses. With day, evening and weekend courses in an array of different disciplines there is something for everyone.

The talented Rayya Liebich will be offering two courses in 2020 that are sure to inspire. Starting in February Rayya will be Resurrecting the Lost Art of Letter Writing. Rayya explains her inspiration behind this course: “Modern correspondence through Email, Twitter, and texting provides efficient communication but the old-fashioned letter was a tool that connected us as human beings.” Re-discover the gifts of this powerful literary form by crafting imaginary letters and postcards, letters of gratitude, and time capsule letters.

In April Rayya will be offering two 1-day intensives to jump start your big writing project.  NaNoWriMo Boot Camps! (Inspired by the National Novel Writing Month initiative) will be offered for adults on Friday April 3 and for youth (12-18yrs) on Saturday April 4. The intensives will be filled with prompts, tools, structure, and support.

Oxygen is offering two professional development courses for creatives of all mediums and levels. Beyond a Doubt, with poet and visual artist Susan Andrews Grace, starts in February and is a cross-discipline seminar for practicing artists and writers who would like to sharpen their skills for perseverance. The seminar will consist of readings, exercises, and discussion with self-designed assignments each week that will help you find both courage and encouragement, and overcome your particular resistance as you develop your artistic practice.

The second professional development course is the Inaugural Oxygen Art Shack Workshop with artist Ian Johnston. Ian explains: “It’s a visual arts professional development free-for-all! Over four evenings of group conversation we will harness the hive mind and the experience of the participants and explore a self-identified group of professional development issues such as proposals, statements, audience, networks and researching opportunities” This is great new opportunity to share and develop your skills and meet other artists in a supportive, collaborative space.

Do you love the quality of oil paints but avoid them due to their potential toxicity? Well we have the course for you! Introduction to Oil Paints Using a Non-toxic Process with Kristy Gordon is a one-day workshop where students will learn how to select non-toxic materials, their properties and how to use them in oil painting. Kristy will walk you through the fundamentals such as preparing a toned canvas, setting up your palette, application techniques, and mixing complex colors. Don’t miss this opportunity to work with this internationally renowned artist.

Natasha Smith will once again be sharing her love of collage, printmaking, painting and assemblage in two courses this spring. Be Creative – Mixed Media Explorations is a process-based course that focuses on the act of being creative: developing an idea, experimenting using various media, and evaluating work as it develops. This course is a fun, hands on class designed for students that want to get back to being creative or artists looking to explore a variety of new techniques.

In a three-day intensive starting at the end of March join Natasha for Low-Tech Printmaking and explore the basics of printmaking and investigate processes that can be done without the use of a printmaking press. Simple plate-making and image transfer methods will be demonstrated and students will learn a variety of printmaking techniques.

Beginning in February learn the foundations of drawing and painting with Deborah Thompson in her very popular courses: Pencil to Paper and Beginner’s Brush 1. In Pencil to Paper participants will work from still life, photographs, and their imaginations while investigating drawing fundamentals such as, form, value, shape and space and then move on to create more complex self-directed drawings.

Discover the basics of painting in the 2-day weekend course Beginner’s Brush 1: On the first day explore shape, mark, tone, and space and on the second day dive into the very basics of colour mixing and theory as they apply it to painting.

Deborah’s third course combines the two disciplines in a 3-day studio workshop: Drawing & Painting Foundations, which will focus on exploring the relationship between painting and drawing. These two cornerstones of visual art compliment and contrast each other to develop a personal visual language. Daily drawing exercises will build on the fundamentals of drawing and the gathering of visual information and then explorations in paint will expand upon these techniques.

Oxygen is excited to be welcoming interdisciplinary artist, prOphecy sun to the faculty who will be offering an innovative new course: Sonic Imaginaries: Compositions for the Anthropocene. It is a hands-on workshop that explores more-than-human relationships, voice, smartphone technology, improvisational techniques, and found sounds taken from urban and rural environments such as wind, birds, cars and refrigerators. Techniques and skills learned may be applied to a wide range of creative projects and will appeal to experimenters of any age and artistic practice. The resulting material will be showcased over a story-sharing meal and performance of edited sound compositions.

Did you know that you can borrow ukuleles at the Nelson Public Library? So there’s no excuse not to take Beginner Ukulele with Catherine McGrath this spring. The course is designed for people who have zero or little experience playing ukulele and will begin with the very basics - how to tune, hold, and strum the ukulele, followed by the introduction of two simple chords and a number of catchy two-chord songs that you can share around the camp fire.

Oxygen keeps class sizes small, hires only experienced professional teaching artists, and works hard to meet the needs of our creative community through the adult education programming.

For more information on courses and to register:,