One of my (many) fondest memories of living in England during my university years was the visits I made to the Tate Britain, in London. I would head for the Pre-Raphaelite room and absorb every stroke and nuance of paintings by Rossetti, Burn-Jones and Millais, among others. While I had seen quality reproductions in books and posters, seeing them in the flesh, larger than life, was moving beyond words.
With two small children and a long list of adult responsibilities to keep me busy now, I don’t get to spend as much time soaking up creative works by talented people as I would like. But I still believe there’s nothing like escaping to an art gallery or museum for an afternoon soaking up some culture. Ditto an evening at the theatre or a visit to the symphony.
That’s why we’ve made “Culturize Yourself” our third resolution for 2011.
“Having an active cultural life is as important as eating healthy, keeping fit and staying active,” says Nataley Nagy, executive director of the Kelowna Art Gallery.
Nagy moved to the Okanagan from Toronto last spring to take the helm of the Kelowna Art Gallery. In the not-quite year that she’s been here, Nataley has enjoyed exploring the local culture as she’s settled in to her new home.
“In addition to Gallery visits, I personally go to Kelowna’s museums to check out
their exhibitions,” she says. “I enjoy the downtown library. I attend events at the Alternator Gallery and the Rotary Centre for the Arts. I attend cultural activities (talks and exhibits) at UBC-Okanagan. I enjoy the Kelowna Ballet, the Okanagan Symphony and many of the offerings presented at the Kelowna Community Theatre. Then there is the Habitat and Streaming Café that provide excellent opportunities for live music.”
In addition to their ever-changing exhibitions of national significance, The Kelowna Art Gallery offers art classes and workshops for aspiring artists or those with an appreciation of fine art and culture. They also have school tours and hands-on studio opportunities as well as interesting speakers and artists in residence. Their free-admission opening parties, held for new exhibits, are also popular.
Members of the Kelowna Art Gallery receive additional benefits – including the thrice-yearly Journal newsletter, invitations to gallery events and discounts on classes, as well as free admission to 25 other galleries.
Just one stop on the busy cultural map of the Okanagan that should make adding more culture to our lives this year an easy resolution to keep.
“Art is life-long learning, which means culturizing is ageless,” Nataly says. “We know that it is a lot of fun too!”
The Kelowna Art Gallery is offering two complimentary memberships to readers of The Pear Tree. To enter, leave a comment, below. Additional enteries can be made by tweeting, Facebooking or blogging about the contest (please comment below to let us know you did, because it doesn’t count if we don’t know about it). We will make TWO random draws – one for each complimentary membership – next Wednesday morning, 26 January.
Our two randomly selected winners for our Culturize Yourself giveaway are Julie and Joanne. Congratulations! You’ve both won a won year membership to the Kelowna Art Gallery! We will be in touch by email to work out details on getting your membership. For everyone else, check out our newest giveaway here.
– Words by Lori-Anne Poirier
– Images Courtesy of Kelowna Art Gallery