Spring seems to have finally sprung in Edmonton -- and it's perfect timing for our fourth annual Spring Art Walk. The event features artwork from youth in our care and students at St. Joseph’s College, and will be held during the evening of Friday, May 11th at the college.
Throughout the school year, youth in four Catholic Social Services ministries and students from St. Joseph’s College partake in weekly creativity workshops. During this time, youth from Catholic Social Services’ ministries have their artistic side nurtured as they are encouraged to use their art as an emotional outlet.
“The concept of the group is to offer an opportunity for young people to explore their creative side, free of judgement, in the hopes of inspiring them to feel a sense of belonging and mastery,” noted Renee Sullivan, who works with CSS and is one of the event’s organizers. “Many young people find it difficult to express themselves with words. The creativity workshop offers our youth an opportunity to express themselves through art.”
Many of this year’s participants in the Spring Art Walk have been a part of the creativity workshop for a handful of years.
“I started going as a way to help me stay out of trouble on Fridays,” explained Lindsay, who has previously participated in the workshop. “Then I really enjoyed creating new art, and it brought people together, so I continued going.”
Lindsay’s artwork will be on display at the event, as well as more than 120 paintings, photographs, and pieces of jewellery from at least 24 other CSS youth and staff, as well as from teachers and students at St. Joseph’s College.
All of the art on display is available through a silent auction, with the artists agreeing to divide the proceeds between themselves and Catholic Social Services’ annual Sign of Hope appeal. The Sign of Hope provides funding for more than a dozen CSS ministries that meet a variety of needs among some of society's most vulnerable people.
“It’s encouraging; makes me want to continue painting and making art,” Lindsay said of the Spring Art Walk and the creative workshop. She added: “The creative workshop has made a difference in my life by letting me be creative by showing me that I can do something good and productive with my creative side.”
Other artists from this year’s group have expressed that the workshop enables friendships to be formed, and that it’s a great avenue for stress relief.
“It has always helped me get through hard times,” explained Joud. “Coming newly to Canada, painting helped me meet new people and relieved some of the adaptation stress I had.”
Venus, who participated in the creativity workshop for the third time this year, noted that she values the affirmation received from people at the workshop and the positive feedback she received at previous Spring Art Walks. “There were some beautiful comments from there about my art, which makes me happy, and it encourages me to continue drawing,” she recalled.
In addition to the art, there will also be live music as well as treats and refreshments.
The Spring Art Walk is being held at St. Joseph’s College, 11325 – 89 Ave. NW, in Edmonton from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Tickets are available at the door, and are $10 for general admission, and $5 students and Catholic Social Services Staff. Payment is accepted in cash only.