• Shay Paul

Upcoming art exhibition to “illuminate” aspiring indigenous youth.

Local artist, Shay Paul, spearheads another indigenous-centred art exhibition in Kamloops.

Kamloops B.C. -- Starting October 1st, the young Tk’emlups artist and community organizer will be putting on a third indigenous art exhibition in Kamloops, titled illumi-NATIVE, with the support and partnership of the Kamloops Arts Council and the First People’s Cultural Council.

For the last three years, Shay Paul has been inspired and driven to open up the artistic scene in Kamloops to indigenous artists and entrepreneurs through an initiative she created called the Indigenous Resurgence Project. Now she is turning her attention to the indigenous youth within the Kamloops area and creating a specific sub-group to focus on supporting and mentoring the emerging and professionally inexperienced artists.

Through working within the Kamloops Arts Council’s program, Crossing Bridges, Paul has been able to connect to a larger demographic of urban indigenous youth in the Kamloops area, and she sees the potential of each and every young artist she meets. The illumi-NATIVE exhibition included two months of workshops leading up to the opening, where indigenous youth had the opportunity to learn more about the process of readying work for gallery showcases, including but not limited to: calculating prices, attaching hanging wires and hooks, and writing artist statements and biographies. This experience was meant to be a learning opportunity to open doors for their future artistic careers if the youth decide to follow down that pathway. This showcase also allows them to display their hard work and give them exposure to the greater artistic community in Kamloops.

The art exhibition was made possible firstly by the First People’s Cultural Council when Paul was accepted into an internship, which included funding for the exhibition. This show, however, would not be as successful if not for the support from the Kamloops Arts Council. The staff of KAC have lent their time, support, and advice in the creation of this exhibit.

The illumi-NATIVE exhibition will take place in the Old Courthouse Galleries from October 1st to October 17th. The opening reception will take place on Saturday, October 2nd from 2pm-6pm. The exhibition will also be available online if people are uncomfortable or unable to attend physically, or in the case of another shut-down.

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