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Announcing the 7th annual Oxygen Art Market!

The 7th Annual Oxygen Art Market will take place on

May 26, 27, 28, 2017

Friday 7-10pm, Saturday 10am-6pm, Sunday 10am – 5pm

320 Vernon Street (back alley entrance) in Nelson

Every year, the Oxygen Art Market attracts hundreds of art-lovers to the Oxygen Art Centre and it’s no wonder! Over 30 established and emerging Kootenay artists submit their paintings, drawings, prints, photographs and other 2D work for this weekend-long event. The work is hung “Salon” style, in the manner of the Académie des Beaux–Arts exhibitions in Paris at the turn of the century, where work was hung on every available wall space from ceiling to floor. With over 120 pieces on display, the hanging is a major undertaking for the volunteer committee, and it makes for a striking event.

Oxygen Art Market is an opportunity to experience first-hand the breadth of work made by West Kootenay artists, and to get yourself a piece of original, locally-made art! With fifty percent of the sales given to the Oxygen Art Centre, the Art Market has become an important fundraiser for the Centre. Oxygen is governed by a collective of professional visual artists, filmmakers, theatre artists and writers. As one of Canada’s 100 or so artist-run centres, Oxygen shares the common mandate to provide an alternative forum for contemporary art, outside of commercial constraints and interests, while recognizing artists through the payment of professional fees. Oxygen Art Centre gratefully acknowledges the support for this event from Columbia Basin Trust and our Business for the Arts sponsors; Hall Printing, Nelson Star and Juice FM, and organizational support from BC Arts Council and Province of BC.

2017 Oxygen Art Market artists include:

Brent Bukowski, Natasha Smith, Carol Wallace, Susan Andrews Grace, Brian Kalbfleisch, Deborah Thompson, Yvonne Munroe, Micheal Graham, Carol Reynolds, Lindsay Dew, Rachel Yoder, Sally Johnston, Boukje Elzinga, Erica Konrad, Stephanie Kellett, Courtenay Anderson, John Cooper, Kiera Zaslove, Sergio Santos, Marilyn McCombe, Heather MacAskill, Sue Parr, Nicole Hobbs, Deirdre McLaughlin, Kate Bridger, Jennifer Lount-Taylor, Selda Canoglu, John Stegman, Michelle Colley, Rick Foulger, Karen Guilbaullt

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320 Vernon St (alley entrance)
250 352 6322
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REMINDER - Mathur & Nilsen read Friday, May 5th at 7.30pm!


The fourth and final reading in the 2016-2017 series marking 10 years of programing at Nelson, B.C.’s Oxygen Art Centre will present Kelowna novelist, artist and educator Ashok Mathur and Nelson poet Emily Nilsen on Friday, May 5.

The duo’s reading begins at 7:30 p.m. Admission is free ($5 donation appreciated) and the event is open to the public. Oxygen is located at 320 Vernon St. (alley entrance).

Mathur’s most recent novel is A Little Distillery in Nowgong, published by Pulp Press in 2009. The book, according to the Vancouver Sun, “is gritty and realistic while embracing a graceful magic; it is emotionally resonant and very often hilarious. A Little Distillery is note-perfect.”

Mathur, who heads the creative studies department at the University of B.C.’s Okanagan campus, is also an artist and curator. The novel was the basis of an artistic installation in Vancouver, Ottawa and Kamloops.

Nilsen’s first book of poems, Otolith, was published this spring by Goose Lane Editions. Her publisher describes the poems as being born in B.C.’s coastal rainforest: “These poems are full of life and decay; they carry the odours of salmon rivers and forests of fir; salal growing in the fog-bound mountain slopes.”

Poems by Nilsen in 2015 were finalists for the CBC Poetry Prize, and long-listed for the UK National Poetry Prize.

Support for Oxygen’s celebratory reading series has come from the Canada Council for the Arts through the Writers’ Union of Canada, as well as from the Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance. The readings are co-sponsored by Nelson’s Elephant Mountain Literary Festival.

Oxygen, Nelson’s only artist-run centre, was founded in 2002 by artists formerly employed by the city’s Kootenay School of the Arts.

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320 Vernon St (alley entrance)
250 352 6322
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Book launch: Tom Wayman with special guests Friday, May 12th at 7.30pm!

The longstanding links between music and poetry will be celebrated at a combined musical performance and book launch Friday, June 23 at Nelson, B.C.’s Oxygen Art Centre. Featured will be jazz duo Clinton Swanson and Doug Stephenson and author Tom Wayman.

The event begins at 7:30 p.m. and admission is free ($5 donation appreciated). Oxygen is located at 320 Vernon St. (alley entrance).

“Poetry began as song lyrics, or recited to musical accompaniment,” said Wayman, who will be launching his newest collection, Helpless Angels, the poems of which all relate to music. “As literacy spread through society, poetry began to be written for the page, too. But the two art forms have remained linked, most recently illustrated by the awarding of the 2016 Nobel Prize for Literature to singer-songwriter Bob Dylan.”

Performing at the Oxygen event will be Clinton + 1, consisting of local saxophone legend Clinton Swanson together with jazz guitarist Doug Stephenson. Swanson has performed locally, nationally and internationally for nearly 30 years in multiple ensembles, presenting his original compositions and arrangements. Stephenson is a long-time guitarist, bassist, songwriter and producer who moved to Nelson in 2012. He has worked with such musical stars as “Big” Miller, Tommy Banks and P.J. Perry.

 “Clinton + 1,” Swanson said, “is a jazz duo that performs standards and originals with an emphasis on melody and creative improvisation.”

Wayman, a Slocan Valley resident since 1989, said his recent book of poems was conceived when he realized that his generation was the first in human history to be able to listen to any music they choose anywhere they go. “Poems in Helpless Angels reflect on how this development has impacted us throughout our lives. Other poems in the collection honor musicians who have been important to me, respond to the music found in nature, or consider the ways music enhances or alters our moods,” he said.

 One poem in Helpless Angels was named in February the winner of Musicworks magazine’s “sonic geography” literary contest. Wayman’s 2012 poetry collection Dirty Snow won the Acorn-Plantos Award, and his 2015 collection of short stories about the Slocan Valley, The Shadows We Mistake for Love, won the Diamond Foundation Prize for Fiction (Western Canada Jewish Book Awards). Author of more than 20 poetry collections, as well as various books of fiction and nonfiction, Wayman in 2015 was declared a Vancouver Literary Landmark with a plaque on the city’s Commercial Drive commemorating his contribution to Vancouver’s literary heritage.

The Oxygen event is the first of a tour will see Helpless Angels launched during May and June in the company of various musicians in Vernon, Vancouver, Regina, Saskatoon and Edmonton. The collection is published by Saskatoon’s Thistledown Press, who are co-sponsoring the Nelson event.


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