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Arts Education - Spring/Summer semester announced!

Oxygen Art Centre is thrilled to announce another great semester of Continuing Arts Education!  Spring semester runs March to May and new this year, a summer painting intensive!



For more information about classes or help with registration please contact Oxygen Art Centre at:

P: 250 352 6322  E:


Painting intensive: This Body We Love with Deborah Thompson

4 Classes: March 13-16 9am – 3pm Monday to Thursday

Course Description: This is a 4 day painting intensive that will have students exploring the human figure. Emphasis will be on expression through colour use and creative composition. Areas covered in the curriculum will be colour mixing, compositional layout, light and colour. Some attention will be given to anatomy, proportions and foreshortening. Each day will begin with a series of exercises and demonstrations leading up to a full session of painting from the model. The day will end with a short critique of the day’s work. Painters of any level are welcome.

Course fee: $250  + Material fee:  $50 + SEE LIST FOR REQUIRED MATERIALS
Click here to Register

Weekend Workshop – Beginner’s Brush with Deborah Thompson

2 classes: April 1 & 2, 12 – 4.30pm Saturday and Sunday

Course Description: This two day weekend workshop is a great opportunity to discover painting.
We will begin at the beginning! Students will be introduced to the basic concepts of painting through demonstrations and hands on the brush exercises in paint. The first day students will explore shape, mark, tone and space. The second day students will dive into the vary basics of colour mixing and theory as they apply it to painting. Both conventional and non-conventional approaches will be presented.

Course fee: $120  Material fee:  $30 + SEE LIST FOR REQUIRED MATERIALS
Click here to Register


Folk Band Basics with Catherine McGrath

6 classes: April 2 – May 14, 6.30pm – 8.30pm Sundays
(No class Easter long weekend)

Course Description: Do you love to get together with others to sing and play music but would like to develop your skills so you can contribute more at those campfire and potluck jams?  This course will help you do that by showing how common chord patterns work and by demonstrating simple improvisation techniques.  If you have basic skills on any instrument (ie, you can play at least 6 chords or scales in steady rhythm) then this class is for you.

Course fee: $155 + Material fee: $5
Click here to Register


Writing FLASH! with Rayya Liebich

5 classes: April 3 – May 8, 6 – 8 pm Mondays
(No class Easter long weekend)

Course Description: Explore the fun and trendy genre of flash fiction, which is defined as a story under 1,000 words. Also known as “short shorts,” “miniatures,” “sudden fiction”, “postcard fiction,” or “pocket fiction”, short writing is a wonderful way to tighten your craft and to pay attention to every detail in your writing and editing. We will practice writing both fiction and non-fiction (to include micro-memoirs and even Six-word stories) and read several examples by famous authors to draw inspiration and insight. Peer feedback and take-home tools provided each week. All levels and life experience welcome!

Course fee: $135  Material fee: $5
Click here to Register


Recreating the Everyday with Natasha Smith

6 classes: April 4 – May 9, 5.30-8.30pm Tuesdays

Course Description: Explore various techniques to create interesting visual narratives employing mundane materials of the everyday. Broaden the range of materials used to create an artwork evaluating their inherent properties, current purpose and the potential to alter their form and definition. Through deconstruction, manipulation and combination, everyday materials can be transformed and combined using various techniques to create a shadow box, collage or small assemblage, sculptural works. Various artists will be reviewed that employ this popular contemporary art-making approach.

Course fee: $205 Material fee: $15 + SEE LIST FOR REQUIRED MATERIALS
Click here to Register


Drawing Course – Pencil to Paper with Deborah Thompson

7 classes: April 5 – May 17, 5.30-8.30pm Wednesdays

Course Description: Pencil to Paper is a seven week drawing course. The emphasis of the course will be on the exploration of visual expression through drawing. The development of a foundation of drawing skills from modeling of an object in variety of light conditions to working with an object in space will be integral to the course. Students will build their drawings from a variety of sources including photographs, still life objects, other artists drawings and their imaginations. The use of colour in drawing will be introduced as part of an exploration on narrative drawing. Students of any level experience are welcome to join the course.

Course fee: $225  Material fee: $35 + SEE LIST FOR REQUIRED MATERIALS
Click here to Register


Ease in the Spotlight with Bessie Wapp

4 classes: April 6 – 27, 7 – 9 pm Thursdays

Course description: Got a public presentation coming up? A new song, story, or comedy bit you want to perform? A speach or book tour? In a supportive & fun atmosphere, this class will use theatre games, vocal exercises, and role playing to build confidence & make presenting enjoyable. On the last class we’ll entertain an audience of invited guests.

Course fee: $110 Material fee $5
Click here to Register


Intuitive Painting with Kriya A.J. Shakti

5 classes: April 8 – May 13, 10am -12.30pm Saturdays
(No class Easter long weekend)

Course Description: Intuitive Painting is a process art form; a fun and enriching journey of discovery that leads to unique, vibrant and expressive paintings. Process art releases all preconceived ideas and plans of the final result to embrace the creative process as a path to presence and authentic self-expression. This method combines painting principles and techniques with a playful, spontaneous and bold approach, which opens one to greater creativity and deeper intuition.

Course fee: $155  Material fee:  $35 + SEE LIST FOR REQUIRED MATERIALS
Click here to Register


Intuitive Painting Studio with Kriya A.J. Shakti

5 classes: April 8 – May 13, 1.30pm – 4.30pm Saturdays
(No class Easter long weekend)

Course description: Designed for former and current Intuitive Painting students, this studio is an open space to deepen your painting practice and continue the playful exploration of discovery as you expand your creativity, highten your intuition and witness your unique visual language emerging through painting.

Course fee: $165  Material fee:  $35 + SEE LIST FOR REQUIRED MATERIALS
Click here to Register


Writing BLACKOUT POETRY with Rayya Liebich

1 class: April 9, 1-4pm Sunday

Course Description: Also known as found poetry or erasure, create a poem out of an existing text by removing words on the page to reveal a new message. Using old books, newspapers, magazines and more, have fun playing with the space on the page and get as creative and artistic as you desire. Who knew that blacking out with a Sharpie pen could become an addictive, satisfying, and expressive new habit? All levels, ages 10+ welcome!

Course fee: $55 Material fee: $5
Click here to Register


Art as Soul Medicine with Gabriel Keczan

4 classes: April 23 – May 14, 2-5pm Sunday

Course Description: Art as soul medicine is an art-based group therapy course. This course is an exploration of spontaneous art making in the context of a supportive and therapeutic group setting. Art therapy has a focus on personal process and the intersection of conscious and unconscious dimensions of the artist’s creative and healing journey. We will play with art materials; be with what arises; and hold the process in a safe and supportive group environment as it relates to each artist’s personal journey. We will explore inter-modality by using creative writing and image dialogue in response to content and art objects that are created. No previous art experience required.

Participants are welcome to bring whatever materials they would like to use. Gabriel will provide an assortment of paints, paper, scissors, glue and some brushes.

Course fee: $145  Material fee: $25
Click here to Register


Summer Arts Intensive: Painting with 2 minds: A painting process workshop with Deborah Thompson

4 days: July 24-27, 9.30am – 3.30pm Monday to Thursday

Course Description: Painting with 2 minds is a four day painting process workshop designed to engage artists of any level in exploring their creative process and in particular the workings of their analytical and intuitive minds! OR how do you get our creative juices moving along and how do we develop our visual language to create meaningful and resolved paintings. We will explore this dualistic quality of creativity through playful exercises, discussions and investigations. We will encourage these two minds to work together in supporting the making of a painting! Each day is designed to build upon the others as we layer our experiences, insights and processes towards a repertoire of tools from which we can invigorate our creative process. Each day will open with painting exercises and explorations and in the afternoon move towards critiques, slide presentations and time for self-directed painting. Sure to be a fun and engaging workshop!!

Course fee: $250  Material fee:  $30 + SEE LIST FOR REQUIRED MATERIALS

Click here for instructor biographies

Click here to Register


Did you know that Oxygen Art Centre has a volunteer credit program that can be used towards reduced tuition costs?  Oxygen Art Centre is a not for profit, community arts organization and artist run centre.  Contact us to find out about what the options are to help with accessing our arts education programming. E:

Scholarships are available for Nelson students ages 12 to 19, though the Community Directed Youth Activity Grant Fund administered Cicada Place P: 250-352-9595 ext. 200

Or contact us to help you get connected E:

Oxygen Art Centre gratefully acknowledges support for its Arts Education Programming from the Province of British Columbia, Nelson and District Credit Union, British Columbia Arts Council and Business for the Arts sponsors; Hall Printing, Nelson Star, Juice FM and

320 Vernon St (alley entrance)
250 352 6322
Or find us on FaceBook!


TALENT SLAM auditions are this weekend!!

2017 TALENT SLAM auditions take place Saturday, January 28th in Trail and Sunday, January 29th in Nelson between 1 to 5pm. Register for auditions online at

In the spirit of encouraging young artists in our community, Oxygen Art Centre is thrilled to announce the 3rd annual Youth Arts Festival! If you are between the ages of 15 and 29 and live in the West Kootenays, come try out for the festival’s premiere event and showcase your gifts at the Talent Slam! (Register for auditions online at

music / singing / dancing / acting / comedy / performance art / poetry / spoken word

Talent Slam goes on the road to Trail!

The 3rd annual Youth Arts Festival will see festival programming expand to include events in both Nelson and Trail! Talent Slam auditions will now take place in Nelson and in Trail and selected acts will perform two nights; one at the Capitol Theatre in Nelson and again at The Bailey Theatre in Trail! Also new for this year, the Backstage Lounge at Oxygen Art Centre will be developed into a small stage venue so everyone who auditions will get an opportunity to perform during the festival!

Auditions for the Talent Slam will take place at The Bailey Theatre in Trail on Saturday, January 28th between 1pm and 5pm and at the Capitol Theatre in Nelson on Sunday January 29th between 1pm and 5pm. (Register for auditions online at

Selected acts will receive one-on-one mentorship with either Lucas Myers, Bessie Wapp, Slava Doval or Nadine Tremblay to develop their acts for the big night! The festival will also be a mentored work experience opportunity for the Youth Coordinators involved in producing the festival.

The 3rd annual Youth Arts Festival and Oxygen Art Centre gratefully acknowledges festival sponsors: British Columbia Arts Council, Province of British Columbia, Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance, Columbia Basin Trust, Osprey Community Foundation, Can-Filters and Business for the Arts sponsors Hall Printing, Nelson Star,, and 103.5 JUICE FM.

(Register for auditions online at

Trail TALENT SLAM audition:
Nelson TALENT SLAM audition:

Click here to see video on FaceBook - Please Share the video and Like the new Youth Arts Festival FaceBook page and stay tuned for the 3rd annual Youth Arts Festival coming February 2017!

Check out this awesome video made by Youth Arts Festival filmmakers Aydin Long, Noah Gaffran and Graham Sherman, to promote the TALENT SLAM auditions! The video features artists; Bronwen Bird, Griffin Nowaczynski, Hannah DeBoer-Smith, Hugo St-Denis, Isabel McKenzie, Jess Treijs, Emma Weiland, Dierdra McCrory, Mia Kraus, Laela Heidt, Jasmine Popoff, Lucas Burrows Noah Waldie, Soren Hvenegaard, Sophie MP, Clayton Mallette, Alex Harper, Clayton Whalen, Kyra Von Matt, Tomas Caldwell, Sensia Perey and Thomas Caldwell and was shot during the 2016 TALENT SLAM auditions.

320 Vernon St (alley entrance)
250 352 6322
Or find us on FaceBook!


Final week to see Memory Palaces exhibit!


Throughout 2017 Oxygen Art Centre will stage many events that reflect the work of the centre over the past 14 years.  Oxygen Art Centre was founded as the Nelson Fine Arts Centre Society in May 2002.  On January 5th, 2005 the Society opened its doors at its current studio location in downtown Nelson and soon after started doing business as Oxygen Art Centre.   On January 5th, 2017 the Memory Palaces exhibition will open at Oxygen.  This exhibition celebrates the history of this dynamic Artist Run Centre.  We invite you to join us for a walk down memory lane and into the future!
Over the past month Oxygen's staff and community members have embarked on a residency to process, digitize and install all of its archives in an exhibition called Memory Palaces.  The exhibition will also be developed into an online archive and all materials will also be stored in accordance with archival standards.   What is a ‘Memory Palace’?  So the story goes…  In ancient Rome there was an important meeting with many people in attendance, including some of the great minds of the time.  The meeting was held in a Coliseum type building and when an earthquake hit, the building collapsed and many people were killed and many missing!  In an effort to try to figure out who had been there and who was missing, all the survivors came together to try to remember.  One by one, they began to visualize the room; who was standing next to you and who was behind them?  On and on they went until they were able to reconstruct the room entirely and everyone in it!   They were using a mnemonic technique called a Memory Palace.
In the spirit of this process Oxygen Art Centre will be engaging people in the community to help develop a collective memory of the history of the centre, one that will also serve to help define the centre and its place and role in the community.   This exhibition will engage the public by asking those who have been past patrons and participants at Oxygen, to help contribute to a collective memory of Oxygen Art Centre through reflection, and in response to memory triggers in the exhibition.

Oxygen Art Centre is an artist run centre and community arts organization that has now completed 14 years of successful arts education programming and 11 years of full season programming including; 200 courses since 2002, 38 exhibitions since 2005, 27 one-month long artist residencies since 2005 and over 150 events.  The centre also produces independent artist or curator driven ‘Special Projects’ and has produced or co-produced 8 since 2002.  Special Projects include, High Muck a Muck: Playing Chinese, Requiem for a Glacier, IMAGINARIUM, BOOM and Flame.  Much of this work has received critical acclaim in the art world both here in the Kootenays and beyond!
Oxygen Art Centre is considered to be an integral hub for arts and culture activities in the West Kootenays.  As an Artist Run Centre most of the centre’s Board members, staff and contractors are also practicing artists.  The centre has played an important role in fostering artists and the arts in the region and has been an important stepping-stone for many emerging Kootenay artists, into their careers as professional artists.  The goals of Oxygen Art Centre are to stimulate the creation, exhibition and discussion of contemporary art in all disciplines, to stimulate rural cultural development and professional practices in rural artists, to engage in community development through art-based projects, to achieve diversity in all programming and to pay nationally recognized fees to all artists.  Oxygen Art Centre is particularly interested in work with regional relevance, cross-discipline work and work that engages audiences in participatory processes.  By looking back and celebrating the accomplishments of the centre we celebrate those of our arts community, and bring into focus the importance of the arts in contributing to the rich social fabric of life here in the Kootenays.
The Memory Palaces exhibition will be up at Oxygen Art Centre from January 6 – 28, 2017.  Gallery hours are Wednesday to Saturday from 1-5pm.  The exhibition opening is on Thursday, January 5th from 7-10 pm with special guests in attendance!  There will also be a founding members artist talk on Saturday, January 21 at 4pm.  Admission is free and everyone is welcome.

Oxygen Art Centre gratefully acknowledges support for this programming from the British Columbia Arts Council, Province of British Columbia, Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance, Columbia Basin Trust and Business for the Arts sponsors Hall Printing and the Nelson Star.

320 Vernon St (alley entrance)
250 352 6322
Or find us on FaceBook!


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