Emily Carr University confirms Whistler satellite school 

August program inspired by nature — and Crankworx

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO - Students' inspiration The students attending Emily Carr University's summer satellite school will work from The Point Artist-Run Centre, pictured.
  • File Photo
  • Students' inspiration The students attending Emily Carr University's summer satellite school will work from The Point Artist-Run Centre, pictured.

Arts education in Whistler has been boosted with the confirmation that the BC Summer Studio offered by Emily Carr University of Art + Design will take place in August.

The 10-day intensive satellite summer school for high-school students aged 15 to 17 takes place from Aug. 10 to 19.

Tene Barber, executive director for continuing education at Emily Carr University, says the final details are still being hammered out but it is shaping up nicely.

"We take up to a maximum of 14 students and we've had enough applications to fill that. We don't talk a lot about numbers at this stage because we are still offering seats," she says.

Students need to be interested in art and design, and possibly considering a post-secondary education in the field.

Emily Carr's annual Vancouver summer school program started in July with 120 students, Barber added.

The university also runs a satellite art school in Prince George, now in its second year.

"A lot of our summer institutes are to prepare students, to help them look at what it means to practice art," says Barber. "It's a look at the creative process and problem solving, and to prepare them to apply for post-secondary education. And there's a little bit of self-exploration. At that age it is important to experience it."

She adds they were pleased with the application rate for Whistler.

"Starting any new program is challenging, but starting something in a different place... They want to come to Emily Carr, so to be able to run a studio in a different location, it takes a little more time to get it started," she says.

An agreement was reached between Emily Carr and the Resort Municipality of Whistler in 2013 to bring the satellite summer school to Whistler in the summer of 2014. This was cancelled when too few students applied to take part.

Barber says they took a different approach this year.

"I think we did a better job at outlining the experience for students and we just got it out a little earlier," she says.

"We attempted last year and just didn't receive the enrollment, but this year... In my experience it takes at least three offerings to really see the word spread and see interest grow. The fact that we've done it in two is amazing."

Most of the applicants are from the Lower Mainland and Whistler.

The instructors for the week are Erick Villagomez, the executive director of Spacing Vancouver, and photographer Amanda Arcuri.

Students have studios to introduce them to sketching, drawing and illustration technique, and creative processing skills, says Barber.

"These are really grounded in the natural settings and the cultural pulse of Whistler," she says.

"They will work from the expansive to the miniscule. They will look at the relationship to landscape... to mapping the territory."

They will also be connected artistically to Crankworx, the annual mountain bike festival.

It will be like plein air painting but with sports.

"It will be a great experience. They will be action drawing," Barber says.

"And they will also be looking at small wonders, the botanical and geological observations and really technical details and representations."

The course will be run at The Point Artist-Run Centre and costs $1,650, $2,100 including accommodation.

The week wraps up with an exhibition of the students artwork at the Gallery at Millennium Place starting on Wednesday, Aug. 19.

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