As the sun shines on Squamish and the wind blows more people into town, the Squamish Arts Council is looking for those inspired by the elements — or anything, really — to join their creative summer lineup.
The deadline to apply as an artist or venue for the annual ArtWalk is looming. By June 30, all interested should apply through the website, www.squamishartscouncil.com or by visual committee at squamishvisuals.com/artwalk.
"It's always a struggle to sell art in Squamish," Elena Whitman, the ArtWalk coordinator, said. "Several years ago we refreshed this idea of Squamish ArtWalk."
And so, the corridor from Britannia Beach through Brackendale becomes a large gallery of sorts. ArtWalk is set to take over most of the month of September, as Squamish businesses open their doors to host local creative's work from Sept. 1 to 28. For the first time ever, the ArtWalk will also feature an anonymous art show. Artists submit eight-by-eight-inch canvases — unsigned — in whatever medium they desire.
"There is an artist in everybody," Whitman said. "Who are we to judge how you express yourself? There is no age limit, no limit on medium, expression. It can be abstract, it can be realistic — anything."
An opening celebration will be on Sept. 7, where the anonymous art will be for sale. Whitman said it's an opportunity for creatives to experiment without having their name attached to a piece. She likes to call the show's sales "voting by the heart."
A map of venues will help guide people through the ArtWalk. They can also collect stickers at different locations for the chance to win a local piece of art.
"I hope our local artists get more exposure. More and more people are moving in to Squamish, so I'm sure there will be a lot of wall space," Whitman said, pointing out that local art is a good way to fill those walls and get to support and know new neighbours.
Before the ArtWalk, there's more local talent to be enjoyed in Squamish this summer. Amped in the Park is back and kicks off July 4, giving new talent the stage every Thursday for live performances.
"It's an event that will feature artists of all skill levels, but we really run it to invite emerging artists to come and get on stage, get experience and learn how to perform on stage," the director of Squamish Arts Council, Amy Liebenberg, said.
Opening acts feature young performers, who have the opportunity to be mentored by the volunteers, who have years of experience in the industry. Youth can learn how to run a live performance and manage equipment.
The wind — Squamish's traditional namesake — draws many to the area for windsports. But it also offers the opportunity to put the creative side of Squamish on the map.
On July 18 to 20, the Squamish Wind Festival for the Arts blows into town. The sixth of the annual festival is going to be even bigger than last year, Liebenberg said. The free fest will include live carving demonstrations, bouncy castles, axe throwing with Jon and Roy and Old Soul Rebel performing. Vendors and food trucks will bring their local goods for sale.
This summer, three Squamish Arts Council art camps will include a mural camp, one for Squamish Nation youth in August and a film camp that goes through the whole process of creating a film — with the opportunity to screen it for an audience.
Find more information at www.squamishartscouncil.com.