Saturday, April 29, 2006

landscapes and art

My friend Sherrard took a 2 year leave of absence from her job as Community Arts Developer at work. She's at university in New York, studying art. Before she left, she asked me to take over a commitment to the Parks and Recreation Association's annual conference to moderate a forum about sport and art. Of course I said "okay!"

The conference is on this weekend, and the forum was yesterday. I am so glad I got to do this because it was amazing... The two artists who made presentations were Chili Thom and Rene Scavington. (check video clip # 3 for Rene.)

Chili is a wilderness guide/landscape painter who lives in Whistler BC. He makes wonderful expressive art, all out of his connection with nature. He talked to the rec practitioners about art as a response to nature, and encouraged us to take youth into the wilderness to make art. He also talked to us about the thriving artistic community in Whistler, and the devleopment of the Whister Arts Council as a catalyst to this.

Rene is a film maker and parkour practitioner. To find out about parkour you can check out the website of Rene's parkour group. The art of parkour is definitely underground, but Rene and his friend Alex emphasised fundamentals and learning to do it safely. He talked to the audience about the challenges of practising parkour in public places and told about a pilot training project to help new practitioners learn the art. Rene's film of young men climbing walls, jumping off high places and leaping urban chasms was astonishing and impressive. It reminded me of skateboarding without a skateboard.

The room was buzzing with questions. It was a warm Friday afternoon - a beautiful day in Vancouver after a big lunch and an AGM for the BCRPA. Everyone was there, engaged and interested. My new friend and co-worker Valerie was there. She's working in Sherrard's position during her leave of absence. It was a great afternoon. I love my job.

question: jumped off/over anything lately?

mompoet - proper training is required

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