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ARTS CORNER: High tech vs. high touch experiences at Burnaby Art Gallery

Local Grade 12 student and Burnaby Art Gallery volunteer Diane Wong (L), learns the art of the linocut from printmaking instructor Hannah Bennett on the veranda of Ceperley Mansion during Linofest. Diane participated in the BAG’s Underground Curatorial Experience last spring and enjoyed it so much, she returns regularly to volunteer. The BAG’s Directed Study Program for Teens starts Oct. 11.  - Contributed photo
Local Grade 12 student and Burnaby Art Gallery volunteer Diane Wong (L), learns the art of the linocut from printmaking instructor Hannah Bennett on the veranda of Ceperley Mansion during Linofest. Diane participated in the BAG’s Underground Curatorial Experience last spring and enjoyed it so much, she returns regularly to volunteer. The BAG’s Directed Study Program for Teens starts Oct. 11.
— image credit: Contributed photo

What does the high tech world offer those of us who naturally prefer a high touch experience?

I find the touch screen feature of my iPad, although quick and easy, doesn’t offer the same level of satisfaction achieved through the high touch experience I feel when I actually create something with my own hands.

The arts are now blending high tech with the more traditional “by-hand” creative processes, making it almost impossible to tell the original from the copy.  Photocopied prints with a few paint strokes almost fool the eye with the level of detail achieved using technology. The separation between high tech and high touch has become very blurry indeed.

The Burnaby Art Gallery offers every one of every age an opportunity to balance the tech and touch components of their lives with real-time, real-life, experiences.  You can achieve that soul-satisfying feeling of creating something “from scratch” when you learn new skills at one of our art education classes.

Who hasn’t seen a teen crossing the street, eyes glued to their cell phone screen as if their very existence depended on it? What are the alternatives to help teens balance their need for high tech with the life skills learned through high-touch art activities?

One of the highlights of our fall program is the Directed Studio Program for Teens starting Oct. 11. This high-touch program offers teens a six-week intensive art experience where they have the opportunity to develop their own voice and establish their own creative direction within the medium of fine art. Working one-on-one with instructor David Robinson, teens have the ability to co-design a program that focuses on personal interests while developing a greater mastery of the technical aspects of their chosen medium.

The gallery offers education programs for all ages starting with pre-schoolers (Red Circle, Blue Line, 4-5 years) to the Professional Development Series for Artists. In that series, award-winning ceramic artist Brendan Tang offers advice and guidance to those interested in building a professional art career, at Thursday, Oct. 18, 7-8:30 p.m. The series is presented in partnership with CARFAC BC and has something for everyone from emerging to professional artists.

For the complete listing of offerings, and more details, visit www.burnabyartgallery.ca or check out the Burnaby Leisure Guide Fall 2012 or Burnaby.ca/active. Registration can be done online at Burnaby.ca/webreg, by phone 604-297-4422, in person at the Burnaby Art Gallery or at any community recreation/community centre.

• Brenda Finlayson is the marketing and sponsorship coordinator at the Burnaby Art Gallery.

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