Cultural life of communities explored through the arts

by | Oct 14, 2016 | A&E, Lakeshore

Sanzana Syed

Members of the Lakeshore community came to show their support during Culture Days, a free, three-day event to bolster awareness in the arts and cultural life of their communities.

Lakeshore Arts, a small art gallery, was one of the few places events were hosted. Exploring tunnels beneath Humber Lakeshore and making paper planes were some of the many activities that took place during first weekend of October.

Culture Days has events for everyone. Definitely child-friendly,” said Cheryll-Ann Yelovich, the Lakeshore Arts gallery attendant and a sculpture student at OCAD.

Alongside tending to the Lakeshore Arts gallery, Yelovich organized the closing ceremony of Culture Days in the gallery.

The closing ceremony featured paintings from artists like Susan J. Ellis and Tanzina Amin.

Ellis has been drawing since she was seven years old and painting since 12. Her inspiration to paint was a TV show called The Magic of Oil Painting, hosted by German painter William Alexander in the 1970s and 1980s. One of her earlier memories of painting was a seemingly perfect picture day, tainted by her passion.

“On picture day, I wore this pink dress and because I was painting with green, it got all over it,” Ellis said. “I got stuck in the back of the photo so they could hide the stain.”

Amin said she was intimidated by paint when she was younger until she took art lessons. After learning how to paint, she took a break for nearly two and a half decades. Her passion in paint would not start until 2009.

“After the 23-year break, I picked up a paintbrush for the first time,” Amin said. “I had to force myself to do it. One of my greatest fears was that maybe I forgot how to paint. Until last summer, the public was unaware of my work.”

Other artists, such as Mike Bolwell, Blair Richard Martin, and Khadijah Morely, were also at the closing ceremony and spoke about their paintings as guests indulged in refreshments provided by Bolwell.

Culture Days is held once a year across Canada, and according to its website, 10 million Canadians have participated in the event.

The free event offers people a chance to understand the community they’re part of and is a great place to attend with family and friends.