Professional performers from across Canada, the U.K. and the U.S. are in Kelowna for the Living Things International Arts Festival.
It’s a month-long celebration of visual art, live theatre and music.
“It’s a festival for people who are curious about things that they may not know,” organizer and UBCO Prof. Neil Cadger said.
More than 1,700 people came out to events last year, their second annual event, which continues to be organized by UBC Okanagan’s Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies and Inner Fish Performance Co.
“There’s very little in the festival that has that recognition that some people desire before they go somewhere. They want to know what it is before they go,” Cadger said.
“You can’t do that in this festival. You have to be curious about work, about performance, about dance, about art. The curiosity is a big part of it. You need to be interested in the unfamiliar.”
Opening night took place at the Alternator Gallery in the Rotary Centre for the Arts, feature an exhibition by Canadian artist Patrick Lundeen.
“It’s my first solo exhibition in B.C.,” Lundeen said.
Lundeen’s artworks on display were mostly made in Kelowna in the last year, he said.
The artist has been featured in exhibitions in New York and Toronto in his career.
Past reviews have described his work as full of pop culture expression.
The Kelowna exhibit of “Noise Farm” demonstrates that Lundeen isn’t afraid to combine just about anything and call it expression.
“I just wanted to do something that was really junky and kind of funny, like an out-of-control garage sale, or like a party where things just kind of got out of hand and you didn’t know what was going to happen.”
Lundeen teaches painting at UBC Okanagan. He believes paint can be anything you wash over your art like the sounds his artworks make.
“I treat everything the same, like putting something on and taking something off and changing things around almost the same way as I would paint,” Lundeen said.
Organizers hope to attract audiences looking for a professional art experience with an edge.
“We have this love for the theatrical devices: puppets, masks and performing objects. So much of what’s in the festival will be that,” said Cadger.
A full schedule of the events that take from from Jan. 11 until Feb. 9 can be found at LivingThingsFestival.com
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