(Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

‘Local Losers’ have a place to create with Vernon art studio opening

A new art studio geared towards youth opened on main street June 1

When Noah MacLeod paints, he often starts with a shape on a canvas and lets the piece reveal itself.

“I’ll just draw a random shape — I don’t really think that much about my art when I’m making it — and then I take the lines and I make something out of it.”

It’s a somewhat similar process to how he created Local Losers, a youth-oriented art studio that had its grand opening on 30th Avenue in Vernon Tuesday, June 1.

Standing before a painting of a bright red, heart-shaped character with an eerie grin — a spray-painted piece of his called the King of Hearts — the 22-year-old summarized his plans for the downtown space.

“I think it’s one of those things that’ll kind of grow really organically as people come in.”

MacLeod has spent the month of May transforming the space formerly home to Five Fathoms Tattoo into a bright and colourful studio packed with paintbrushes, print-making tools, accessible workspaces and other art supplies for clients to use as they please.

It’s something MacLeod says Vernon has always lacked, and he hopes Local Losers will help young local artists access a community of like-minded people, a workspace full of resources and — perhaps most importantly —a centrally located venue to hang and sell their artworks.

“Vernon needed this. I wish this was here sooner honestly,” said Ris MacLean on opening day, a young artist who knew MacLeod in high school. “I have some work in here and this is probably the first time I’ve had work for sale in a public place, because it’s not accessible for so many young people, so I think it’s so exciting.”

Spencer Wylie, another opening day attendee, said he might have gotten into producing art at a younger age if a space like Local Losers had existed then.

“It’s nice to see all the pieces from people who do work around town,” he said.

READ MORE: Addams Family comes alive, online, from Vernon high school

The studio’s name originated as a clothing brand; it’s what MacLeod and some of his artistically inclined high school friends used to call themselves.

“Honestly, all we were thinking about is art,” he laughed. “Whether it was musicians, visual artists, poets, we were all kind of just super involved in our creating.”

‘Counterculture’ doesn’t fully capture the aesthetic patrons will find at Local Losers, though the art on the walls tends to be visually striking, demanding attention with bright colours and, like the King of Hearts, some uncanny abstractions.

“It’s all born of love and compassion and community, and there really isn’t anything exclusionary or divisive that are coming from that.”

Since leaving high school, MacLeod says he’s seen many friends and colleagues in the Vernon art scene leave town to places like Victoria, where less traditional forms of art tend to be more abundant.

“A large part of that is because Vernon doesn’t always serve that niche,” he said. “Even just in my personal circles, there’s so many young, interesting, unique, weird artists in Vernon with immense talent who are kind of just doing their thing, and people don’t know about them, and I want to showcase that and share it.”

The space for young artists who are “weird and unique” is a good fit for the weird and unique times artists are currently creating in. The studio’s opening comes as B.C.’s COVID-19 vaccine rollout is well underway, and restrictions are easing.

“As far as art goes it’s definitely been interesting,” MacLeod agreed. “It started with people painting a lot more darkness and despair, and then hope, and then we came back to the monotony of life being in lockdown for over a year, and so I’ve seen it in my friends, the way their art has changed and evolved.”

“What I’m excited to see is the hopefulness and happiness and the collaborative works that come out of it, where people actually get to interact more and share more and they have a more positive outlook.”

The studio will be open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; and 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Sunday.

READ MORE: Youth-centric art studio coming to Vernon’s downtown


Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

art exhibitArts

 

(Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

(Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

Just Posted

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

A promotional image for The Wharf Sessions album. (Salmon Arm Arts Centre image)
The Wharf Sessions album pays tribute to Salmon Arm’s long-running concert series

Salmon Arm Arts Centre wanted to give recording opportunity to artists in a tough year

(Heather Lueck image)
Crash north of Enderby knocks out power, slows Highway 97A traffic

A witness captured footage of a medical helicopter landing at the scene

An overhead view of the proposed location of 5 new units at Sicamous Creek Mobile Home Park. (District of Sicamous image)
5 new rental units proposed at Sicamous Creek Mobile Home Park

Coun. Gord Bushell said he thinks it will be great to have five new rentals in the community

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Longtime SOWINS volunteer Diane Fru (far left) walks with members of her family as they Walk To End Abuse Sunday, June 13, 2021. South Okanagan Women In Needs Society (SOWINS) raised a record amount this year. (Monique Tamminga Western News)
Walk to End Abuse in South Okanagan breaks fundraising record

More than $53,000 raised so far while the pandemic has increased need for SOWINS’ services

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read