Art Lab Workshops

To register for programs call 250.754.1750. Space is limited.   


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Open Session 

Join us for a monthly reading and discussion seminar for practicing artists and community members to explore issues related to contemporary art. Sessions will be facilitated by art historian, Marie Leduc, PhD, with special guests, and will include a reading on a pre-selected topic or question. The first session will consider “what is contemporary about contemporary art?” Subsequent topics will be decided by the group and announced prior to each session.
Thursday  April 27 | May 18 | June 22,   7 - 9 pm Registration required
$18 Members | $22 Non-Members  

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Explore + Create: Tour, Discussion, and Mixed Media Adventure

Arlene Deptuck and Yvonne Vander Kooi team up to offer an exploration of ideas around Reconciliation through conversation, reflection and art making. Tour Marianne Nicolson’s exhibition in the Gallery and discuss how her artwork explores intersections of language, culture and the land. Then, in Art Lab, use a mixed media approach to create colourful and imaginative artworks inspired by our personal experiences and informed by our group discussion. 
Saturday, April, 29, 1:30 - 4:30pm
$40 Members | $45 Non-members
Materials: Base materials will be provided however participants should bring mixed media materials such as personal photographs, artifacts etc.

alpacaWet Felting with Sharon Alexander

Felt is the earliest form of cloth, pre-dating weaving and knitting. We will explore its history and the use of felt in contemporary art and craft. Using raw sheep and other natural fibres, participants will be introduced to wet felting, a technique that can be used to create wall hangings, textiles, wearable art, and more. Assorted materials and findings will be offered for embellishment.
Saturday, May 6, 1:30 – 4:30 pm
$40 Members | $45 Non-Members
Minimum 6 registrations required
Sharon Alexander is an artist and designer based on Vancouver Island. Formally trained in photography and fine art, she has in recent years developed a passionate interest in working with natural felt using animal fibre.
Materials Provided:
Clean, raw sheep wool & other animal fibres, bubblewrap, cheese cloth, pool noodles, soap, spray bottles, towels, pails.
Please bring:
Findings for embellishment; ribbon, beads, shells, found objects, pet hair etc.

unnamedLIT LIT LIT LIT VIII Nanaimo: Sonnet L’Abbé, Roger Farr, Casey Wei, Charlotte Zhang & Hamish Hardie 

LIT LIT LIT LIT VIII Nanaimo brings together poets Sonnet L’Abbé(Nanaimo) and Roger Farr (Gabriola Island) and artist Casey Wei (Vancouver) alongside emerging Code Switching youth writers Hamish Hardie and Charlotte Zhang (Nanaimo) for an evening of readings. LIT LIT LIT LIT is a bi-monthly reading series and podcast based out of Vancouver that invites writers to read their own work out loud to interested parties.  
Saturday, May 6, 6:30 pm   
Admission by donation

What Does it Mean to Live on an Island? | Workshop Series & Pop-Up Exhibition 

Listening Mixed Media driftwood wire paper walnut stained cotton Carole Reid
Day 1: Find and Seek Assemblage with Carole Reid
Tuesday, May 23, 9:30 – 4:30 pm
Carole is a hunter, gatherer and mixed media creator who will share her process and techniques for building assemblage. Participants will work with found objects from the beach and other materials to create 2D and 3D compositions. Explore, experiment and play to create new meanings and narratives by recombining old and new, cherished and banal.
LURKOSHRIMPDay 2: Island of the Absurd with Yvonne Vander Kooi & Russ Morland
Wednesday, May 24, 9:30 – 4:30 pm
Participants will be introduced to various street artists and styles from classical to pop surrealism to inform and inspire in this fast-moving, energetic workshop. Russ will share his work and the techniques he uses to create LURK. We will design our own absurd, nonsensical hybrid creatures inspired by ideas of island culture. These characters will inhabit weird worlds on painted panels and will be temporarily installed in the downtown streetscape. A creative venture not to be missed!
Eyes of the heart Screen shotDay 3: Embodied Drawing with Jennifer Van de Pol
Thursday, May 25, 9:30 – 4:30 pm
Guided by artist and Iyengar Yoga instructor Jennifer Van de Pol, participants will experiment with drawing techniques, Yoga postures, and interconnections between these practices, exploring the questions: what does it mean to live in this (island of a) body?
What does it feel like to be whole? Learn about contemporary artists who explore the body, gesture, drawing and Yoga in their work and try new approaches to mark-making and authentic movement in a safe space, together.
This workshop will benefit those with established art or Yoga practices, and those with no experience.
$85 Members | $95 Non-Members
For all three days: $240 Members
For all three days: $270 Non-Members

Pop-Up Exhibition at Art Lab - What Does It Mean to Live on an Island?

Workshop participants are invited to showcase their process and finished products alongside works by artists Carole Reid, Russ Morland, Jennifer Van de Pol and Yvonne Vander Kooi.
Opening Reception: Friday, May 26, 7 pm
Exhibition Hours: Saturday, May 27, 1-5 pm

Life Drawing

Throughout the course of history, the human body has been an enduring subject for artists. On Mondays between September and April, join an informal, friendly group to participate in life drawing sessions. Practice your drawing technique and develop new skills in the Gallery by observing a live model.

Art Lab

Every Monday 10 am - 1 pm (except holidays)

Next session: April 3

Cost $8

Participants must bring their own sketch materials. Easels supplied.
Interested in joining Life Drawing? Call 250.754.1750 for more information.


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Contact Us

150 Commercial Street
Nanaimo, BC V9R 5G6
Tue - Sat: 10 am - 5 pm, Sun: 12 -5 pm


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