What is kindness? And how do youth interpret it as an art form?
That’s the focus of a two-week youth art exhibit organized by Port Renfrew artist Diane Moran in partnership with Amber Academy Youth Fine Art Society, the Canadian Mental Health Association, Sooke School District and Sooke Arts Council.
The result of their joint project is a youth arts exhibition – called Mindfulness in May: The Art of Kindness – that opens May 5 at the Gallery By Sooke Arts Council and runs to May 16.
The exhibition showcases students’ visual arts and literary skills in grades six to 12 in the Sooke School District, and children living in Port Renfrew, Metchosin, Highlands, Langford, and Colwood registered in a home learning program.
The exhibition takes place during B.C. Youth Week and National Mental Health Week and features 22 visual art pieces and three poems.
“The art of kindness seemed to fit, especially with everything we’ve all faced with COVID-19,” Moran said. “I wanted this to be a platform to celebrate our young artists and also draw attention to mental health.”
Moran first launched the Mindfulness in May project in 2015 while living on the Lower Mainland. This year is the first time the program is offered in the Capital Region, and next year it could expand to include all of Vancouver Island.
“I’m never surprised by the creativity of our youth because many are quite talented,” Moran said. “The interpretation is always an interesting facet of it.”
Along with the gallery show, art is also displayed online at https://mindfulmay.artistquarter.com/show.
Gallery By Sooke Arts Council, 6596 Sooke Rd., is open Wednesday to Sunday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.