(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

A concept rendering of the proposed seven-unit, two-storey development at 1129 Riverside Ave. in Sicamous. (District of Sicamous graphic)
Proposed luxury development in Sicamous sparks parking concerns

Seven-unit commercial-residential building planned for Riverside Avenue

The Shaw Centre and the SASCU Recreation Centre are the two largest producers of greenhouse gas emissions on City of Salmon Arm properties. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)
City of Salmon staff surprised COVID not cause of drop in greenhouse gas emissions

2020 sees emissions on city-owned properties decrease well below 2019 totals

Shuswap Litas and Son of Stomp head out from uptown Askew’s parking lot on Thursday, June 10, some with teddy bears and stuffies, to ride to Pierre’s Point by Adams Lake community hall to show their support for band members in the wake of the confirmation of 215 children buried at the site of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School. (Martha Wickett - Salmon Arm Observer)
Shuswap bike clubs ride to support Indigenous communities

Motorcyclists go to Pierre’s Point in solidarity with bands in wake of residential school findings

Interior Health is offering mobile vaccination clinics for the first dose only of COVID-19 vaccine in the Shuswap from June 15 to June 19h. (Interior Health image)
First-dose vaccinations for COVID-19 offered via mobile clinics in Shuswap

Clinic in Salmon Arm scheduled for June 15, other clinics in Sorrento, Malakwa, Chase

The price per litre of regular gasoline was at 145.9 cents at several gas stations in downtown Salmon Arm on June 11, 2021. (Zachary Roman - Salmon Arm Observer)
Gas prices pumped up in Salmon Arm and Sicamous

Price spikes from 131.9 to as high as 145.9 cents per litre

Dr. Albert de Villiers, chief medical health officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
Black Press Media Weekly Roundup: Top headlines this week

Here’s a summary of this week’s biggest stories from the Okanagan-Shuswap

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 13 to 19

Flag Day, Garbage Man Day, International Panic Day all coming up this week

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday, June 9, 2021. Her death is considered a homicide and connected to the slain brothers found on a Naramata forest road. (Submitted)
Naramata community in shock as condolences pour in for homicide victim Kathy Richardson

Richardson was well liked in the community, a volunteer firefighter with a home-based salon

British Columbia-Yukon Community News Association’s 2021 Ma Murray Awards were handed out during a virtual ceremony on Friday, June 10. (Screen grab)
Black Press Media winners take gold at B.C. and Yukon journalism awards

Publications received nods in dozens of categories

Princeton GSAR responds 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. In 2020 the crew was called out 34 times, and members spent 721 hours on calls, and 683 hours training. Photo Princeton GSAR Facebook
Teen missing in Manning Park found after 24 hours

Young man spends night on mountain and survives with just a few scrapes

The RCMP are asking for assistance regarding the death of Kathleen Richardson of Naramata, pictured here. Her death is believed to be related to two homicides in Naramata in May. (RCMP)
Police identify South Okanagan homicide victim as 57-year-old Naramata woman

57-year-old Kathleen Richardson was discovered deceased in her home Wednesday

Two e-scooters parked on the sidewalk along Water Street in downtown Kelowna on Monday, May 3. Scooters parked on walkways are causing accessibility issues for some people with disabilities. (Michael Rodriguez/Capital News)
Kelowna General Hospital clinicians observe increase in e-scooter injuries

A report is set to go to city council next week on how the e-scooter pilot has gone thus far

Fair-goers take a ride at the 120th annual Armstrong Interior Provincial Exhibition and Stampede Aug. 28-Sept. 1, 2019. (Katherine Peters - Morning Star)
Armstrong’s IPE not eligible for COVID-19 grant designed for major attractions

Shuswap MLA Greg Kyllo criticized the rigidity of the provincial program’s criteria

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau greets campers while visiting McDougall, Ont. on Thursday, July 19, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
71% of B.C. men say they’d prefer to go camping with Trudeau: survey

Most British Columbians with plans to go camping outdoors say they’d prefer to go with Trudeau or Shania Twain

Most Read