The Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) held a sticker-making workshop on Nov. 23. The free drop-in event included free pizza and gave attendees a chance to turn their original artwork and comics into stickers.
Doug Dumais, OAG educational assistant said this event is part of a series of events the gallery is hosting in conjunction with the OAG’s newly formed youth council, stArtup.
Not only will members of the youth council have mentorship opportunities with gallery staff, but they will also have an opportunity to create their own youth programming, Dumais explained.
“The whole reason for the youth council is so that we can have youth-focused programming that’s by youth for youth,” Dumais said.
Dumais said the gallery holds workshops often, once every month or so, but this is the first one that’s targeted towards youth.
“It’s not that the gallery isn’t doing that, we’ve always been really good with all ages programs, it’s just that it’s a hard demographic,” Dumais said. “It’s really just an opportunity to get [youth] engaged in the gallery and transform their creative potential into something that appeals to everyone.”
Ben Jensen, a local artist and illustrator, helped facilitate the workshop. Jensen said this was his first time leading a workshop like this at the OAG.
“I’ve done other things with youth, like earlier this month I was at Oasis Skateboard Factory in Toronto, which is an alternative high school for at-risk youth focussing on graffiti art, skateboard branding and silk-screening, stuff like that,” Jensen said.
Jensen said he’s seen events like this benefit youth.
“It’s a good way to get them thinking about art,” he said. “This helps them see how it can end up with a physical product. They’re turning comic strips into stickers here today right so if they can see their piece of art becoming something physical beyond the piece of art itself it might just inspire kids to see the possibilities.”
University of Ottawa students Elizabeth Shepherd and Melissa Poon said this was their first time at the gallery. Both agreed that the promise of free pizza had lured them in.
Shepherd decided to use the opportunity to get ahead on some Christmas shopping and made a sticker for her roommate.
“We get to make stickers,” Poon said. “What else are we going to do on a Wednesday night?”