Exams are finished. Classes are done. AGO Youth Council is celebrating summer with their annual summer party, now in its fourth year. This Party Loves You, a free all-ages art party, will be held July 14 from 8 – 11 pm.
Programmed by the AGO Youth Council, the party features local musicians and rappers Just John, Eyeda Sophia and Tyriqueordie, as well as DJ GG, snacks and refreshments and artmaking – what more could you want? How about a giant art installation radiating good vibes? We’ve got that too!
This Party Loves You will unveil This Mountain Loves You, a large-scale installation created in collaboration between the AGO Youth Council and local artist Ani Castillo, whose art practice draws on themes of self-love and empowerment. The work is a tribute to Leonard Knight’s Salvation Mountain, a colourful folk art mecca in the California desert.
Over the past seven weeks, the AGO Youth Council and Ani drew on their own experiences and thoughts to generate positive messages to emblazon on their own mountain, which will be installed in Walker Court from July 17 – 22. We spoke to Ani to learn more about her experience working with the AGO Youth Council on this mountain of a project.
AGO: Tell us about the process involved in creating the artwork with the AGO Youth Council?
Ani: The most unique thing about this collaboration is that we did a lot of exploring of our emotions and thoughts before getting our hands dirty by making the art. We did some meditation, creative writing exercises and discussing subjects and ideas the Youth Council members wanted to explore through their work. This Mountain Loves You is made with a lot of heart.
AGO: What do youth bring to art projects like this?
Ani: The voices of young people are incredibly important. We need to listen to what they’re saying because they see the world through fresh eyes and through their art, they can remind us of how it feels to be a young person and to be filled with idealism and hope. That seems especially poignant these days.
AGO: Do you have a favourite art-making memory from your youth?
Ani: I was a shy, awkward kid who was always making art in my room and had a hard time talking to people. But art was a necessity for my existence. I just needed to create.
When I was 22 years old, I found blogs. The day I wrote my first blog post and uploaded my first drawing, it felt like the windows to the outside world opened for me. If it wasn’t for the Internet, I would still be making art, but I might still be stuck in my room. Thanks to the Internet, my blog became known in Guadalajara (where I’m from); I became a newspaper cartoonist, worked for TV, met my husband and came to Canada.
Are you between the ages of 14 – 24? Don’t miss the Youth Council’s awesome party on July 14.
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