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D.I.Y. with Paddy Leung

October 5th, 2018

image of person standing in tall grass with birdhouse on their head.

Paddy Leung, multidisciplinary artist and DIY Days facilitator. Image by Paddy Leung.

Do you love to D.I.Y.? Are you between the ages of 14 and 25? You can get your D.I.Y. on at the AGO for free this fall. Our FREE After Three program offers exciting workshops including D.I.Y. Days on Tuesdays – all for free! Learn to tie-dye, create your own Halloween costume, try papier-mâché and more.

We spoke to local artist Paddy Leung, facilitator of some amazing D.I.Y. Days workshops including the Pop Art Snack Attack sessions. Paddy chatted with us about upcoming workshops, her inspiration and why she loves FREE After Three programs.

AGO: What inspired you to make art?
Paddy: As a young person, art was an escape for me. When I was nine, I hosted my first puppet show for my neighbourhood. That experience taught me that I could use art to connect with the people around me and this lesson continues to inspire my art practice.

Image by Paddy Leung.

AGO: Tell us a bit about the Pop Art Snack Attack sessions.
Paddy: The Snack Attack is a two-part Pop Art workshop where students learn how to create a large version of their favourite snack using papier-mâché. In the first session, they’ll design and make the large sculpture and in the second, they’ll paint it. I’ve never taught this before, but I was recently commissioned to make a giant Pocky box for New Ho Queen – and it turned out pretty great!

AGO: Why do you enjoy teaching and creating art with young people?
Paddy: It’s inspiring and gratifying. Students are often uninhibited in their art practices, which inspires me to be freer in my own practice. There’s also something great about making art with others in a group setting. It allows you to relax and have fun, which breaks down barriers.

Image by Gabriel Li.

AGO: What’s your favourite experience working with the FREE After Three program?
Paddy: When we first launched the Tie-Dye workshop, we experienced the largest turnout of any of the youth programs. The event was exhilarating! Another favourite experience is the Halloween Runway Show, which is running again this fall. It’s where D.I.Y. meets Project Runway meets RuPaul’s Drag Race. Creating your own costume allows students to use their imaginations to make something spectacular out of whatever they can find.

AGO: What other projects are you currently working on?
Paddy: I’m working on a project that I launched in 2015. It’s a pay-what-you-can barber service called Coupe de Coeur. I’m part of a group show called “side piece,” curated by Tessar Lo at Project Gallery Studio. And this winter, I’m curating an art show with Paperhouse Outreach Collective: XYZines.

Want to know more about FREE after three? Find the full list of workshops here.

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