Printmaking and many other visual arts genres are represented in workshops at the 2019 Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts. Photo by Jo-Ann Richards

MISSA Magic: Find your idyllic setting for the creative arts

Many great ways to celebrate summer art school’s 35th birthday in Metchosin

Whether you’re an experienced artist looking to hone your skills, a novice seeking a challenge or simply enjoy working around like-minded people, you can find it this summer in a stunning natural environment.

The 35th Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts (MISSA) June 22-July 5 will immerse you in art making in and around the campus of Pearson College. A broad cross-section of professional artists will guide you through a range of workshops focused on mediums from watercolours and ceramics to textiles and more.

“We always get a mix of returning people and newcomers,” says MISSA executive director Marna Lynn Smith. About half of the participants are local while others come from around the world. That combination, blended with a diverse instructor group, beautiful rural setting and summer camp-style camaraderie, helps create the “MISSA magic.”

“We really want it to be a big birthday bash for two weeks,” Smith says, adding the public is welcome at certain events.

Pick a workshop that celebrates your passion

There’s already a buzz happening for MISSA 2019 and as such, a number of workshops are sold out. But with 48 on the schedule, and two-, five- or nine-day length options, there’s still plenty of choice.

Some of those include: Letters from the Trees, drawing, painting and calligraphy inspired by the ancient Ogham tree alphabet, taught by local artist Miles Lowry; Haida cedar bark basket-making with Todd DeVries; SAORI Japanese weaving with Saltspring Island artist Terri Bibby; The Singing Soul, improvisational a cappella with David Hatfield, and MAPPA: Cartography on Cloth, taught by Vancouver textile artist Bettina Matzkuhn.

There is still time to apply for the mentored residency program, guided by decorated Canadian painter Don Farrell, which allows you to enjoy nine days of uninterrupted studio time, experimenting and exploring as you take your art to the next level.

Other ways to immerse yourself at MISSA:

  • Participants staying in the campus dorms receive five meals daily, plus admission to the Celebration of the Arts dinner June 28 and MISSA Wind-up Party July 5, if staying on site those days.
  • Drop by the campus and see the artistic action for yourself. Take a self-led Open Studio Tour on June 22 or June 29 from 7-9 p.m. Pick up a coveted MISSA mug as a reminder of your time on campus!
  • Other special events such as the Gumbo Night ceramics fundraiser and MISSA Talks presentations offer you a chance to rub shoulders with fellow artists, and they’re also open to the public.

Bursary deadlines approaching

Over $7,000 in bursaries is available through MISSA for emerging or established artists in any medium. You’re encouraged to apply with your portfolio for workshops you’re interested in (even if they’re sold out). The deadlines are Feb. 28 and March 30, so apply soon!

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You can support this not-for-profit arts organization in various other ways, and keep track of ongoing events by following MISSA on Facebook or Instagram.

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