Kamloops Arts Council hosts interactive art experience

Dancers dazzle guests with a hypnotizing display of lights and movement at this year’s Art in the Dark event, put on by the Kamloops Arts Council. (Juan Cabrejo/The Omega)

The Kamloops Art Council brought neon and clubbing to the art scene at Art in the Dark with a creative explosion for professionals and amateurs alike. Saturday evening’s festivities raised funds to allow the KAC to continue providing an outlet for artists in the community.

The event started at 7 p.m. and was in full swing until midnight. Those in attendance were treated to an array of art vendors using the glowing theme to their full advantage. With neon glow sticks, black lights and UV body paint as far as the eye could see, the KAC created a night to remember.

This year’s theme took on a more naturalistic nightclub vibe, using Art Knapp’s heated greenhouse to host a “back to nature” event.

Juan Cabrejo/The Omega

The long, narrow greenhouse was set up to encourage the creativity in the community with many different interactive activity booths and art demos, with everything from glow-in-the-dark beadwork and neon painting to UV crowns to keep with the rave vibe coursing through the greenhouse.

The evening included booths from 4Cats Art Studio and Arnica Artist-Run Centre, to name a few, bringing local art into the spotlight of the black lights.

Guests were encouraged to participate in as many or as little as they wanted and attendees took advantage of every opportunity they had. Every booth was full at all times with lines of people waiting for their turn or simply observing the creativity at work.

If creating yourself wasn’t up your alley, guests were invited to become the canvas for local artists to create upon. Many people walked around with neon face paint adorning their features or the UV airbrush work of local artist Kelly Wright along their arms, legs and chest.

To keep the creativity going, the evening was full of energetic beats radiating for the DJ booth, vibrating the tent and beating in your chest from the parking lot. Guests were hypnotized by those dancing with glowing hula hoops swirling through the air and lighting the dance floor.

Crowds grew as three dancers from Mosaic Fusion Belly Dancing took to the dance floor to perform a mesmerizing number. The women dressed to looked like forest fairies keeping to the theme of the evening.

As the night carried on, the dance floor began to fill with attendees enjoying the steady flow of electronic beats and rhythms and possibly an array of cocktails.

What would an event be without food? The evening included food vendor Waffle Laundry serving up warm, made-to-order waffles in multiple flavours.

The evening was electric and glowing with the creativity that flowed from person to person. Guest wandered in neon costumes and rave-esque attire. There was something interesting and exciting to look at every way you turned with no dull moment in sight.

Kathy Sinclair, an organizer for the event, and her team keep with the magic of the event and let the events fall into place how they were meant to be.

“Every year we do all this planning for months leading up to the event and when it comes together it’s always a little bit of an unknown for all of us, so that’s what makes it exciting, too,” she said.

With their third year under their belt and the great success that has come from each event it is safe to say that Kamloops will be seeing many more Art in the Dark events in their future.

Juan Cabrejo/The Omega