TRU’s own Donald Lawrence honored with Artist of the Year

Founder of the Camera Obscura project recognized for his contributions to the local art scene

Donald Lawrence, the mind behind the Camera Obscura, won Artist of the Year for his dedication to the Kamloops art scene at the 11th annual Mayor’s Gala for the Arts. (Cailyn Mocci/The Omega)

On Jan. 20, the award for Artist of the Year was awarded to TRU faculty member Donald Lawrence at the 11th annual Mayor’s Gala for the Arts. After years of dedication to the Kamloops art scene, Lawrence has gained the community’s encouragement to continue his commitment.

“It’s encouragement to maintain my level of involvement in the arts in Kamloops,” Lawrence said of his award.

The Mayor’s Gala for the Arts is a collaborative partnership that brings together all forms of artistic expression in Kamloops, including the Kamloops Art Gallery, Kamloops Symphony, Western Canada Theatre and the City of Kamloops. The goal of these awards is to acknowledge and celebrate the budding art scene in Kamloops.

The Kamloops Art Gallery is well-known for its ability to bring in crowds and artists alike. The gallery is publicly funded and well-recognized in Canada for its success.

Lawrence has worked extensively with the Kamloops Art Gallery, from solo exhibitions to sitting on the board.

“I’ve had good support at the city level,” Lawrence said.

In 2005, Lawrence hosted a solo exhibition at the Kamloops Art Gallery called Kayaks and Caissons. The exhibition was shaped around underwater pinhole cameras and illustrated journals from his kayak journeys.

More recently, Lawrence acted as the principal researcher for the Midnight Sun Camera Obscura; a project that started in the Dawson City, Yukon.

Lawrence has also been working on plans to continue the collaborative nature of his Camera Obscura project, extending the collaborative invitation outside of Canada to further inspiration and perspectives.

As for a dream future, Lawrence would like to see a Golf Island tour of his project the Floating Camera Obscura.

“I’d like to acknowledge and thank the various people at TRU, you wouldn’t get an award like this if you were working completely alone,” Lawrence said. “It’s all built on collaborations with many people.”