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Bent On Art returns to Kootenays as a Virtual Festival

The festival was founded by Samonte Cruz in 2018 & is now delivered in partnership with Samonte Cruz Studios and the West Kootenay Regional Arts Council.

Sorely missed in 2020, Bent On Art: Kootenay Queer & Trans Art Festival returns for 2021 in an online format.

The public is urged to join virtually for a series of events designed to promote the work of LGBTQ+ artists in the Kootenays — and across British Columbia — while creating educational opportunities, fostering community connection & promoting resilience through the arts.

The festival was founded by Samonte Cruz in 2018 & is now delivered in partnership with Samonte Cruz Studios and the West Kootenay Regional Arts Council.

This year’s theme focuses on Queer & Trans Resilience – and over the month of March we will be engaging local artists in a daily art challenge, culminating in an online exhibition and Q&A session on March 28. We will also be offering a weekly Queer & Trans Life Drawing Workshop, as facilitated by Nadia Moss.

The virtual festivities will also include a string of streamed performances on March 27 from some of our favourite BC-based performers, finishing with a “Meet & Greet” Q&A session. Selected artists are:

  • Onibana Taiko (Vancouver, BC / Japan)
  • Mother Girth (Penticton, BC)
  • Smokii Sumac (Kimberley, BC)
  • The Dancing Legs (Nelson, BC)
  • t wolfe (Nelson, BC)
  • Marloe Blu (Nelson, BC)

There area hand-selected six local Queer & Trans artists to take on a daily art endeavor related to the festival’s theme, which we’ve dubbed the #BentOnArtChallenge.

Organizers are also encouraging any and all members of the public to participate (opening the focus up to any interpretation of resilience) with giveaways from local sponsors as incentives - believing firmly that making space in our lives for creative exploration is a tangible way to cultivate resilience.

The six chosen artists are:

  • Vance Wright (Nelson, BC)
  • Nichola Hare (Nelson, BC)
  • Jimmie Dancer (Kimberley, BC)
  • Seed (Winlaw, BC)
  • sylvie Le sylvie (Winlaw, BC)
  • Gabor Lovas (Nelson, BC)

Lastly, each Saturday in March there is a hosting a Queer & Trans Life Drawing Workshop, as guided by Montreal’s Nadia Moss, who has joined us to facilitate similar workshops in person at past editions of Bent On Art.

Moss has taught drawing and performance at the college and university level for more than 7 years - and we are thrilled to have them instruct virtually in 2021. Selected participants must reside in the Kootenay region, with priority going to QTBIPOC artists.