Stories told through different means

Stories are told in so many ways — through the touch of a hand, voices in song, and so very often through the making of art.

Stories are told in so many ways — through the touch of a hand, voices in song, the pointing of a toe in dance and so very often through the making of art.

The Comox Valley Art Gallery in partnership with Family Literacy Week is celebrating the act of spinning yarns with tools such as paint and glue as they celebrate words through art this month.

Local residents are invited to enter into the world of animals, taking a peek at two art shows that opened recently and making animal art with local illustrator and painter Ken Henderson from 10 a.m. to noon Jan. 27 at the CVAG across from the Courtenay Public Library in downtown Courtenay.

Guests of all ages will draw inspiration from two shows.

The first, hanging in the Contemporary Gallery, features an exhibit titled, In Place/Displaced. This exhibit consists of a selection of artworks by artists Haruko Okano, Maria Whiteman and Pamela Speight presenting installation, large format photography and drawings together to spark the discussion surrounding the human relationship with animals, the phenomena of habitat/territory and invasive species.

Kids will love Animalmorphic, an open call community art show, in conjunction with the main exhibit. CVAG invited the community to submit artworks on humanity’s relationship to animals and our practice of attributing human qualities towards them; and to consider animals both wild and domestic.

Artists were asked: How does this practice affect how we see, feel and think about animals? In its most prevalent form, we see animals as characters in fables, stories, and legends.  Nowadays, how do we continue this relationship in popular media?

Staff and Henderson, a longtime Valley resident who creates worlds for television and film, will be making some lively animal art projects with kids and adults alike that bring images and words together to tell a larger tale.

The event is free of charge and open to the public as a part of Comox Valley Family Literacy Week.

Family Literacy Week is a weeklong community celebration of storytelling, art, reading and learning that culminates in Family Literacy Day on Jan. 27. This year’s celebration also includes local celebrities, art shows, roving storytellers and a chance to explore the community.

Family Literacy Day is a national awareness initiative created by ABC Life Literacy Canada in 1999. This special day promotes the importance of reading and engaging in other literacy-related activities as a family.

Developing early childhood reading and writing skills helps develop the learning skills necessary for good communication skills later in life, and can ultimately contribute to a child’s chances for future success.

For more information about how to get involved in Family Literacy Week 2012, contact Lynn Joseph at

— Comox Valley Art Gallery