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"What does Pride mean to me?"

Pop-up art show opens Fort St. John's Pride Week

Fort St. John's Pride Week officially kicked off Saturday night with the unveiling of a pop-up art show – an event, it's hoped, will become an annual affair.

“In thinking of ways to expand the celebration of pride, the idea was developed to offer members of the community an opportunity to explore what pride personally means to them through art,” said Pride Society president Lyle Goldie in his opening remarks.

“The artists in this show range in medium, ability, and in age from young to young at heart and are united by one common theme.”

The theme and the show's name – What does Pride mean to me?

An emotional Lori Ackerman led off her welcoming message to the small gathering describing what pride means to her.

“It gives my children and grandchildren an opportunity to be themselves, to not be afraid to be here and to enjoy the life they deserve,” said the mayor, trying to stay composed.

“I am so proud of the community for opening their arms for seven years. Who would have thought?”

One of the unique displays inside the pop-up gallery is that of artist and business owner Joy Larstone.

While it looks like a painting done by brush, the easiest way to probably to describe it is splash art where the canvas is put on top of a Lazy Susan, spun around, and then different objects used to apply the paint.

“I could drizzle off a stick or blob out of a cup. I might put the paint inside a squeeze bottle or paint with a comb. Everything and anything that isn't a paint brush,” said the 35-year-old, whose displayed paintings include those done on stove burner covers.

The What does Pride mean to me? Art Show continues, with limited hours, until June 5 in a storefront space on 100th Avenue next to the Northern Grand.

Weekday hours are from 2 until 7 pm; noon until 4 pm on the weekend.

The 7th annual Pride walk and celebrations are set for Centennial Park Sat., June 4.

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