Bylined by Marna Lynn Smith (YR15/1990, Canada-YK), Executive Director Metchosin International Summer School of the Arts

In their 34th annual summer session, MISSA enchanted the campus once again, transforming it into a creative hub for an entirely different kind of student.

Textbooks turned into art books, brushes, pens, tools and hands turned ordinary things into creative expressions. Four-hundred-and-twenty-five times! Yes, you read right, we had 425 registered adult students on campus, which is 200 more than in 2017. The parking lot, campus grounds and dining hall were filled to the brim, making the Pearson campus buzz with unbridled creative energy.

Forty-four workshops were offered in a wide range of artistic mediums, as 2-day and 5-day courses. Instructors came locally from Victoria and Vancouver Island, but also from the B.C. mainland, across Canada and the United States.

One-hundred-and-fourty students had never been to MISSA before, and the overall majority came from Victoria and Vancouver Island, but some (2% from outside North America) traveled to Pedder Bay from afar.

Three friends travelled from Hawaii to each take a MISSA workshop. One of them attended a 5-day ceramics workshop and said this: “I learned new techniques and strategies that I will be able use in my own practice while teaching underserved children and teens in Hawaii. I am in awe of the caliber of instructors and gracious staff, as well as the artistic creativity that resonates through MISSA. The energy that goes into creating this miraculous two weeks of art is inspiring.

Jean Bradbury is a Canadian artist, who lives in Seattle. She taught at MISSA for the first time in a 5-day workshop called “Botanicals and Metallic Leaf”. Jean describes her paintings as celebrations of the wonder and diversity of life. Her innovative use of metallic leaf in her large scale public paintings captures the changing light of the day and our own changing perceptions of the world.

Dani Ives, an amazing fabric artist from Arkansas, taught at MISSA for the first time in a workshop called “Painting with Wool”. This was also Dani’s first time in Canada. She shared a room with fellow instructor, Danielle Pope (who is a past Pearson College UWC employee) who returned to MISSA to teach a writing workshop. They hit it off as friends and even created a hashtag for themselves: #danisquared

What will MISSA 2019 bring?