Art Lab: Teen

Dazzle Camouflage – A Contemporary Art Immersion Program for Youth

This free three-week art immersion program is for aspiring artists, writers, arts and culture professionals aged 15-19!

Apply by JULY 20th, 2021

Program Dates: August 3-19 (Tuesday to Friday from 10am to 4pm)

Materials fee: $60 (bursaries available)

Dazzle Camouflage  Social

Dazzle Camouflage introduces diverse, global approaches to contemporary art and supports participants to make their own work in painting, drawing, sound, video, photography, performance, installation, animation and more. Inspired by the gallery's inquiry, What is progress? and guided by amazing professional artist mentors, participants experiment, learn, push boundaries and have fun, making projects that are featured in a two day public exhibition at Art Lab.

The program title, Dazzle Camouflage refers to a paint scheme designed by British Artist Norman Wilkinson that was used on military boats in the early 20th century. Rather than hiding the boats from view, dazzle camouflage was meant to confuse enemies making it difficult to estimate a target's range, speed and heading. While never proven effective, the boats themselves inspired many artists. This strange tactic of simultaneously hiding and standing out is a point of inspiration for the program.

Application Guidelines

Include one or more of the following:

1. Five to ten images of your visual works, including title, medium, dimensions & date (this can include photography, painting, drawing, assemblage and collage).

2. A portfolio of your writing, be it fiction, poetry or critique

3. Links to any websites, films or videos you have created

Along with your works, please submit a letter indicating what you hope to gain from the program and why you should be selected. This letter and all materials should be incorporated into a single PDF and emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. by July 13 at 9 am.

Any questions? Feel free to contact Yvonne Vander Kooi in Art Lab.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

250.754.1750 ext. 25


CØD3: Youth Art Collective

Are you curious, creative, and committed?

Code is Nanaimo Art Gallery's teen collective for young creatives that runs throughout the school year (September - June). We will meet in person and online twice monthly in groups of six based on age (Junior for ages 12-14 and Senior for ages 15-19). Code is open to youth working in various media including video, photography, paint, performance, and to critics, curators, and others eager to participate in conversations and actions around contemporary art.

Participants will work with artist mentors and gallery staff, explore exhibitions, attend artist talks, and create artwork with feedback and support. This collective encourages participants to become fluent in the languages of contemporary art through experimenting with new techniques and forms of expression while connecting with like-minded creatives.

WHERE: Art Lab @ Nanaimo Art Gallery, 150 Commercial Street.

WHEN: 2 Thursday nights per month with extra dates and opportunities TBA
JUNIOR (ages 12-14): 1st and 3rd Thursdays, 4-7PM
SENIOR (ages 15-19): 2nd and 4th Thursdays, 4-7PM

COST: $190/year (bursaries are available, please contact us for more info).

HOW TO APPLY: Please fill out this online application in order to be considered.


Interested? Questions? Send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



Dazzle Camouflage 2020 – A Contemporary Art Immersion Program for Youth 

Cracking the Teapot to See the Forest
Video Installation
Dylan Ariawan, Ben James, Ira Kumar, Ella Rose Plumley, Meixi Scott
Edited by artist mentor Elizabeth Milton

Cracking the Teapot to See the Forest is a collaborative video installation created by youth participating in the Summer 2020 Dazzle Camouflage Contemporary Art Immersion Program. Guided by artist-mentor Elizabeth Milton, the work is the result of processes of DIY animation and collage shaped by the Nanaimo Art Gallery's 2020 inquiry question What moves?

Responding to our current moment, where domestic and public space is constantly being renegotiated, the participants engaged in experimental processes of drawing, collage and object play that explored inside and outside space. Individually creating 'sets' for view on camera, participants were led through performative exercises in Zoom where ideas of synchronicity and movement were explored with their artist mentor. The final work stitches together imagery, shot independently by each artist, into overlapping frames that respond, move and connect to one another through the relational choreography of collage in motion.

This program is generously supported by BC Art Council's Youth Engagement Program. 

I Move | Code Switching | Final Exhibition 2020

Temporarily known as the QuaranTeens the Code Switching youth created and connected via regular art prompts and weekly zoom meetings as they prepared for their final online exhibition, I Move.


Participants used video as their canvas responding to the Nanaimo Art Gallery's 2020 inquiry question what moves? and more specifically thinking through their experiences while navigating the Covid-19 Pandemic. I Move showcases multi-disciplinary work created by participants using video to record, explore and respond to this introspective time.


I Move: online exhibition of video work by Code Switching Teens from Nanaimo Art Gallery on Vimeo.


Participating artists are; Hailey Fraser, Ross Gray, Sonam Maki, Ben James, Peter Crema, Calvin Peace, Harmony Gray, Nina Bintner and Miranda Vance.


Code Switching operates out of Art Lab in the Nanaimo Art Gallery. The program supports young artists throughout the school year with workshops, gallery visits, artist talks, and explorations in various media. Code Switching offers young people in our community the opportunity to become fluent in the language(s) of contemporary art by exploring art making techniques and experimenting with new forms of expression.


This program is supported by BC Arts Council's Youth Engagement Program and by The Edwina and Paul Heller Memorial Fund, held at Vancouver Foundation. 




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Contact Us

150 Commercial Street
Nanaimo, British Columbia

+1 (250) 754-1750
Tue - Sat: 10 - 5 PM
Sun: 12 - 5 PM



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