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CAT and Friends


Thanks to instructor Elizabeth Dykosky, CAT students have work on display at a new exhibition at Kelowna’s RCA Gallery.


Thanks to instructor Elizabeth Dykosky, CAT students have work on display at a new exhibition at Kelowna’s RCA Gallery.

If you have been down at Kelowna’s Rotary Centre for the Arts recently, you may have noticed posters for a gallery exhibition called ‘CAT and Friends’. The exhibition is the brainchild of fine art instructor Elizabeth Dykosky, and contains work from her students, both from various CAT programs and also younger private students.

“This is the second exhibition at the RCA I organized for my students,” explains Dykosky.

“Last year I showcased the portraits done by CAT student – Shauna Gardiner, from the Graphic and Digital Design program. This year I promoted six CAT students from both the animation and graphic design departments, and three of my private students, aged 9 to 16.”

The exhibition, which ran earlier this year from Feb 1 to March 26, was upstairs at the RCA Gallery in downtown Kelowna.

“During one of my ‘Life Drawing’ classes at CAT, I offered students the opportunity to display their artwork at the RCA. Six students responded to my invitation. They are all talented and dedicated artists.”

CAT students and alumni who participated in the exhibition are Adam Kuraitis, Alexander Cook, Camryn Laroche, Harlei Leask and Cheyanna Kidd (All 2D Animation) and Sydney Webb (Graphic and Web Design). The exhibition alos included three of Elizabeth’s private students: Jacob Raska and Daniel Zhang (both 9), and Justin Wang (16).

“Elizabeth she asked if anyone wanted to show her what they do outside of school to potentially be put in the exhibit, so I sent her some things without really expecting her to choose any of them, but she did!” says Sydney Webb, CAT Graphic and Web Design student. “I just thought it would be a really great opportunity to participate in it because I’ve never gotten to do anything like this before.”

By organizing the art show for students, I would like to promote their talent. I know from my own life experience how hard it is to get the very first art show and to start your art career.

Having exposed students’ artwork to the public gives them the opportunity to share their talents with others. To feel proud of achievements. Also, it opens the door to future careers.

I intend to promote my private and CAT’s students by exhibit their artwork regularly if such an opportunity will be available.

Dykosky has taught for CAT for since 2008. She is a talented and internationally known painter who has had her work exhibited in galleries around the world.

“Teaching art makes me feel needed and rewarded by passing/sharing all the information, talent, knowledge I possess to my students. Seeing them mastering their talents gives me incredible satisfaction and fulfillment,” says Dykosky.

“I absolutely loved having Elizabeth as a teacher. I’ve never gotten to be taught by someone who has done the things that she has or has her kind of experience, so I really tried to retain as much as I could during her classes,” says Sydney. “She definitely helped me with a lot of basic techniques and uses of color, and even just styles of painting. Like, I’d never tried using a palette knife before, so after I saw her work I tried it out and it immediately became one of my favorite styles, so I’m very thankful that I got to be taught by her.

“Take all the opportunity life gives you to promote/present your artwork,” says Dykosky. “Have always in your car; your business card and small brochure with your artwork. There will be some moments in your life without computer access and a small business card and your appearance can make magic at the least expected moment.

“I don’t know if it will lead to anything directly in my future career, but I think that it definitely helps with having a presence of sorts in this kind of community,” explains Webb. “In the very least, it’s been helping me with being more comfortable showing my work to other people and creating things that I can be proud of.”

Words: Deborah Lampitt-McConnachie