Karim Nuruddin

Breaking barriers for youth artists

Community Art wants to change the world, one artist at a time

How do you change the world?

For Gary Parker, the answer is as simple as beginning right now, in this community, by supporting youth artists.

A recent graduate of Clayton Heights Secondary, Parker is now the Founder and CEO of Community Art, an organization dedicated to breaking down barriers for young artists.

The idea for the organization came to Parker when he overheard a conversation at the Clayton Heights Secondary library during his senior year of high school. Two students were talking to each other, and one complimented the other’s artwork.

It was artist’s answer that stayed with Parker; despite having obvious talent, she said she had no future in art, because there was no money in it.

Parker credits that moment as the catalyst for a passion that would become realized in Community Art.

“I am a strong believer that there should be no barriers to opportunity especially for those who wish to pursue their passion,” said Parker. “Seeing that this barrier existed was and continues to be a big driving factor for me.”

And so, Parker created Community Art to provide a support network for high school artists in the Clayton Heights area.

“As the organization developed, artists outside the Cloverdale region started to reach out. We couldn’t ignore this,” said Parker.

Community Art now serves many communities in B.C., including White Rock, Fleetwood and Cloverdale.

At the heart of the organization is the wish to “change the world.” At the moment, they are creating that change by starting with local students.

For Parker, the importance of his work hit home last December after Community Art’s pop-up Christmas art gallery. At the event, a high school student reached out and spoke about how her experience with Community Art inspired her to hold on to her passion for art and incorporate it with her aspirations for business.

“After hearing [her comment], I recognized that, as a result of breaking down barriers to high school artists, new futures were being created,” said Parker.

Clayton Heights Secondary student Karim Nuruddin, 16, is the latest artist Community Art has supported.

Nuruddin submitted his artwork to Community Art because of a friend’s encouragement, and the local arts organization not only selected his work for professional framing and production but found a local business, Abasa Optical, to show his art.

“I was so used to just doing art behind closed doors. Just expressing myself without an audience,” said Nuruddin. “Now I have a chance to do that. I never really expected it to be this big.”

Karim said his artistic process revolves around music. “I’ll listen to an artist and think, ‘I want to do a piece on that,’” he said.

He’s happy to have Community Art’s support, but he said it’s far more important to have faith in your own ability.

“You’ve got to believe what you believe in,” he said. “I’m passionate about what I’m doing, and that’s all that really matters to me.”

For more information on Community Art and how to support local artists, visit communityartca.com or email investorcommunityartca@gmail.com.


Just Posted

UPDATE: Man arrested in fatal stabbing near Clayton Heights gas station

Victim pronounced deceased at the scene; RCMP cordon off area

Paul Bennett honoured at Peace Arch Hospital Foundation awards

Cloverdale man, murdered in June 2018, was one of a number of people to be honoured

Windfall for Deltassist from Delta brewery’s fun run

Four Winds Brewing Company’s third annual Winded 5K raised a record $11,809.53

Reach Society granted $20K to help lessen counselling waits

The funds were granted from the First West Foundation’s Envision Financial Community Endowment

B.C.’s rural paramedic program expands, with home support

Advanced care ambulance staff added for six communities

Singh says NDP would form coalition with the Liberals to stop Tories

Singh was in a Liberal-held riding Sunday afternoon in Surrey where he was pressed about his post-election intentions

‘My heart goes out to the mother’: B.C. dad reacts to stabbing death of Ontario boy

Carson Crimeni, who was also 14, was bullied relentlessly, his dad says

BC Ferries filling up fast with post-Thanksgiving weekend travellers

Monday anticipated to be busiest day of the weekend

The one with the ‘Friends’ photoshoot: Kelowna group recreates TV show intro

A friend’s departure prompted them to create something that really says, “I’ll be there for you”

Canadian Snowbirds plane crashes before air show in Atlanta

Pilot lands safely after ejecting from jet

Share crash data, private insurers tell David Eby, ICBC

B.C. monopoly makes drivers retrieve their own records

B.C. VIEWS: Wolf kill, not backcountry bans, saving caribou

B.C.’s largest herds turn the corner from extinction

Vancouver Giants wrap up prairie road swing with a 4-2 win over Regina

Milos Roman paced the Langley-based Giants with two goals, goaltender David Tendeck made 34 saves

Most Read