Kaven Brewer and Castiel Curran are some of August's Library Artists of the Month! They represent Prospect's Skills for Success program, which is a program that uses art to teach valuable skills in the workplace.

Curran is involved in many different mediums, but at the library they are showcasing their painted works. Curran explained art is a natural process for them, as the tree they are holding in the thumbnail image wasn't originally planned to be a work but it just came to them.

"The tree in particular is just kind of a pattern that I've been drawing since I was in high school, started out as just like margin doodles in my notebooks and I guess that one is just a part of me," Curran said.

Beyond painting, Curran is experimental with genres too, ranging from welding, glass sculptures, drawing, and more.

"I like to do recycled art, right now I've been working with like broken beer bottles and wine bottles; I do a lot of different sorts of stuff, whatever catches my attention," Curran said.

Like many artists, Curran uses art as a form of self-expression, as art can often say what words can't.

"It's always been a very important part of my life, it was an easy shorthand to tell people how I felt when I was a teenager [...] Sometimes it's hard for me to explain myself to other people, so I use art to kind of explain how I'm feeling or what I'm thinking about," Curran said. 

As for Brewer, he explained he does a lot of "fiddly things with my hands," which is reflected in his style of art, as it is often mixed media involving beadwork, sewing, and more. Brewer has been sewing for most of his life and does it professionally, so using those same skills for art is a fortunate overlap of skills.

"It's a passion, I've been doing it (sewing) since I was a kid and I find that it's a calming process for me," Brewer said. 

Sewing and creating are a big part of Brewer's life, as he is very involved in the cosplay scene, and beyond cosplay Brewer also frequently wears the clothes he creates. 

"Usually I'm seen wandering town wearing a big witch hat that I've made as well as like various other weird things," Brewer said.

Both Brewer and Curran were in the Skills for Success program, and they both were big fans of the program, specifically for its socialization aspects. It came at a perfect time for them too, as they moved to Strathmore right as lockdowns started, so even after lockdowns ended getting integrated into the community was a challenge.

"It was mostly a nice way of getting out of the house, being able to get into the community, see people, talk to people. That was extremely helpful for getting me a little bit less isolated," Brewer said. 

As for how they're enjoying Strathmore, both Curran and Brewer really enjoy our community, saying the community members are kind and welcoming, and Strathmore is not nearly as busy or loud as Calgary so it's a nice, peaceful, place to live.

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