When Cameron Gelderman first met his mentor Patrick Lundeen at Patrick’s public artwork the Happy Day Free Gift Truck in Kelowna, Cameron’s first impression was, “this guy is cool.” Cameron felt immediately drawn to Patrick’s bashful and confident approach to artmaking. Prior to the mentorship, Patrick had remembered meeting Cam in passing a number of times at various art events. When Cameron approached him with the idea of being his mentor, Patrick was enthusiastic and jumped at the opportunity.
BC Culture Days: What has this mentorship meant to you?
Cameron Gelderman: It’s meant a lot, honestly. One of the things I sometimes have trouble with is the reception of kindness and the time of others. Having a professional in the industry who has a lot going on, setting up time and following up, and establishing accountability and a rapport…I think it really helped me endorse my own sense of self. My sense of self with a support structure. I think it helped me find resolve. All the variables of the mentorship together have resulted in, from my perspective, a really positive thing that has made me feel more confident growing in the art industry. Patrick was really intentional about inviting me to places to put me in great situations to expand and grow, like art openings at the Alternator. Patrick plays a bit of a leadership role in that area of the community, so it was cool to be able to witness somebody at play.
I think I am a lot more comfortable facing rejection for one. A “no” isn’t a no to my character. It’s just like a no in the circumstance or it just didn’t line up or didn’t quite appease. You can’t force the timeline. You can keep learning and keep growing and keep trying and be happy even with rejection in a sense.
BC Culture Days: Patrick, why did you decide to take this mentorship on?
Cam seemed unusually keen. Sometimes people (e.g. mentee, students) are not always interested in connecting this much, but Cam was on the ball and wanted to meet with me a lot. I feel like we connected really well, and I thought we had a lot in common. We got to know each other pretty well throughout these months.
BC Culture Days: As an established artist, why is engaging in mentorship important?
Patrick Lundeen: Maybe a little bit of giving back. I have experienced that a few times in my life, where I had one person that mentored me early on. Sometimes you meet people in the world who are like an open door for you. Most people in the arts can be a bit competitive or they don’t necessarily want to let others know what is working for them. I was lucky enough to have someone early on who was an open door for me, and I would not be where I am today, for sure, if he had not been helpful to me. And I like to be that type of person for others too.
Cameron Gelderman: And, I can endorse that he has been that for me.
This is an introduction to Cameron Gelderman (he/him), a creative. Catch him using yarn and threads to translate internal thoughts into visual stimulants. Creating art has become his primary coping mechanism for depression and anxiety, and the direction of his vision is to continue weaving until he claims the title of greatest artist in the world, whilst inviting and engaging others to do so as well. The form of creation stems from process art. It’s about beginning and just going and breaking through the inhibitions, the worry, and the self doubt, and entering into the flow state. He uses movement of the hands to communicate the chaos of the mind.
Patrick Lundeen (he/him) is an artist born in Lethbridge, AB (traditional Blackfoot Confederacy territory). He currently lives and works in Kelowna (unceded Okanagan Sylix territory) teaching drawing, painting and sculpture at UBC Okanagan and sits on the board of directors at the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art. His artistic interests span traditional visual art-making mediums and extends to include sound art, music, food, performance and public art. His approach to visual art employs humour, sensory experience and a rough and visceral aesthetic to elicit a complex response from viewers. Recent projects include a solo exhibition of kinetic and sound-making sculptures called “CHEAP!” at the Kelowna Art Gallery. Patrick Lundeen was selected to be the City of Kelowna Artist in Residence for 2022. His socially engaged project HAPPY DAY FREE GIFT TRUCK was parked downtown on Saturdays for six weeks in October and November and gave mysterious gifts to all visitors. He has an upcoming exhibition at the Kamloops Art Gallery in January. In addition to visual art, Patrick is also a dubiously talented recording, and rarely performing, musician his fifth EP - also called “CHEAP!” - was released on vinyl in conjunction with the exhibition at the KAG.