Pablo Picasso is famous for saying that it took him a lifetime to learn to paint like a four year old. If only he could have seen the works of art from students in junior kindergarten through to grade six at the fourth annual ART IS EVERYWHERE student art show at Westwind Public School on April 30.
With the support of teachers, an army of parent volunteers, and of course, the more than 600 students, the school was transformed into a living art gallery full of vibrant colour and textures with works ranging from clay sculptures, ink resists, acrylics and water colours, oil pastel rubbings, salt dough and mixed media, and so much more!
Subjects ranged from celebrating the life and works of the iconic Canadian artist, Ted Harrison, with several grades playing tribute to his northern-inspired works with boldly, yet harmoniously coloured northern lights, while others used a variety of art materials and techniques to express and communicate their ideas about the First Nations people within Canada. And still, others choose to explore artistic elements of value, line, and colour to create naturalistic and stunning images of true Canadian landscapes —the breadth of subject matter was truly awe-inspiring!
In addition to the student`s art work, several local artists donated their time and talents, including the effervescent Sarah Moffat of S.M.art. Located in Carleton Place, with a brand new studio under construction, Sarah has been a popular part of the art show for two years. Her paintings capture the attention of students and adults alike, with their glittering metallic foils, brightly coloured flowers and whimsical trees.
Stittsville-based mixed media artist Kate Ryckman, otherwise known as Artist Kate to so many, captured the imaginations of students by inviting them on a hands-on creative journey into her artistic processes. Kate and the students created an original piece based on her highly visual and tactile art—a beautiful bird`s nest that will be the basis for one of Kate’s upcoming pieces.
And, yes Elemenopaint was there! The show has been a labour of love for Rochelle James since its inception four years ago. Chief creative-curator at Stittsville’s own Elemenopaint, her community-based arts program, as well as a parent volunteer at the school, she has spearheaded this event with the support and dedication of the school and countless volunteers. For her, the show has not only been an opportunity to showcase the end result—the art, itself— but, it has been an opportunity to showcase the stories and innate creativity of each of the students.
“For me, as a parent and as an art teacher, art isn’t just about technique and composition; it’s about expression and imagination and helping to build the confidence of our kids,” says Rochelle. “The creativity, the enthusiasm and the support we get each year for our student art show, never ceases to amaze me.”
Usually behind the scenes, this year, Rochelle volunteered to bring Elemenopaint’s unique creative adventures into the classrooms to inspire some of the show’s pieces. As well, during the show, she let the students get a little messy using her signature bold, bright acrylics and original illustration to create a giant giraffe diptych that she will later gift to the school.
“The art show is an event that is meant to encourage our pretty fabulous student population, teachers, staff and parents, to come together in celebration of the arts in our school and in our community. ”
And they did just that making our community a little more colourful and a little more creative in one magical evening.