Art in and out of the Classroom

This year has offered the unique opportunity for youth to display their art outside of their classrooms and in their communities. 

In BC the self-portraits and poetry created by Britannia students graced the breezeway and public art space between the community centre and school from March to the end of May, allowing hundreds of passersby to be impacted by and ponder the questions, ‘Who am I? What do I bring to this place?’

In Quebec, youth made the local newspaper with their gala wherein they displayed the whale dioramas that they designed with Deirdre. The article published in Neomedia is below:

By Jessica Brisson, Associate Editor

Many inspiring works of art created by young students were proudly displayed at a vernissage held at Pierre-Elliot-Trudeau Elementary School in Vaudreuil-Dorion on Thursday evening, May 18.

Students, their parents and families, and school staff were thrilled to finally be able to hold a vernissage, as COVID restrictions had banned public gatherings for the previous three years.

The theme of the project was Save the Whales, this marine mammal of which many species are endangered.

This theme has inspired budding young artists, who have created their own three-dimensional masterpieces to show the importance of preserving the most endangered species. The dioramas were proudly displayed for all to see.

Art teacher Cathy Diemahave said it was wonderful to see how excited and proud the students were to be able to show off their artistic talents to their parents, family members and friends.

“It is also very important for them to see what is being done elsewhere. When the younger students see what the older ones are doing, they are very inspired,” said Mr. Diemahave.

Special Education Technician Caroline Dinunzio says students who attend her after-school art program “love it.”

“They love being with their friends and bonding with each other because they all love art. They get an extra hour in a non-school environment and they all have a lot of fun,” Ms Dinunzio said.

“Different children light up depending on the different activities we do. Some children are enthusiastic about painting, others about mixed media. It’s wonderful to see them come alive based on the projects we do,” she added.

Nancy Potvin, Acting Principal, said the children are thrilled to see the positive reactions from their parents when they see their artistic masterpieces.

“I walked around and enjoyed everything I saw. Students are also happy to show me their artwork,” Ms. Potvin said. 

The artist, Deirdre Potash from Artwill Studio in Vaudreuil-Dorion, also took part in the opening. She taught students in her workshops at school how to create dioramas, three-dimensional works of art.

Text written in collaboration with John Jantak

Stay tuned for posts on the next big exhibit of youth artwork in June at the Beaty Biodiversity Museum at the University of British Columbia.