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Wednesday, 01 June 2016 16:40

Exhibition showcases art by high-school students

Written by  Matthew Liebenberg
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The creative talents of high-school students from across the Chinook School Division are on display in the current exhibition at the West Wing Gallery in Swift Current.

Students, their teachers and family members attended a public reception for the annual School Art Show at the gallery in Kinetic Exhibition Park, May 18.
The exhibition represents artworks created by students participating in visual art programs at the Cyber School, Gull Lake School, Hazlet School and Swift Current Comprehensive High School (SCCHS).
Art Gallery of Swift Current Director and Curator Kim Houghtaling was responsible for selecting the artwork for the exhibition.
“I think they’re very good,” he said. “They’re working at a nice level. They’re a really smart bunch of kids who really made some excellent effort.”
SCCHS Grade 10 student Hannah Anderson was excited to see her work on display in the exhibition.
“It’s awesome,” she said. “I’m very grateful and blessed.”
Two of her artworks have been selected for the exhibition. In addition to art class at the SCCHS she also took the online photography class through Cyber School.
She enjoyed working at her own pace with the online program through Cyber School.
“It’s a lot easier for me to go and do the assignments instead of doing it with the class,” she said. “So I can do it at my own pace instead of having a set thing for a set day. I really liked the choice of being able to flip into different ones.”
She prefers to take photographs of landscapes and wildlife. Her photograph in the exhibition shows a railway track disappearing into the vastness of the prairie landscape. Her goal was to take an image that reflects symmetry.
“The train tracks are all symmetrical and it’s leading up to a point,” she explained.
Her other artwork in the exhibition was done as part of the art class at the SCCHS. It also has a symmetrical theme and was done with tempera paint. She did not participate in the entire art class because her family recently moved to Swift Current from British Columbia.
“It was great,” she said about the class. “I did motifs and portraits and the final project and they were all quite different.”
SCCHS visual arts teacher Andrew Judge said it means a lot to students to have their artworks on display in this exhibition.
“It’s in the public eye; students feel a sense of recognition,” he explained. “I think in many ways this is an intrinsic award. It’s all coming from the inside. They get a chance to say to themselves: ‘I thought the drawing was great, but now I know it’s great and I know I can produce great work. What’s next?’”
He feels the art program plays an important role to provide students with a creative outlet and it also has wider academic benefits.
“The biggest benefit is when we see these skills and talents that they’ve accrued through all their experience as students and then we get to see it pop up in other subjects,” he said.
“I think students need that creative outlet. They need that place and that time that they can really develop something that they’re proud of and that they feel represents their skill set and their knowledge.”
Houghtaling also believes it is important for students to have that exposure to art.
“Visual art is one of our cultural languages, one of our oldest universal languages, and it’s important that we all grow up with that language in our life,” he said. “Access to visual art experience at the school level is often just enough to make a person aware that this language is out there and it’s part of the world, and if it happens to inspire them a little bit, then you want them to have the opportunities to pursue it.”
The high school art show at the West Wing Gallery will take place until June 12. The gallery is open from 1-5 p.m. on Friday, Saturday and Sunday as well as on holiday Mondays. For images from the public reception, click here.


Read 2423 times Last modified on Friday, 03 June 2016 16:23