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Art teacher issues middle school portrait challenge –



For Anna Stocker, a Grade 7 student at Riverview Middle School, the days have been long since schools in New Brunswick were closed six weeks ago.

“I’m keeping busy but I’m still bored a lot,” she said from her home.

Even though she isn’t in the classroom, she is still in contact with her teachers and earlier this month, her art teacher Wanda Dorris issued a portrait challenge.

The idea is to re-create a famous piece of art using things you have around the house, and take a photo of it.

Anna admits that when her mother suggested she try one, she “wasn’t very enthusiastic” but that changed when Mrs. Dorris upped the ante.

“I told [Anna] that if she would do one that I would do one so that’s how it started,” Dorris laughed.

Creating art from sticky notes

Anna says she really wanted to see what her teacher would come up with, so she started looking for a portrait she could re-create.

She decided on a painting from 1907 by Austrian artist Gustav Klimt known as Portrait of Adele Bloch Bauer or The Lady in Gold.

A visitor at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art views Adele Bloch Bauer on April 4, 2006, in Los Angeles. (Ric Francis/The Associated Press)

“We were looking at all different pieces of art and saw this particular one and thought that we could use sticky notes for all the gold shapes,” Anna said.

“I knew that we had all kinds of yellow sticky notes. So we decided on that one.”

With help from her mother, Anna created the background and the dress. She then tucked her blonde hair under a black hat and used tin foil to create the jewlery Adele Bloch Bauer is wearing in the portrait.

“It was kind of fun to be sitting there while all the sticky notes are around me and positioning myself.”

As fun as it was re-creating the painting, for Anna the best part of the challenge came when Mrs. Dorris sent her re-creation a few days later.

Portrait includes ‘nod’ to Anna

Dorris wasn’t sure Anna would do it, but when the photo of her re-creation arrived she knew it was “game on.”

“I thought her final piece was amazing and so creative and she thought outside of the box,” Dorris said.

“She’s quiet and shy but I think inside of her head she’s always creating. You can tell that she’s so smart.”

Inspired by Anna’s work, Dorris chose a portrait called Girl With A Black Eye, by Norman Rockwell that she thought would be do-able.

Wanda Dorris borrowed her husband’s shoes and enlisted the help of her teenage daughters to re-create this Norman Rockwell portrait. (Submitted by Wanda Dorris)

“My daughter helped me find the clothes around the house, and I was wearing my husband’s big shoes and we used eye makeup to create bruises on my face and on my knee — it was fun.”

In the portrait, Dorris also included a special message for Anna. In the background she posted a piece of Anna’s artwork as a nod to her student. 

“It’s been a nice way to connect with students when we’re not at school.”

Anna says she thought her teacher’s portrait was “pretty funny” and loved seeing her artwork in the background.

Portrait also a history lesson

Anna admits she is a perfectionist but says considering what she had to work with, she thinks her re-creation turned out pretty well.

Art is important in our life and it’s a great outlet for everything that we’re all feeling in this uncertain time.– Wanda Dorris, Riverview Middle School teacher

“Obviously it’s not perfect because it’s sticky notes that have drawings on them but I still think it looks pretty good.

The challenge also turned out to be a history lesson as Anna learned more about the painting itself, which was commissioned in 1903 by a Jewish banker.

“It was stolen by the Nazi’s in 1941 and returned to the descendants in 2006 and then it was sold for $135 million.”

Dorris says the most difficult part of being a teacher right now is trying to find ways to help her students and to support their learning.

“I miss the daily conversations and contact with my students and I do miss that whole environment of being with them at school,” she said.

Dorris hopes this project is an example of how important art is, especially when people are home and looking for an outlet to express themselves.

“I really hope that she takes away this whole idea that art is important in our life and it’s a great outlet for everything that we’re all feeling in this uncertain time.”

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Home is where the art is: N.S. camp moves online –



A Halifax-area art camp is moving online this year, joining a growing list of activities going virtual in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Alderney Landing in Dartmouth usually hosts in-person art and theatre day camps in the summer, but the pandemic has forced organizers to think outside the box this year.

“Most of our programming and events involve community engagement, and they involve people gathering, people watching theatre, people coming to the art gallery and engaging in art making,” said Lee Cripps, the Craig Gallery curator and fine arts program director at Alderney Landing.

“We tried to do some creative problem solving and think, ‘How can we still give them that programming and still teach kids how to make art?'”

Alderney Landing is launching week-long virtual art camps starting in June. The program will provide instructional videos for students to follow at home, led by local artist Genny Killin.

The kids will also get three online meetings with the instructor throughout the week. The camp is providing no-contact pickup for the supplies they’ll need, or students can get the supplies themselves. 

Alderney Landing usually hosts in-person art and theatre camps over the summer. (Google Street View)

Projects will include sculpting, print-making and puppet building. Cripps said they wanted to focus on projects that children can do at home with minimal supervision — both to keep kids occupied and to give parents a break.

“What we wanted to do is not only give kids a chance to experience art-making and create projects themselves, but alleviate the part of the parents,” said Cripps.

“I’m currently a single parent working from home and trying to juggle my work-work and my parenting work and give my daughter the help she needs with her online schoolwork. It’s really challenging most days.”

Each project is expected to take one to two hours in the morning to complete. Participants will be able to get feedback on their work and ask questions during online meetings with the instructor in the afternoon.

New opportunities

Cripps said while COVID-19 is presenting its fair share of challenges, it’s also created some opportunities for the camp. 

For one thing, there’s no cap on the number of participants. “We do have spatial constrictions when people are gathered together, so this kind of opens up a lot of doors that way,” said Cripps.

The camp’s online format also means students don’t have to live in the Halifax region to take part.

“What’s exciting about it is anybody from the community, the city, the province, Canada, the world — anybody can participate in this,” said Cripps, though she noted people who live further away would have to find the materials themselves.

The first camp starts June 1 and Alderney Landing is now accepting registration for camps starting June 8, 15 and 22. If the spring virtual camp is successful, Alderney Landing will host more in the summer, Cripps said.

The pandemic is forcing many group activities online, including at least one other camp. 

Camp Kidston in Middle Musquodoboit, N.S., recently announced on its website that it would not be offering its traditional overnight camp this year, but would instead offer activities online for its campers through its new program, Kidston CONNECTS.

Meanwhile, the Discovery Centre in Halifax, which has been closed since March, is offering online science workshops and experiments through its BiteSize Science and Discovery@Home programs. Spokesperson Jennifer Punch said in an email that the science centre is “very close to a decision” about its summer camps this year.


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Final weekend to place bids in online Lighthouse Mission art auction – Winnipeg Sun



It’s the final weekend to get your art on in support of Lighthouse Mission.

Midnight Sunday is the deadline to place bids to be a part of our first ever Lighthouse Mission Art for Everyone Online Art Auction.

Over 70 pieces of unique artwork created and donated by local artists are available for bidding, and new pieces have been added. Proceeds from the auction go to Lighthouse Mission to support services to the city’s most vulnerable citizens and change lives in Winnipeg’s Inner City.

Earlier this month, Lighthouse Mission Operations Manager Beverly Ajtay explained that the mission and soup kitchen held a live art auction at last year’s fundraising banquet. But with COVID-19 and public health orders restricting large gatherings, this year’s banquet in March and another fundraiser slated for May were cancelled as well as their door-to-door canvassing effort.

Operations Manager Beverly Ajtay (in front) at Lighthouse Mission on Main Street. Chris Procaylo/Winnipeg Sun files

Chris Procaylo /

Winnipeg Sun

“Everyone is seeing organizations and places doing business differently, doing fundraising differently,” she said at the time. “Things are being done online or virtually and so why not give this a try? If it works for other people, it may work for us as well. It’s just a different way to connect with the community. We’re having to make changes and adapt in the situation that we’re in right now in Manitoba and across Canada.”

While their means for fundraising have changed, the need for Lighthouse Mission’s services haven’t, Ajtay said.

“The number of meals that we are providing has almost doubled in the last several weeks and that means additional costs,” she said. “Letting the community know what we’re doing and the importance of our work for the community absolutely has a role to play in people supporting the work. It’s all connected.”

There are pieces of all styles, sizes and medium.

Twitter: @SunGlenDawkins

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Drive-by art tour aims to drum up support for artists, performers – CollingwoodToday



RAW Artists announce the National Arts Drive,  a three-hour community experience on Saturday, June 6, 2020, spanning throughout Canada, United States and Mexico. Local artists will showcase their work while respecting social distancing – from windows, balconies, driveways, front lawns, workspaces, or appropriate commercial spaces. Community supporters are invited to visit participating local artists, performers, musicians and designers living in their community from a safe distance.

Collingwood resident and Orillia native Michelle Bylow is leading the charge in bringing the drive to Canada and Northern Ontario Communities.

“We are using all the resources available to us to continue our mandate of artists supporting artists,” said Bylow, executive director of RAW Artists Canada. “The drive will give artists visibility and financial support from their communities. 100 per cent of the proceeds go to the creatives”.

The Orillia & District Arts Council has joined as a community partner to help spread the word to Orillia and area artists.

“The success of the Drive will depend on getting the word out to artists and their communities.  We are thrilled to be working with the Orillia Arts Council and look forward to supporting the Orillia artistic community”, said Bylow.

The driving tour will be paired with a mobile website designed and built by RAW Artists. Art showcases will be identified on a map within the app, enabling drivers to plan their routes. Using the site, visitors can support artists by liking, following and/or sharing artists’ work via social media, tipping artists through a touch-free pay app (i.e. Venmo, PayPal), and/or making future purchases from the artists online. All donations go directly to the artists.

Bylow and her team are aiming to register 10,000 Canadian artists for the event. RAW supports 10 different verticals within the arts community – film, fashion, music, visual art, performing art, beauty, accessories, photography, craft and technology. There is no charge for artists to participate, and they do not have to be members of RAW.

For more information on RAW Artists’ National Arts Drive, visit this website or this website.

About RAW Artists:

Founded in 2009, RAW is the largest independent, international arts organization in the world. RAW’s mission is to serve independent artists with the tools, resources, education and exposure needed to thrive and succeed in their creative careers. RAW is an online and offline platform that has showcased over 200k artists in 70 cities across the globe in multi-faceted arts events that draw crowds of 1,000+ attendees.

Due to the “Stay at Home” orders issued by the Canadian government; RAW Artists Canada has halted regular operations since March 15, 2020.  


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