Exshaw teachers' art project earns Governor General's history award - Calgary Herald - Canada News Media
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Exshaw teachers' art project earns Governor General's history award – Calgary Herald

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Genevieve Soler and Kayla Dallyn recipients of the 2019 Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Teaching. Credit courtesy Genevieve Soler and Kayla Dallyn


Two teachers at Exshaw School are among nine Canadian educators to receive the Governor General’s History Award for Excellence in Teaching for their work connecting Indigenous students with their family histories through art.

Kayla Dallyn and Genevieve Soler used sculpture, recordings and visits with local elders to teach Grade 4 students from Stoney Nakoda First Nation about their past.

Their Heroes Project — chosen from 25 finalists — was inspired by sculptor Christine Wignall’s 100 Heads exhibit at the Whyte Museum in Banff that included a bust of Stoney Nakoda Chief Walking Buffalo, among others.

Students worked with Wignall to create a sculpture of a chosen family member.

“This project provided students with a unique opportunity to connect community, culture, and curriculum,” Dallyn said in a statement. “By engaging in authentic Truth and Reconciliation work they developed a deeper sense of pride and identity.”


Grade four student, Mia Chiniquay, who attends Exshaw School, Stoney Nakoda holds a picture of her relative who she choose as her hero as part of the Heroes Project led by grade 4 teacher Kaylin Dallyn and Success Teacher Genevieve Soler. She created the sculpture from the photo. Students were joined by a group of nine grandparents from the community. Supplied/Kayla Dallyn


Gr 4 student Trace Soldier, who attends Exshaw School, Stoney Nakoda works on his hero sculpture as part of the Heroes Project led by grade 4 teacher Kaylin Dallyn and Success Teacher Genevieve Soler. Students were joined by a group of nine grandparents from the community. Supplied/ Kayla Dallyn

The awards, organized by Canada’s History Society and TD Bank, will be presented Jan. 20 at Rideau Hall in Ottawa.

Winners will share a $2,500 prize, with their schools receiving $1,000.

“With this award, we celebrate the extraordinary work of teachers who outdo themselves every day to shape our adults of tomorrow,” Janet Walker, president and CEO of Canada’s History Society, said in a release.

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Gordon Smith, B.C.-based painter, art champion, dead at 100

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VANCOUVER — Gordon Smith, a painter, philanthropist and educator based in British Columbia, has died.

Vancouver’s Equinox Gallery says the celebrated artist, who dedicated his life to the arts and mentoring new talent, died Saturday. He was 100.

The gallery says the English-born Smith came to Winnipeg in 1933 and studied at the Winnipeg School of Art. He had his first professional exhibition in 1938.

In 1941, he served in the Second World War with the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, and then went on to teach at the University of British Columbia until 1982.

His dedication to new talent included the Gordon and Marion Smith Foundation for Young Artists, which he founded with his late wife Marion Fleming. Smith’s various awards include the Order of Canada, the Order of British Columbia, the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts and the Audain Prize for Lifetime Achievement in the Visual Arts.

The Equinox Gallery, where Smith held more than 25 solo exhibitions, says a memorial in his honour will be announced at a future date.

“A key figure in Canadian art, Smith lived his life with a generosity and grace that was a gift to the world,” the gallery said in a statement.

“Gordon Smith, an exceptional artist and uniquely generous human being, will be greatly missed by all who had the privilege to know him.”

Smith’s works are held in the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England, among others.

B.C. Premier John Horgan said the cultural community lost an icon, whose seven-decade career won international recognition.

“Smith was vocal and passionate about the social value of art,” he said in a statement. “His legacy will continue to influence and inspire future generations of artists through the Gordon and Marion Smith Foundation for Young Artists and the Artists for Kids program in North Vancouver.”

Smith was passionate about art education and first taught at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. At the age of 27, he became a graphic design instructor at the Vancouver School of Art, now Emily Carr University.

In 1956, he was hired as the University of British Columbia’s first instructor in the art education department.

“My students came out, hopefully, they became more creative, more inventive people. I learned from my students, I respected my students. I had great people, whether it was a Grade 6 class or if it was a fourth-year painting class.” he said in a video interview posted online by the university’s faculty of education in 2012.

“You’ve got to have passion about this. If you’re a writer, you’ve got to know something about how to write. If you’re a musician, you’ve got to know something about music, you’ve got to be passionate, not just contemporary music, but music of the past.” he said. “In art, you’ve got to know more about the history of art, the history of architecture.”

Smith said his best advice to a potential artist was to keep an open mind.

“It’s not going to look to a piece of pop music and say that’s junk,” he said. “Go around and look at every kind of art that’s being produced, all things from conceptual art to figurative art.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 20, 2020.

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Artist says politics kept him out of Art Gallery of Peterborough show – ThePeterboroughExaminer.com

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Artist says politics kept him out of Art Gallery of Peterborough show | ThePeterboroughExaminer.com


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Kingston to consider new public art space at City Hall – The Kingston Whig-Standard

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The first floor of the market wing at City Hall is to be renovated into a public art space. (Elliot Ferguson/The Whig-Standard)

Elliot Ferguson / Elliot Ferguson/Whig-Standard

KINGSTON — The first floor of City Hall’s market wing is to be renovated this year to create a new art exhibition and program space.

The renovation, budgeted for about $140,000 and planned to stay within existing capital and operating budgets, has been in the works since 2017 and is meant to provide venue to host art programming and act as a complement to other existing art spaces.

“The redeveloped Market Wing space is intended to provide residents and visitors alike with access to exhibitions and programming that support the stewardship of local history and diverse stories as told through the lens of heritage and arts that highlights Kingston’s cultural vitality,” a report in the city council agenda published on the city’s website ahead of Tuesday night’s meeting stated.

“The intent is to develop exhibitions and programming that blend the arts, heritage and culture in ways that align with City Hall’s status as a National Historic Site while at the same time supporting cultural tourism and creating opportunities to showcase local art and artists with a particular emphasis on economic development and the professions associated with the creative industries.”

Renovation of the 222-square-metre space is to be made in consultation with those in the arts community, and the space is to provide a venue for programs that complement existing or planned city cultural and tourism projects.

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