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Solano ‘ignites’ its imagination with art show at fairgrounds – Vallejo Times-Herald



The future is bright for Solano County artists.

McCormack Hall at the Solano County Fairgrounds was host Saturday to the best and brightest young artists as the Solano County Department of Education put together the event “Solano Art Showcase: Ignite” which displayed 400 pieces of art by students from 24 different schools and grades ranging from fourth to 12th.

Other partners helping put together the presentation were Fighting Back Partnership, Solano Youth Resiliency Summit, Solano Friday Night Live Partner, Rio Vista ATOD Alliance, VibeSolano and Nature of Sound.

Judges looked over each and every one of the pieces, honoring awards to, among others, Armijo junior Jasmine Hernandez. She was at the front of the venue when immediately she noticed her oil painting, “Night Walk” had won Best in Show.

“I was very surprised I won,” Hernandez said while looking at her award and art as her parents watched. “This took a lot of time, but I guess I just assumed somebody else would win.”

Hernandez said her art teacher had assigned a few options to take on. She says she liked the one for “Night Walk.”

“I liked how it was colorful and how it has some people in it and I like the umbrella and bench,” Hernandez said.

Hernandez then looked at her painting a little closer.

“I don’t know, next time I think I can do even better,” Hernandez said. “Being a perfectionist I see small white spaces that I could have done better with.”

Hernandez said she someday wants to either by an art teacher or maybe even a graphic designer.

Pam and Steve Conner didn’t know anyone who participated in the event, but still came from Vacaville to see the talent displayed at the fairgrounds.

“I’m impressed with not only the art, but the age of the kids that are doing it,” Pam Conner said. “There are so many styles here. Some are a little dark, but you look at them and you can tell that the artist was trying to convey a message.”

Pam said that she noticed the event on Facebook and was glad to pay this event a visit.

“We’ve noticed that art is coming back into the classrooms more and I believe that’s a very good thing because it used to be a choice — this or P.E.,” Pam Conner said. “We still need music, art, etc in this world. For kids, that’s often how they express themselves and tell us what they are all about.”

Steve and Pam Conner take a close look at student art during the Solano County Student Art Showcase put on by the Solano County Office of Education on Saturday in Vallejo. (Chris Riley/Times-Herald)
Steve and Pam Conner take a close look at student art during the Solano County Student Art Showcase put on by the Solano County Office of Education on Saturday in Vallejo. (Chris Riley/Times-Herald)

The art was divided into five divisions, with Division I being fourth, fifth and sixth grades, Division 2 being seventh and eighth grades, Division III being freshman and sophomore in high school and Division 4 being juniors and seniors in high school.

It was a special separate category not yet classified, Division 5, that had a piece of art that was the favorite of Ken Scarberry, the Solano Office of Education Director of Youth Development. The two pieces of art Scarberry liked were both by Mariani Ramos, a sixth-grader who drew “Portrait of Mom” and “Untitled.”

Scarberry was pleased to have the event back in person again.

“Our goal is to help promote young artists,” Scarberry said. “Each school has an art teacher that we coordinate with and it’s been great. We love that moving forward we’re even trying to expand. We now have outside performers and static art, which is all digital.”

Rebecca Floyd, a Project Coordinator of Youth Development for Solano County Office of Education, said that the venue “showcased some really talented students.”

“There is such a wide range of great stuff,” Floyd said. “You have mixed media, watercolor and a mask exhibit. There are over 400 pieces of art and they’re all amazing. I’m super excited to have this back.”

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Humboldt Public School collaborative art project complete –



The Humboldt Public school recently finished an art project that utilized every student in the school and now has a colourful fibre art display on the fence along highway 5. 

The school is a pre-k to grade 8 school and has approximately 330 students.  

The project began when a teacher wanted to do a large scale project with the entire student body. 

Teacher Michelle Lafayette applied for a SK Art grant and began contacting the artist who would help lead the school through the project.  

Lafayette explains how it all got started. 

“Well, when COVID happened we had to rethink how we did everything. I wanted to do a school-wide project that we could do around arts. So, I did a quilting project because I am a quilter. Then the kids made a quilt piece out of construction paper and made a huge collaborative quilt. It was a great project. So, I wanted to do something again this year but I didn’t want to do it all by myself so I searched for grants so that I could hire an artist to come in and do this for us. I knew that Monika had done school projects before and community projects. I had seen the work that she did on Broadway (Saskatoon) when they had construction and she had woven fabric onto the fence. I thought it was amazing and something that we could do here also.”  

Every student regardless of abilities was able to contribute to the project.

The project consisted of many different types of fabric and fibres, from old sheets to yarn, with different patterns and colours, it has a wide range of sizes and textures. 

To begin with, the fabric had to be broken down into small manageable sizes. 

“So, what we did was we got donated sheets and materials and the kids came in and ripped the fabric. They loved it! A little cut and then the sound when they ripped it, and some got really physical and used all their strength and showed me how they could rip it. It was amazing,” said Lafayette. 

The fabric was then wrapped around circular things, hula-hoops, ice cream pail lids, plant trays, and even cut-up corrugated plastic signs. Everything was recycled materials as after it has been out in the weather it will likely be trash.  

The artist Monika Kinner, who is from Saskatoon, was so happy with the results. 

“The end result is what we hoped for, how we got there was completely not what I had expected it was far beyond what I expected. I am really appreciative of my own creativity and ideas because of all the rain we had to completely change what we were doing. That was fun for me, so I have to say I appreciate the opportunity to be so creative and fly by the seat of my pants.” 

The display will likely be up until sometime in October, however with the weather it could change. 

The students involved really enjoyed the time and effort that was put in and now can be proud of their work displayed outside the school. 

SK Art was also impressed by the project and encouraged all schools to bring in artists and allow them to work with students on different projects. 

“Bring artists into schools!” stated SK Art program consultant for Art in Schools Projects, Jody Greenman-Barber.

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Winners announced for BC-wide art, writing contest for Indigenous youth – Trail Daily Times – Trail Times



The winners have been announced in a provincewide children’s art/writing contest where youth were asked what being Indigenous means to them.

In honour of National Indigenous Peoples Day and hosted by Xyólheméylh (Fraser Valley Aboriginal Children and Family Services Society) the contest was open to all Indigenous people age five to 24.

The entries were judged by a panel consisting of Xyólheméylh’s board of directors and elders advisory committee. There were three categories – ages five to 10, ages 11 to 14, and ages 15 to 24.

The children and youth expressed their connection to the land, nature, animals, and their families. They also expressed their hopes and dreams as well as their sadness with discrimination and racism.

“Many artists have painted or drawn pictures of wolves howling at a full moon. In my artwork, I have used the dream catcher as my moon because I want the dream catcher to catch and protect all my hopes and dreams of being a person who is known to protect friends, freedom, family, loyalty, and teamwork,” said 10-year-old Emiley of her artwork.

Kyan won first place in the ages 15 to 24 category.

“Stereotypes often take over how First Nations are seen, and when someone looks at you and automatically thinks that what you are isn’t something to be proud of it makes you feel bad no matter how proud you are,” Kyan wrote.

“Thank you to all the children and youth who submitted their heartfelt art. It is truly inspiring to see the talent, creativity and the pride expressed in being Indigenous,” said board president Dr. Wenona Hall.

READ MORE: Fraser Valley writing, art contest open to all Indigenous youth in B.C.


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ARTS AROUND: New art exhibit showcases ‘Women’s Work’ in Port Alberni – Alberni Valley News





A new art exhibit is opening at the Rollin Art Centre, featuring a group of four local female artists.

Sue Thomas, Jillian Mayne, Colleen Clancy and Ann McIvor will display their artwork in an exhibit titled “Women’s Work” that opens on June 21 and runs until July 22. The diversity of the work reflects each woman’s unique creative process and artistic expression.

Join us in the gallery this Saturday, June 25 from 1-3 p.m. for refreshments and an opportunity to meet these incredible and accomplished artists.


The Rollin Art Centre will be holding a summer-inspired art exhibit from July 27 to Aug. 26 and we are inviting all local artists to submit up to three pieces (size depending) that depicts your own rendition of the season of summer.

All mediums are welcome. Application forms are available at the Rollin Art Centre. The fee is $10 per submission. Deadline for submissions is July 15.


Join us on the terrace at the Rollin Art Centre on Saturday, July 16 for an acrylic painting workshop with Susan Schaefer. Bring a friend and be creative!

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Susan will guide you through what makes a good composition while simplifying your landscape.

The workshop fee is $115 +GST. A supply list is available. Register at the Rollin Art Centre at 250-724-3412.


This summer, the Community Arts Council will be raffling a chair designed by Leave Her Wild Container Design. The chair has been planted and is on display at the Rollin Art Centre (corner of Eighth Avenue and Argyle Street). Tickets are $2 each or three for $5.


Teas on the Terrace are back at the Rollin Art Centre this summer and tickets are now on sale.

Choose from our high tea (served on a two-tiered plate) for $25 and our strawberry tea (served with decadent strawberry shortcake) for $20 and join us on the terrace under the canopy of the trees, sipping tea, listening to local musicians and sampling a selection of snacks.

July 7 – Strawberry Tea – Folk Song Circle

July 21 – High Tea – Dennis Olsen

August 4 – Strawberry Tea – Dennis Olsen & Guy Langlois

August 18 – High Tea – Doug Gretsinger


Here’s a chance to have your kids do something creative and fun and make new friends this summer. The Rollin Art Centre is offering eight weeks of creative summer art programs for children between the ages of 7 -13.

Each week features a different medium. From drawing to painting, we have something everyone will enjoy.

The three-day camps take place Monday to Wednesday for ages 7-8 (10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.), and ages 9-11 (1:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.). The cost is $75 per week.

There is also a camp for ages 11 to 13 on Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. ($45 per camp).

Call 250-724-3412 to register.


Celtic Chaos will perform a maintee at the Capitol Theatre this fall as a fundraiser for the Rollin Art Centre.

“For the Highlander” is a brand-new performance by Celtic Chaos which tells their story in original narrative, poetry, song and music. Join us for this high-energy, fun-loving group of musicians and help support art in the community.

The concert takes place Sunday, Nov. 6 at 2 p.m. at the Capitol Theatre. Tickets are $25 each and are available now at the Rollin Art Centre.


The Sunshine Club will be holding a pottery sale at the Harbour Quay on Saturday, June 25 from 9 a.m. to noon.


June 22 to July 22 – “Women’s Work” – group exhibit – Sue Thomas, Jillian Mayne, Colleen Clancy, and Ann McIvor

July 16 – Acrylic workshop

July and August – Teas on the Terrace – Tickets available now

July and August – Children’s Summer Art Camps

Sept. 17 – Giant Book Sale – Athletic Hall

Nov. 6 – Celtic Chaos performs – Tickets on sale now

Melissa Martin is the Arts Administrator for the Community Arts Council, at the Rollin Art Centre and writes for the Alberni Valley News. Call 250-724-3412. Email:

Artart exhibitPort Alberni

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