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Visual Paradise student art showcase shines online – The Kingston Whig-Standard

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KINGSTON — While the artwork in the 2020-21 Visual Paradise final show is the culmination of the work of 25 students in the Creative Arts Focus Program as is usually the case, the format in which it’s being showcased is different.

In previous non-COVID years, the focus program would normally hold an in-person, gallery-style show for the public to see the students’ artwork. But that is not able to happen this year, and the artwork is being displayed entirely online.

Mushrooms, a layered papercut by Mara Klug. Photo by Creative Arts HMHS Focus Program

“2020-21 was a year we will never forget,” Lauren McEwen, the Creative Arts SHSM (Specialist High Skills Major) Focus Program teacher, said in the opening letter for the showcase. “A significant lesson that we have learned throughout this challenging and unprecedented time is how important and valuable the arts truly are towards our wellness, positivity, appreciation and hope. Art-making allows us to process our experiences and to express and understand the world around us, serving as an aid for healing and recovering. It is in times of crisis when we need humanity, expression and the sense of community that the arts create more than ever.”

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A number of students were interested in the art of fashion, so McEwen was able to invite Carly Beamish, a costume designer who is currently out of work due to COVID, to come for a week and work with the students, providing hands-on instruction to create their own wearable art.

“We were able to get her tested, bring her to Kingston (from Toronto) and work with those students on designing and building and constructing garments,” McEwen said. “That was an awesome experience for those students. She actually taught over half the class, anyone who was interested, how to make masks.”

One of those students was Morgan Greastrom, who created sunglasses, a mixed-medium jacket and a number of purses and bags, along with their watercolours, sketches and digital drawings.

Heart Jacket by Morgan Greastrom. Photo by Creative Arts HMHS Focus Program

“I love the work I do and want to continue to learn even more through education and a career focused on solving issues within our society and the fashion industry. I am especially focused on creating solutions to issues related to LGBTQ+ people, socio-economic class, mental health/illness, sustainability, education and the intersectionality of these issues and many more,” Greastrom said on her artist profile webpage.

Due to the octomester schedule of the school year, students participated, both in-person and virtually, in the program from October to January.

“With running the program through COVID, it did present many challenges,” McEwen explained. “We weren’t able to do some of the things that the program normally thrives in, like trips to galleries and to Toronto and portfolio day and different things like that. In lieu of those opportunities, we really tried to keep things in-house and do as many things as we can in the room. That provided more time for the students to be in the class really refining their skills and exploring the things that they really wanted to explore.”

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Another silver lining to this year was to create the virtual showcase. The students were able to design their own display digitally, from how they would represent themselves as an artist to the information on their artist’s page and how their art was displayed.

“What you’re looking at in the Visual Paradise final show is the students come up with the final proposals for the works they’re going to complete during the semester, based on the portfolio requirements for post-secondary applications,” McEwen said. “So if a student is applying to a digital illustration or animation, they have to research the requirements for their applications and create a proposal of the works they’ll complete throughout the semester. It allows the students to advocate for themselves and works on their own confidence and self-efficacy.”

The artwork showcased by the students covers a wide range of mediums, from traditional sketches, painting, sculpture and mixed-medium to digital images, animation and fashion.

Woman I, a coloured pencil drawing by Kaitlyn Fleming. Photo by Creative Arts HMHS Focus Program

“There was a lot of digital drawing and animation,” McEwan said. “That was something that I was very surprised about, is how many students in the class were drawn to digital drawing.”

The Creative Arts SHSM Focus Program, which was founded by now-retired teacher Karen Peperkorn in 1990. It is a specialized arts program that allows students to spend a semester focusing on their artistic portfolio development.

“With this portfolio-building program, that’s when the students really get to explore those categories/options for post-secondary career paths,” McEwen said. “I think the students were really surprised of the freedom that they were granted with their creative expression. My beliefs, as an instructor, is that students will approach me with their ideas of the projects that they want to complete and it’s my job to help them complete them, but I’m not going to drive their bus for them, they’re going to drive their own bus.”

The Visual Paradise artwork can be viewed online through the showcase’s website sites.google.com/limestone.on.ca/creativeartsfocusprogram/home?authuser=0 or via the classes’ Twitter account @CreativeArts90.

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Collages, medium of marker, magazine, pen, scrapbook paper and “found objects” by Moksha Patel Photo by Creative Arts HMHS Focus Program

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Victoria art centre offers free therapeutic art sessions – Saanich News – Saanich News

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The Bateman Foundation hopes to harness the healing power of creativity with a series of free therapeutic art sessions.

Materials are provided for the free drop-in sessions, and an on-site art therapist will be available for assistance or mental wellness insight.

“It’s learning about art and nature and using those as tools for wellness,” says Lauren Ball, spokesperson for the Bateman Foundation. “We (wanted) to help people to feel a bit more powerful in their daily lives.”

In the summer of 2020 the foundation launched the Wellness Project, adapting its annual Nature Sketch program for the pandemic and providing it free of charge to small groups in the community.

The new drop-in therapeutic art sessions are an extension of that program, says Bell, and a direct response to the effects of the ongoing pandemic.

READ ALSO: Nature Sketch program returns in Victoria with COVID-19 safety protocols

“Knowing that anxiety and depression are on the rise on this mass scale because of social isolation, we wanted to help in some way,” she said.

“It’s not about being a really great artist, it’s not necessarily about the final result of what you create, it’s about tapping into the creative potential and creative energy that exists within all of us, and using that to find some sense of joy, some sense of peace.”

Art therapist Kaitlin McManus will be on site to help participants who want to discover meaning in their artwork while they are creating.

All ages and experience level are welcome. Four people can participate simultaneously for 30 minutes each, unless there is no one waiting to join, in which case artists can stay longer.

Sessions run twice a week at the Bateman Gallery at 300-470 Belleville St. on Tuesday evenings from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Appointments are not necessary.

READ ALSO: Renowned photographer’s work captured at the Bateman Gallery


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: nina.grossman@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.
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Victoria art centre offers free therapeutic art sessions – Victoria News – Victoria News

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The Bateman Foundation hopes to harness the healing power of creativity with a series of free therapeutic art sessions.

Materials are provided for the free drop-in sessions, and an on-site art therapist will be available for assistance or mental wellness insight.

“It’s learning about art and nature and using those as tools for wellness,” says Lauren Ball, spokesperson for the Bateman Foundation. “We (wanted) to help people to feel a bit more powerful in their daily lives.”

In the summer of 2020 the foundation launched the Wellness Project, adapting its annual Nature Sketch program for the pandemic and providing it free of charge to small groups in the community.

The new drop-in therapeutic art sessions are an extension of that program, says Bell, and a direct response to the effects of the ongoing pandemic.

READ ALSO: Nature Sketch program returns in Victoria with COVID-19 safety protocols

“Knowing that anxiety and depression are on the rise on this mass scale because of social isolation, we wanted to help in some way,” she said.

“It’s not about being a really great artist, it’s not necessarily about the final result of what you create, it’s about tapping into the creative potential and creative energy that exists within all of us, and using that to find some sense of joy, some sense of peace.”

Art therapist Kaitlin McManus will be on site to help participants who want to discover meaning in their artwork while they are creating.

All ages and experience level are welcome. Four people can participate simultaneously for 30 minutes each, unless there is no one waiting to join, in which case artists can stay longer.

Sessions run twice a week at the Bateman Gallery at 300-470 Belleville St. on Tuesday evenings from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. and on Thursdays from 8:30 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. Appointments are not necessary.

READ ALSO: Renowned photographer’s work captured at the Bateman Gallery


Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: nina.grossman@blackpress.ca. Follow us on Instagram.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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Fredericton group hopes to connect people with street art and horse barns – CBC.ca

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Artists, get out your spray cans. 

The Fredericton Trails Coalition wants to revitalize part of the city trail between Rookwood Avenue and Smythe Street, near the New Brunswick Exhibition horse barns. 

“It’s nothing but a big canvas,” said Stephen Marr, vice-president of the Fredericton Trails Coalition. 

So, the group hopes to turn it into a huge mural and is looking for proposals.

The idea came about last year, when organizers were trying to come up with ways to celebrate the community trails — while following physical distancing rules because of COVID-19.

Bringing history and art together 

“It’s something that’s happening all over Canada,” he said. 

For years, the horse barns have been spray painted with bubble letters or funny looking smiley faces.

“Why not beautify it and put something meaningful on there that would actually become a destination for people on the trail?” he said.

The canvas is about 100 metres long and art applications are pretty open-ended.

“If you pigeonhole them you’re not going to allow them their creativity,” he said

There are a lot of people who pass by the area while cycling to work or out for a stroll with kids. So the group is hoping for something that focuses on community and its history.

“The topics are just too numerous to count.”

‘It’s about community’

A call for artists was sent out in the middle of February.

The group has received about 28 applications so far. People have until the end of March to apply.

Then, the proposals will be evaluated by Fredericton’s art community, including gallery owners and art instructors. 

Five artists will be selected in June. Then, they will be asked to do a mockup of the canvas.

The finalist will be announced on June 15, and will get to work after Canada Day. The artist will receive about $20,000 for the project and potential grants.

The artwork is expected to be finished by September. The paint is expected to last five to six years.

Marr said he isn’t worried about taggers destroying the artwork. He said there’s an unwritten rule between taggers that once a mural goes up, it’s off limits. 

“It’s about community involvement and appreciation and inclusiveness on the trails.”

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