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Emerging artists honoured at Livingstone Range gala

harlee grier

F.P. Walshe school student Harlee Grier had her piece titled ‘Feathers’ selected for the Emerging Artists Gala.

student art

The work of Livingstone Range School Division students is on display at central office in Claresholm.

tess provost

W.A. Day school student Tess Provost had her work selected for the Emerging Artists Show at Livingstone Range School Division central office.

Livingstone Range School Division celebrated the work of student artists last week with a gala reception at central office.
Individual students each received $25 cash and the knowledge their art will be displayed at central office throughout the school year.
“We are so thrilled to have a school division that supports the arts, more and more every year,” said Karen Paton, who teaches at Livingstone school in Lundbreck. “And it’s all the arts — it’s music, it’s poetry. This is a great way to celebrate the visual arts.”
Seventy-eight pieces were chosen for the show from about 600 submissions from students across the school division.
Fort Macleod artists whose work was selected for the show are Tess Provost of W.A. Day school and Harlee Grier and Amelia North Peigan of F.P. Walshe school.
Students, parents, teachers, trustees and school division officials gathered at central office Oct. 14 for the eighth annual Emerging Artists’ Gala.
“This is so cool,” Paton said. “Every year it grows a bit more.”
Art teachers Paton, Reed Spencer of Willow Creek Composite, Jamie Reeve from Isabelle Sellon and Horace Allan school, Laura Heine from Matthew Halton school, Sherry Chanin of Crowsnest Consolidated undertake the jury process.
“We are so proud of the work that is coming from Grade 1 all the way up to Grade 12,” Paton said.
There are two jurying processes to get down to about 80 pieces.
The school art teachers review the initial submissions.
“Any school that submits we want to honour them with a piece that gets into the show,” Paton said. “We want to create a wide diversity of work from painting, pen and ink, charcoal, sculpture so that all the range of materials is represented as well.”
“We want to put together a show that is quite strong.”
Superintendent David Driscoll and school board trustees are involved in the second jurying process.
“We again talk about what gives it artistic merit,” Paton said. “That’s when we get the ear of the superintendent and we talk about the value of the arts and that gets us so excited because we can jump on our soapbox once again and say this is what it’s doing for kids. It’s such important stuff.”
Paton stressed four points related to the value of teaching the arts in school.
“Arts allows us to create relationships with materials,” Paton said.
Paton said students are taught to look for coherence and patterns.
“That’s a really important way to think and see the world around us,” Paton said.
“The arts teaches us that there are all kinds of solutions to a given problem, not just one solution,” Paton said. “It teaches us to think divergently, Our world in not a convergent world, it is a divergent world. This is a really important way to see our world.”
Paton said large corporations are now inviting artists into the board room because they see the world differently.
“That kind of thinking is valued in a greater and greater dimension,” Paton said.
Art teaches that small differences can create a very different effect.
Art teaches students to look through materials, how to work with them and how to determine parameters.
“There’s a saying that if you’ve worked with your hands, you see it in your head and you start to imagine, you start to see things differently,” Paton said. “You start to imagine different solutions, different outcomes and see the possibilities of things. We need that.”
Paton thanked the school board and administration for supporting the arts in school.
“It’s so much more than just making a nice picture to match the couch,” Paton said. “It’s a language. We’re teaching kids a language.”