Creativity and confidence are valuable characteristics that many professionals strive for in order to move up the corporate ladder. More than 675 art projects created by primary school students from Eileen Madson Primary School, JA Laird Elementary School, Edgewater Elementary School, Martin Morigeau Elementary School and Windermere Elementary School were colourful examples of talented people from the Columbia Valley in the making.
Proud parents joined teachers, musicians and artists to celebrate bringing art from the classroom to life at the 10th annual Art From The Heart exhibition at Pynelogs Cultural Centre for the artist opening night on April 11th.
“I have had the great pleasure over the past 10 years to meet with all these young artists that come through the gallery with their classrooms,” Columbia Valley Arts council executive director Jami Scheffer told roughly 100 people who gathered together to share this year’s experience.
“I’ve watched them grow, morph and challenge themselves over the years, (and) they take such pride in this great opportunity to show their passion for art in this fantastic facility.”
Parents Andrea and Jake Jacobsen, who had two of three children contribute art to this year’s show, were quick to agree with that sentiment.
“In the last couple of years, (our son) Cameron put art into the exhibition,” said Jake, while reflecting about the benefits of student participation. “It’s a good confidence booster for him. One of his strong points in school is art so he likes to show it off.”
The ability to draw both inside and outside of the lines has its advantages in life.
“It’s a nice chance for the kids to see their art hanging up on the walls,” added Andrea. “I think it gives them a sense of appreciation for art work.”
As people huddled together to listen to opening remarks, watch student performances, view children’s art work and engage in community discussions, Scheffer encouraged people to continually support the arts.
“There are few communities in our country that have such a safe, welcoming and appropriate art gallery that (accepts) student art,” she said. “One of the questions I ask the kids is whether they will follow their dream to be an artist once they leave school. There are usually a couple of kids in every group that believe they will go on to be an artist, but then I ask, ‘Well, what type of work exists out there for an artist?’”
She believes the most important part of life is to step out of the box and voice an opinion.
“There are no grades, tests or fails,” said Scheffer. “Even the Dad who sings in the shower or draws a stick figure is an artist.”
Columbia Valley Arts curator of Art From The Heart, Natalie Ruby, joined Scheffer at the front of the gallery to congratulate Eileen Madson Primary School student Bryce Nicholas-Hall on being selected as the poster artist this year. Nicholas-Hall shyly accepted the art project back from the Columbia Valley Arts council and smiled for a photo before returning to his family.
Art From The Heart will remain on display at Pynelogs Cultural Centre until 4 p.m. on April 26th.