Carlton student art display finds new venue

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Matt Gardner
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An annual display of artwork from students at Carlton Comprehensive Public High School can be found at a new location this year.

For the first four weeks of April, residents will be able to see the most recent output from local student artists in the John V. Hicks Gallery at the Prince Albert Arts Centre.

A similar display last spring was set up at Shananigan’s Coffee and Dessert Bar.

“Shananigan’s was nice, we tried it, and then we got wind that we could do a show here … I contacted them last June and they said yes, we could do a show in April, so we’ve known for almost a year that it was planned,” visual arts teacher Dawn Marie Anderson said.

“I think this location displays the art better,” she added. “It’s more an artsy gallery setting, so I really like it.”

Along with fellow visual arts teachers Alecia Carter, Lana Lorensen and Charlene Roy, Anderson helped organize the student art display.

The display includes graphic arts pieces by students in Grades 9 through 12 from the previous year of classes, as well as some from last year’s show.

Techniques used encompass pastels, acrylics, coloured pencil, charcoal, graphite, clay and paint.

“Basically why we did it was to show the community our art and let them know what we do at Carlton and what the students can do,” Anderson said.

“We’re very proud of them. All the assignments are from curriculum assignments and so there’s always some meaning behind it … A lot of it makes the students think really hard to create a piece of art.”

On Monday evening, some of the students could be seen at the gallery during an opening reception that allowed them the chance to discuss their work.

One example of sculpture on display was Sleepy Deer by Grade 9 student Adam Stene, which depicted a green hand holding a deer.

“It’s clay and acrylic paint … I made it because I like hunting,” said Stene, 15.

Drawings and sketches were another favourite form of art at the display, though not all artists used the same materials.

For her sketch Besties, Grade 10 student Chay Polischuk used pencil to create a drawing based on a photograph of herself and best friend Emily Paul taken on a bus during a trip to Mexico.

“I just looked at a picture that I took off of a phone and just drew it off there,” Polischuk said.

Having had previous works featured at the Mann Art Gallery, the 15-year-old artist was no stranger to public displays of her art and expressed an interest in drawing portraits of other people.

Basically why we did it was to show the community our art and let them know what we do at Carlton and what the students can do. Dawn Marie Anderson

The subject of Polischuk’s most recent portrait was reportedly happy with the results.

“She loved it,” the artist said of Paul’s reaction. “I got a picture frame for her and I put it in there.”

Instead of pencils, Grade 11 student Chris Baker used pen and markers to create his own black and white drawing.

Rather than drawing from reality, Baker used his love of the robot-centred science fiction genre mecha as the inspiration for his untitled piece.

“It’s a big mobile suit from a Japanese animation called Gundam,” the 16-year-old artist explained.

“It was something I could easily relate to and it was something I was familiar with, and I had no other idea what to do,” he added.

In a unique twist, Baker’s drawing of the mobile suit uses different words as the building blocks for the machine.

“Some things are related to the animation itself, but some of them are just filler words,” he said.

Fantasy-based themes were a strong element in the work of Grade 11 student Lacey Lorensen, who used multiple media to depict a number of otherworldly scenes.

One sculpture, Sun, Earth and Moon, depicts the sun and moon as dragons guarding over the planet.

“I’ve always loved drawing dragons … We were supposed to do was something that kind of had a symbolic kind of thing, so I wanted to symbolize how the sun kind of guards over the earth … takes care of everything, makes things grow … and the moon is kind of watching from the sidelines,” Lorensen said.

While the 17-year-old artist’s painting Summertime Dreams was based on her love of fairies, her painting Feeling From Inside arose from an assignment to create a work based around a song.

Basing her work on the Awolnation song Sail, Lorensen created a painting that used fanciful imagery such as a floating pathway, the sun and an angel in space to depict feelings of optimism.

“I just kind of got the feeling … there’s brighter hope ahead,” she said. “It’s kind of like the beginning of a new era.”

Residents will be able to see the Carlton student display until April 26 during normal hours at the Arts Centre.

Organizations: Prince Albert Arts Centre, Mann Art Gallery

Geographic location: Mexico

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