Budding talent was on full display at W.F.A. Turgeon Catholic School on Thursday as the school held its first public art show and auction.
© Herald photo by Matt Gardner
Artwork by Grade 6 students at W.F.A. Turgeon Catholic School adorns a table on Thursday evening at the school’s first art show and auction.
Every student from pre-kindergarten to Grade 6 contributed artwork for the event, which was organized with the intent of building and strengthening community ties.
“The students make the artwork, the parents come as a community to our school (and) they can purchase their children’s artwork for Mother’s Day,” community school co-ordinator Jayne Boulet said.
“But the main reason why we wanted to have the event is because of the community builder. We wanted to have everybody come on a positive note, come to our school, visit, look at the framed artwork and just share that community atmosphere.”
With outreach efforts firmly in mind, the school publicized the event to the wider community as well as friends and family of the students.
Artwork on display at the show utilized a wide variety of materials, including inks, charcoal, pastels, paint and clay. Bowls and other sculptures could be found alongside framed paintings.
Guests were able to bid on the framed artwork throughout the evening, with all proceeds going towards the support of school activities.
“The lowest bid is $5 and … the majority of it is framed art, so we’re putting the money back into the school supplies so that we can do it again next year,” Boulet said.
Aside from the artwork, guests were also able to enjoy appetizers, refreshments and live entertainment.
Organizers appeared pleased with the turnout, with rooms packed to the brim only half an hour into the evening.
“It’s fantastic,” vice principal Charity Dmytruk enthused. “When we started this, we thought, ‘If we get 50, we’re doing great’ -- and I was just looking and we have over 160.”
We wanted to have everybody come on a positive note, come to our school, visit, look at the framed artwork and just share that community atmosphere. Jayne Boulet
Dmytruk, who is also a teacher at the school, played a key role in helping students prepare for the event as part of their extracurricular activities.
“The kids and I have been staying after school along with some of the associates and we’ve been doing afterschool art with the kids for several months,” she said. “So they got to choose when they wanted to stay and what piece they wanted to work on, and it’s been a really great experience.”
The success of the school’s first art show and auction bodes well for next year, with staff member and students already looking forward to another round.
An anecdote by Dmytruk underscored the impact that publicly displaying their artwork had had on many of the pupils.
“It’s been a really building experience for the kids,” she said. “They come in there and lots of them say, ‘Oh, I can’t draw, I can’t do art,’ and then you show them different mediums and show them different ways to use it and it just was such a confidence-builder.
“I’ll never forget the one little guy … I looked down and I said, ‘Oh, you’re an artist! You’re such a great artist.’ And he looked up and he said, ‘You know, I am! I am a great artist!’
“It was just such an awesome experience … I loved every second of it.”