Andrea Craig-Wammes

Gibson Gallery showcasing “Artists of the Future”

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

Work of art students from a pair of local high schools is on exhibit at the Gibson Gallery through March 19.

“Artists of the Future” is the opening exhibit of 2017 at the gallery with roughly 100 pieces of work by General Amherst High School students on display with 200-250 pieces of art created by St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School also featured.

Jessica Dass sits beside one of her works that are exhibited as part of the Gibson Gallery's "Artists of the Future" exhibit.

Jessica Dass sits beside one of her works that are exhibited as part of the Gibson Gallery’s “Artists of the Future” exhibit.

“The Grade 12’s worked really hard to put this show together,” said General Amherst art teacher Andrea Craig-Wammes. “It’s part of the curriculum to get pieces ready for an art gallery.”

While the show features work from students in Grade 9-12, Craig-Wammes noted the Grade 12 students were the ones getting the pieces titled, mounted and ready to be showcased.

“They’ve put in a lot of effort,” said Craig-Wammes.

The work that came from General Amherst students was chosen either by the students or Craig-Wammes herself. Students didn’t have to have their work exhibited, but Craig-Wammes didn’t recall any student taking that option.

“They had the opportunity to deny it but everyone is excited about showcasing their work,” she said. “It’s a huge honour for them to have their artwork in a gallery and to be able to showcase their talent.

A wide range of mediums was used by General Amherst students from sculptures to painting to scratch art and more, with the Villanova students also displaying their talents through a number of ways.

“We have a lot of variety of work,” explained Villanova art teacher Lisa Bastien. “Our students are encouraged to think outside the box. They are posed problems and have to solve them independently.”

Concepts are presented to the students with students able to work with the concepts in their own way, Bastien said, adding they also work with the students on their technique as well.

Kyra Breshamer shows the artwork she created for the "Artists of the Future" exhibit at the Gibson Gallery.

Kyra Breshamer shows the artwork she created for the “Artists of the Future” exhibit at the Gibson Gallery.

Roughly 400 students per year enroll in Villanova’s art program with the show being much of what has been done in the first semester. While work is showcased in the school, exhibiting it in an art gallery puts a different context on it, Bastien added.

“It makes the kids feel important to have it in a gallery space,” she said. “I’m just really proud of the kids and the families who came by and supported them.”

The Gibson Gallery is located at 140 Richmond St. Their hours are Thursday-Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, call 519-736-2826, e-mail office@gibsonartgallery.com or visit www.gibsonartgallery.com.

High school artist on the “cutting” edge thanks to latest work

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

A local artist has found a new way to display his talents and it put him on the cutting edge.

Literally.

Aaron Hunter, a Grade 12 student at General Amherst High School, recently completed a painting with the work being done on a saw blade. He was approached by art teacher Andrea Craig-Wammes last December about doing the work after the school was approached by local resident Dennis Richardson about having the work done.

Hunter said a nature scene was requested and he took the project on from there.

“He didn’t specify and I had to come up with what I thought was nice,” said Hunter.

Hunter said it took “two or three days” to plan it and chalk it out then he painted it from there. He said he worked on it for about for a few hours every day.

“It is also my first oil painting,” said Hunter.

Aaron Hunter holds the saw blade he painted for a local resident. It was the first time the General Amherst High School student had done an oil painting.

Aaron Hunter holds the saw blade he painted for a local resident. It was the first time the General Amherst High School student had done an oil painting.

Painting in oils was different for him, he added, with the surface also being different. The saw blade had small pits on it he had to work with and was an overall rougher surface than what he is used to.

Craig-Wammes said Hunter had to sand and spray paint the blade to prepare it before he could actually oil paint on it.

“I’m actually pretty pleased with it,” said Hunter. “I’ve never done oil paintings before so I’m pretty happy with how it turned out.”

Art is something Hunter plans to continue doing as a hobby, but his future plans are to attend St. Clair College and become an industrial millwright. He would welcome other projects such as the saw blade project as freelance opportunities he could do on the side. Hunter said he likes being creative, starting out with an idea and developing it from there. He recalled drawing fire trucks when he was in Grade 1, moving on to pirates in Grade 3 and then more fantasy type scenes in Grades 6 and 7 before entering high school and drawing more realistic-type works.

Craig-Wammes added the art program would welcome discussing future opportunities for outside work for their students, noting Hunter’s project was the first outside piece done during her tenure as Amherst’s art teacher.