“Artists of the Future” shine at Gibson Gallery

 

 

By Ron Giofu

 

About 100 students from St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School and General Amherst High School had an opportunity to show their art work at the Gibson Gallery the last several weeks.

The “Artists of the Future” exhibit closed Sunday with a reception where artists and their teachers stopped by to look at the exhibit.

“It’s a nice ray of sunshine on a cloudy day to see so many people come out to see the art,” said Lisa Bastien, one of two Villanova art teachers that turned out.

Bastien said about 70 students from Villanova participated. She picked out various works from first semester art students and came up with a variety of work to submit, though noted there wasn’t a competition. The students created acrylic paintings, water colours, sculptures, mixed media and more.

Jessica Dass, a Grade 10 student at St. Thomas of Villanova Secondary School, stands with her work that was part of the Artists of the Future exhibit.

Many of the students came up with their own original ideas, she said.

“The students were encouraged to problem solve in creative ways,” Bastien noted.

The art program is thriving at Villanova, she continued.

“We have about 150-200 students going through the art program every year,” said Bastien. “The arts are alive and well at Villanova.”

Pam Burke, the second Villanova art teacher in attendance, said she was impressed to see the quality of work in the exhibit. She said it was fun for the students to be part of the “Artists of the Future” exhibit.

Burke said she was at the gallery a few days earlier and overheard people talking about some of the works.

“It makes you feel a sense of pride,” she said.

Some students enter high school stating they are unable to draw, but Burke added she sees the skill level in them. There were those with work in the show who previously believed they couldn’t draw at all.

“For me, it’s trying to get them confident in their skill level,” she said.

Sophia Fallea, a Grade 12 student at Villanova, shows her work during the recent Artists of the Future exhibit.

Andrea Craig-Wammes, art teacher at General Amherst, said there were about 25-30 of her students involved. She said she teaches 70 students this semester and had 120 last semester.

General Amherst students submitted everything from drawings and photography to sculptures and paintings. Craig-Wammes said she likes to keep art interesting for the students and makes choosing what gets into the exhibit part of the curriculum.

“It’s very important,” she added, of seeing the works on exhibit. “They absolutely love it.”

Craig-Wammes added she brought students to the gallery recently on a field trip so they could see the exhibit and experience the ambience of the gallery.

“We’re just thankful to be part of the show,” she said. “We’re just excited. Amherst keeps growing and a lot of kids are involved in the arts.”

The current exhibit at the Gibson Gallery is “Flashback: Threadworks 2016.”  It runs through May 13. The gallery is located at 140 Richmond St. in Amherstburg.

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