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Bella Coola students create art for colouring book featuring area’s scenes

Their teacher hopes the colouring book will end up on BC Ferries in the future
Students at Sir Alexander Mackenzie School have created artwork for a future Bella Coola colouring book. (Photo submitted)

Art teacher Meghan Lewick’s students at Sir Alexander Mackenzie School in Bella Coola have created art for a Bella Coola colouring book.

The hope is the colouring book will make its way onto BC Ferries, Lewick said. This summer she will be working with a friend on Vancouver Island to publish it.

Lewick, who is originally from Toronto, has taught art at SAMS for three years.

She said it turned out that Grade 8s, Grade 9s, and her 10, 11, 12 mixed class contributed to creating more than 100 original drawings.

“It became quite a big project.”

Each student learned how to do contour line drawings through the process.

“First we had to choose sights that we thought were representative of our beautiful valley. Then I found images - put up a big screen - and everyone drew contour line drawings from their desks by observation.”

She then photocopied the originals and from those the students learned about colour relationships.

The students chose three photocopies and then coloured them with certain colour schemes either primary, secondary, analogous, warm and cool, neutral tones and earth tones.

Lewick secured a grant from the Bella Coola Valley Arts Council for the project and the arts council also donated some old frames for the students’ drawings. A display of some of the originals, and around 27 of the coloured photocopies is on display at the arts council’s Art House Galley, across the street from the school, until June 9.

“We worked really hard,” said Ocea Collier and Isla Hodgson, two of the students, after helping transport the artwork.

On Thursday afternoon, June 1, some of the students helped Lewick carry the pieces over to the Art House Gallery.

An opening celebration was held Saturday, June 3.

During the opening tables were set up inth the gallery with markers, pencils crayons and crayons for people to try colouring some of the photocopied drawings created by the students for the colouring book.

“If there is space we could maybe put up people’s images and then mail them back to them,” Lewick said.

Inspired because there is not a colouring book featuring the Bella Coola area, Lewick said she often sees many people on the ferry with their children.

“They are long ferry trips and people have lots of time. There are those stands wtih free maps and I thought wouldn’t it be cool if we could make a colouring book that would be free. Children could also learn about the place there are going to visit.”

Her students enjoyed the project and really got into doing the colouring, which she said surprised her.

All of the originals are signed, she added.

Working in Bella Coola is a lot of fun, she said.

“This is a job in paradise and this project all came together and gave my kids’ a great assignment.”

She anticipates the students will also take great pride when they see the colouring book on the ferry in the future.

For Saturday’s opening the arts council members did baking, which Lewick said was a kind gesture.

“People in Bella Coola are kind. I really feel welcome here.”

Sir Alexander Mackenzie School students colour photocopies of drawings depicting the Bella Coola area. (Morgan Boileau photo)
A Sir Alexander Mackenzie School student colours a photocopy of one of around 100 original drawings created by students at the school for colouring book project depicting the Bella Coola area. (Morgan Boileau photo)
SAMS tudents organize the drawings created for a Bella Coola colouring book. (Morgan Boileau photo)
Art work created by a SAMS student for the Bella Coola colouring book. (Ida Eriksen photo)
An eagle on the rocks, created by a SAMS student for the Bella Coola colouring book. (Ida Eriksen photo)

Monica Lamb-Yorski

About the Author: Monica Lamb-Yorski

A B.C. gal, I was born in Alert Bay, raised in Nelson, graduated from the University of Winnipeg, and wrote my first-ever article for the Prince Rupert Daily News.
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