In a display filled with intricate sketches, colourful watercolours and vivid photography, the walls at the Williams Lake campus of Lake City Secondary commons area are filled with artwork made by this semester’s art students.
“I want students to see how creative people are, because you often don’t see that in school,” said one of the artists, Sydney Thompson.
Her painting, of a hyper-realistic dog on a bright green background, practically jumps off the wall at you.
“For the kids, the most important thing is for their peers to see and acknowledge their work,” said Lake City art teacher Siobhan Wright. “This is a way to get that work featured for the most important people in their lives — it builds that support and then other kids see this artwork and see their friends doing something cool outside of class.”
It’s a way, she said, of building community in the school, outside of sports and athletics.
“Some of these students — not all of course — are not as strong academically, and their teachers never really get to see them shine outside of their classroom, but they can be brilliant in the art room. It’s really great when teachers see someone, who may not be doing so well in their English or math class, getting an A in art. So they do have that special skill they can discuss.
Abby-Lyn James has a colourful painting displayed on the wall that she built out of a black-and-white photograph she had of her grandmother.
“I wanted to make it colourful. It’s a memorial piece,” she said.
James finds a quiet place doing art.
“I use art for a lot of things — like my anxiety, it grounds me.”
A series of windmills in oil hangs above Julia Ziegler, drawing the eye. Now in Grade 11, she painted it when she was 13, he said, inspired by Bob Ross’s video tutorials and the fact her family-name is Mills.
Being able to display some of her work is nice, she said.
“I just started going to the school and I didn’t have the opportunities before to show my art or talk about it. I think it is really cool that you can see everybody, because there are a lot of really talented people here.”
Dallas George shows off a flowing picture of a watercolour flower as one of his favourites of his work in the show.
“I’ve always loved the arts since I was a kid. I loved drawing and stuff like that, so every year I’ve always taken an art class,” he said.
Reagan Kohut shows off a combined still-life surrealism sketch, as well as a memory drawing from when she rode through the neighbour’s wheat fields and her horse got away from her.
“I love to do memory drawings because I can have a story behind it, or see how it is related to me,” she said. “To be able to display my artwork is like saying I am proud to show you what I do. I am happy of what I am able to accomplish.”
Clara Veenkamp also pulled a picture from her memory, in a still-life surreal sketch of a tree coming out of a light bulb.
“I like how someone can make something look so realistic, but it can also be a picture or a drawing,” she said. “I can’t believe someone can make things look like they are moving like that, and the colours patterns and schemes.”
Ten students from Lake City Secondary will see their artwork on display at the Gecko Tree for the month of May.
“I’ve never done anything like this, so it’s kind of cool,” said Jenna Morey, whose set of clay tiled coy fish will be up at the restaurant.
“The coy fish usually represent peace and love and I felt it tied into everything going on in my life right now,” she said.
Briar Wiebe will also see her work displayed at the Gecko.
She mostly uses graphite in her work, and said art makes her feel happy.
“I’ve been focusing a lot less on the way it ends up looking and how happy I feel when I am doing it,” she said.
Having her work on display is very satisfying.
“It’s crazy. Oh my God it’s such an honour. I started drawing two-and-a-half years ago, so I remember when I started I never thought I would keep going at it. I thought I would go okay, this will just be a little hobby and then I realized I loved it. It’s crazy because I’ve come this far and I’m proud of myself. I think it’s really cool.”
The artwork at Lake City Secondary will be on display until the end of the week, May 4, and at the Gecko Tree until the end of May.