The Upper Gallery at the Station House belongs to the kids this month. It features the work of 17 young artists between the ages of five-and-a-half to 12 years old who participated in last summer’s Station House Gallery art classes taught by Kathryn Steen, and five students from Beth Holden’s After School Art Program.
For the summer art classes there were two classes each day for five days during the second week of July.
“In the past we offered separate classes for ages six to nine and 10-12,” says Steen. “Last summer we had a huge demand for the younger students, so we expanded the older class to include younger students.”
Each two-hour class focused on playing with a variety of materials, including, graphite, charcoal, paint, oil and chalk pastels and printmaking.
“Along the way students were encouraged to experiment with line, shapes and colour,” says Steen.
The young artists who attended the Feb. 7 opening at the Gallery with their families, seemed very proud to have their work displayed.
Mason Toop, 10, stood beside his life-size self-portrait that a classmate traced of him, that he painted. The resemblance is obvious, despite the inch or so Mason has grown in six months.
Drew Woodford, also 10, eagerly explains the technique behind his fish composition.
“You start out tracing the outline with pencil, then put glue over top, then roll five different coats of paint on top of that,” he says. “His second colourful piece of butterflies was drawn with oil pastels.”
Six-year-old Klay Pare, who is in the after school program, had various siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles join her and her mom, Tovi, for the exhibition. Gage Davis, 6, and three-year-olds Kai Pare and Freja Pare were quite intrigued by Klay’s painting of a horse, flower and sun.
For seven-year-old Leah Lauren, the gallery show was extra special. She got to attend as part of four generations of her family, mom Tania Lauren, nannie Heather Patenaude, and GG (great grandmother) Ruth Lord. Not only that, but GG bought last summer’s art classes for her as a birthday present. Now as a birthday present for Lord, who turns 95 on Feb. 27, Leah got to bring GG to the show. It doesn’t get any better than that.
Also proudly displaying their work were eight-year-old Bayley Stratton with his colourful “Monster” pastel drawing, and Olivia Sawyer, 8, with her “Banjo player.” Olivia comes by her talent naturally. Her grandma, Linda Sawyer, is an accomplished Cariboo artist.
During the summer art classes, Steen brought in a model posing with a banjo for her students. One of most interesting aspects of the show is the range of compositions depicting the banjo player.
Steen, who is also the Station House Gallery Society president, is a retired teacher of 25 years. She spent five of those years teaching art for Grades K to 7.
Steen has been teaching the summer art classes for six or seven years, and says the classes are a lot of work, but she gets a lot of satisfaction and enjoyment from working with the children.
The Station House Gallery continues to offer art classes for children throughout the year in their After School Art Program. The instructors, Beth Holden and Ivannah Ko, offer a variety of art activities and welcome parents to register their children for classes by calling the Gallery at 250-392-6113.
Holden, the Station House Gallery curator, says the February show is just the first of a great slate of exhibitions scheduled for 2013.