Monday, May 09, 2011

School Art

A wonderful moment at The Mendel Art Gallery of Saskatoon with the student artists talk. Since it's inauguration in 1972 the annual Spring School Art Exhibition has been a favorite of mine.
"School Art is in keeping with the vision of Gallery founder Fred Mendel. It was Mendel's conviction that art is for people of all ages and walks of life. (Folio MendelArtGallery Vol. 39, Issue 2: Spring 2011)

The young artist in the picture spoke with confidence and composure. Others were shy but all were received with genuine warmth. The Gallery was full of excitement and celebration articulating the joy of creativity. A grade one boy slouched against the wall hands in pockets casually confirmed "the cutting of his paper collage took a lot of time." Another self-composed youth produced a finished work which came from the study which now hung in the exhibition. Each work was treated with deserved respect. Afterall 200 artworks were selected from the 2,000 submitted pieces. Jurors considered the following factors:
Impact: an immediate chord
Authentic Expression: honestly envisioned & executed
Innovative or thoughtful use of materials: competent use
The elements of art and principles of design: color, composition, lines, texture, space.
Construction: physically well constructed
Individual merit: judged on its own merit
(from the handout: How Are Pieces Selected for School Art?)
There is a determined effort to select works from each and every school. This year I saw the gallery video taping chosen student artists for interviews. A commendable project. Looking forward to upcoming June events Shakespeare's Shadows Youth Theatre & SCYAP Urban Canvas.

:: Note :: ... the Artists Talk was held on mothers day ... a beautiful gift to all mothers ... took my mother who enjoyed herself immensely ... certainly hope that if the Gallery moves to a new location and is renamed that this School Art tradition continues in the spirit of serving the community ... by the way admission is free allowing all ages and status to participate in recognizing the importance of art ... also very much miss the Mendelog which had a more personal and community sharing feel ...