Pictured in the photo left to right: MLA Linda Reid, Richmond mayor Malcolm Brodie, the Arts Connection and CACR Linda Shirley and Westwind Principal Bruce Murton
Our Reach to Teach: Immersed in the Arts Program wrapped up another successful term with its 7th Collaboration Celebration on January 13th. The Community Arts Council of Richmond, in partnership with The Arts Connection, hosted a luncheon for students from Admiral Seymour School and Westwind Elementary who participated in the program this past fall. Along with prominent city officials and staff, the students were treated to a deliciously prepared buffet and were able to gather one last time to mark a successful term and to make plans to maintain newly cemented friendships.
On display were two phenomenal art pieces that were created by the students under the guidance of The Arts Connection’s Visual Arts Director, Karen Proulx. She spoke to the crowd, expressing the important roles teamwork and cooperation played in the creation of these pieces. She elaborated on the organic nature of the creative process. Students got to know each other in the course of collaborating and reaching out to one another, truly embodying the very heart of what the program strives to accomplish.
The first art piece, inspired by artist Jacob Hashimoto, began as an individual project with students creating beautifully patterned miniature “kites” on rice paper framed inside a bamboo disc. These kites were then pieces together in carefully orchestrated layers to produce a truly stunning finished piece. The finished piece is pictured at the top of this article.
The second collaborative project, a large art piece comprised of many self-portraits, allowed students to look inwardly while reflecting their place in the wider world. Through careful planning, the colours used in each self portrait were intricately crafted to produce the effect of a raised earth on the final piece after all the portraits were joined together.
Karen Proulx’s fascinating presentation was followed by moving speeches from Malcolm Brodie (City of Richmond mayor), Linda Shirley (representing both the CACR and The Arts Connection) and principals Bruce Murton and Birgitte Biorn, from Admiral Seymour School and Westwind Elementary respectively. Each speaker stressed the positive experience each student, staff member and teacher has had and how important it is to continue making such programs available for students.
However, the most touching words came from a few students from each school who came up to speak. In what has become tradition, Linda Shirley was again presented with a keepsake scrapbook, beautifully put together by the students who participated. Looking through its pages, one cannot help but be moved by the words and art that so beautifully express messages of gratitude for the personal impact the program has had on them, further cementing our resolve to sustain and grow this program.
As we enter the Spring session, our 8th one, we are excited to welcome two new schools, Britannia Elementary (Vancouver) and Dixon Elementary (Richmond) for what promises to be another season of creativity, discovery, bonding and personal growth for everyone involved.