It’s one thing to hand in an art assignment and be graded by a teacher. It’s another thing entirely to have your work chosen for an art show and displayed in public.
“There’s a real sense of pride and validation when everyone can see your work on the wall of an art gallery,” says Susan VanVeldhuisen, a visual art teacher at Northern Collegiate.
That, she said, is why the Lambton County Student Art Show has been held annually for at least 50 years.
VanVeldhuisen was part of a team of art teachers from five high schools who chose about 100 pieces for the ongoing show at the Lawrence House.
This year’s participants come from Northern, Alexander Mackenzie, St. Patrick’s, LCCVI in Petrolia and North Lambton in Forest.
Students submit work and their teachers select the best pieces, including sculpture, drawings, paintings, photography, printmaking and digitally produced new media.
The student art show is one of the longest-running shows in the area. It’s also the largest annual show at the Lawrence House, occupying five rooms and hallways and drawing the biggest crowds to the gallery.
“It’s a great tradition in our community,” said VanVeldhuisen. “The teachers also enjoy seeing what is going on in other classrooms.”
For Rebecca Atyeo-Monteith, 16, and Angela Kim, 16, the Lambton County Student Art Show is their first opportunity to display their work.
Atyeo-Monteith’s sculpture depicts the hand of Mother Nature, while Kim’s clay and wood sculpture of a tiger in a kitchen is an unusual study that reflects her feelings about people impacting animal habitats.
“This is a great opportunity for me to showcase my message and for us to showcase our skills,’ said Kim.
Like Kim and Atyeo-Monteith, Laura Stojcevski is also a Grade 11 student at Northern. She spent hours on a portrait of a little boy staring worriedly down the barrel of a gun.
“Sometimes as a teenager you feel voiceless, and art gives me a chance to voice my opinion,” said Stojcevski. “I was devastated by recent school shootings in the States and so moved to see the students at Stoneman Douglas high school take a stand and make change.
“I wanted to do something as well.”
Unlike many of the other pieces, Stojcevski’s contribution to the show was not a class assignment. She did it on her own time to make a statement about the shootings.
Local artists Laura Kreviazuk and Marilyn Orr will choose this year’s award winners, to be announced at the show’s closing ceremony on May 24. Two teachers’ choice awards will also be handed out.
IF YOU GO:
WHAT: Lambton County Student Art Show
WHEN: May 4 – 24.
WHERE: Lawrence House Centre for the Arts, corner of Wellington and Christina streets.