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Young artists in the spotlight

Roxanna Thompson
Northern News Services
Published Thursday, June 12, 2008

DEH GAH GOT'IE KOE/FORT PROVIDENCE - Fine arts took a front row billing at Deh Gah school last month as student artists displayed their creations.

On May 29, the walls in the school's gym were covered with more than 100 pieces of student artwork.

NNSL Photo/Graphic

A blanket knitted by Beaver volunteer Barbara Welti, left, and student Jarika Minoza was one of the pieces on display at the Gallery Walk at Deh Gah school. - photo courtesy of Rikki Butt

Parents and community members were invited to the Gallery Walk as a way to celebrate fine arts at the school, said Shanna Hagens, who organized the event.

The idea for the gallery, the first of its kind at the school in at least six years, came from the Grade 10 Fine Arts class.

Since January five students have been taking the course and creating pieces of art.

"They were so nice I didn't want the students to take them home," said Hagens.

"They had to go on display."

Other classes were also asked to join the event. In the end almost every student at the school had one or two pieces in the gallery, Hagens said.

As part of their final project students in the Fine Arts class labelled the artwork, put posters around the community and set up the gallery.

More than 50 people walked through the gallery during the evening.

"It was a positive experience for students to see people admiring their artwork," said Hagens.

Artwork at the event covered a wide variety of mediums ranging from acrylic on canvas to photography.

One of the largest pieces on display was a colourful knitted blanket made by Beaver volunteer Barbra Welti and student Jarika Minoza.

Minoza, 16, said she got the idea to make a blanket because she thought it would look nice.

Both she and Welti spent a few months knitting the more than 50 squares in the blanket.

The knitters didn't have a set plan for how the finished product would look.

"I just knitted away," said Minoza.

Finishing the blanket and having people admire it at the gallery was a positive experience, she said.

"It feels great," said Minoza.

Erin Sullivan said she hopes there will be more Gallery Walks held at the school in the future.

Sullivan, a member of the Fine Arts class, had a number of her pieces on display at the event. Sullivan had a practical reason for joining the class.

"I couldn't draw and wanted to learn how," she said.

Now that she's finished the class, Sullivan, 14, said she's learned a few drawing skills.

She also enjoyed having the chance to look at the artwork from the other classes in the school during the Gallery Walk.

"It was fun," she said.

For some students the event was a bit more nerve-wracking.

Erin Nadli entered the only poem on display at the gallery.

Nadli, 12, often pens poems but was nervous about other people reading one of her creations.

"I didn't want to go into the gym," she said.

Despite her own shyness, Nadli said the gallery was a great idea.

"It was good because the kids got to show the stuff they made in arts," said Nadli.