Notre Dame examines where the Wild Things are

Ashley Pudloski holds the artwork that she created. Giraffe collages adorn the hallway walls of Mrs. Chichak’s Grade 2 class at Notre Dame School.
By Lucie Roy

Morinville – Notre Dame Librarian Lena Bourgeois is excited with the Wild Thing travelling exhibit currently at the school. This visual display from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts Travelling Exhibition Program contains an interpretative guide, twenty-two framed two-dimensional artwork pieces and two sculptural works from thirteen artists. Nine of the animal-themed works were made by Illingworth Kerr and three of the pieces based on native legends and myths were created by Lloyd Caibaiosai.

Questions and activities have been included in the program for elementary level-students and the exhibit and study guide provides students with a variety of experiences. The students learn to respond to the pictures of the animals in their natural setting. Students also use their imagination and learn to create artwork of their own.

Bourgeois explained the program has a six-step method of looking at and understanding a work of art: the initial response, the description (as in the colours and shapes), the analysis of the proportions (the percentage that is background, the sky and land, and what effect these differences make in depth perception), viewers interpretation (how it makes them feel, mood of the work, and what story the artist might be trying to say). The method then examines the artist, their name, style and medium used. These combine to make them understand the art more. The final step is the personalization of what the students like or dislike.

As part of the program, students get to create their own art. Mrs. Chichak’s Grade 2 class chose to make a giraffe collage, something librarian Lena Bourgeois was impressed with. Bourgeois said the students learn about line, shape, colour, texture, space and how it all works together on their artwork. The Grade 2 class have their giraffe artwork displayed on the wall outside their classroom. One student who participated is Ashley Pudlowski who was proud to show the art she created on large sheet of paper. To make her artwork, Pudlowski coloured in the sky and field, cut out pieces of paper to form a giraffe, inserted eyes, ripped patches from brown paper and glued them onto the body. She then put in the nostrils and used yarn down the neck for the giraffe’s mane and tail.

The Wild Thing exhibit arrived in November and will be on display at Notre Dame Elementary School until the end of December. Featured artists include Holly Newman, Laura O’Connor, Derek Rodgers, Don Toney, Greg Watson, Lloyd Caibaiosai, Maureen Enns, Pat Gordon, Terry Gregoraschuk, Adeline Halverson, Illingworth Kerr, Vivian Lindoe and Malcolm Mackenzie.

Lena Bourgeois holds one of the nine pieces of artwork from artist Illingworth Kerr. This one is titled Mountain Goats and is a pastel on paper.
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