Students in Maria McLean’s Grade 2/3 class at Adam Robertson Elementary School enjoy their art classes.

Art program embraced at Creston’s Adam Robertson school

Web Lead

  • Feb. 16, 2012 11:00 a.m.



“Painting is just another way of keeping a diary,” Pablo Picasso said.

In the past few weeks, students at Adam Robertson Elementary School (ARES) have been learning to combine art techniques with journaling, with working artists to lead them through the process.

The project began with ARES Grade 2/3 teacher Maria McLean’s successful application for a grant from ArtStarts in Schools.

“This project will bring professional artists into our rural school to explore art journaling with students (K-7) and teachers,” she wrote in the application. “The artists will share a variety of mixed media methods, including paint, collage, stamping, tearing and cutting paper, working with texture, and integrating found items and personal mementos into journals. Each student will receive a journal and be introduced to healthy and creative ways to express themselves and explore their personal identity on its pages.”

Added to the ArtStarts funding was money raised by sales of an art calendar last year, which Creston artist and Imagine Ink proprietor Brandy Dyer helped create. The ARES parents advisory council paid for the journals themselves and some supplies were donated.

Participating classes were led by working artists Eileen Hirota (a former school counsellor), Joanne Ferry and Cheryl Place, who led them through a series of exercises to personalize their journals and learn a variety of art techniques.

“Now I remember why I retired from teaching!” Hirota joked. “Actually, this has been a lot of fun. The kids are really enthusiastic.”

Ferry, who, like Hirota, is a mixed media specialist, said that the experience benefited the students, teachers and artists.

“It took a lot of preparation beforehand,” she said of the project. “We met with Maria several times, and Eileen, Cheryl and I worked together to plan what we wanted to do with the students.”

Ferry, who studied art at Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver, said working with elementary school students was a joy.

“ARES is a great school. I wouldn’t hesitate to do this again,” she said. “I always learn something when I teach.”

With the artists’ lessons now complete, each student has a personalized journal to write in for the rest of the year, adding art creations as they see fit.

“We left behind all the art exercises we used in a book for the teachers to refer to in the future,” Ferry said. “I gave all the teachers hints about other things they can do as well. The kids will end up with a journal and hopefully they will continue making and art and writing in the future. One little girl said she had already started another journal at home!”

Ferry said the energy she felt from the students is contagious.

“You see the enthusiasm,” she said. “It’s inspiring and encouraging.”

Just Posted

Testimony wraps up in Blackmore charter challenge

After evidence from RCMP officers, crown and defence lawyers move to closing arguments.

Trust announces new $10-million eco-program

Funds will be distributed over five years, boosting health of Basin ecosystems

Property crime on the rise in Grand Forks: RCMP

Grand Forks RCMP sat down with the Gazette to talk property crime and community solutions.

Former Nelsonite stops attack on Muslim woman

Jake Taylor intervened in a violent incident on Skytrain

Highway 3B crash rears up safety concerns

RCMP reported a review of the site was launched following a July 2016 fatality

VIDEO: Average Canadian food bill to rise by $348 in 2018

Atlantic Canada and B.C. will see the most increases for consumers

More than 20,000 pounds of garbage removed from riverside homeless camps

Two camps taken down last week on the banks of the Fraser and Chilliwack rivers

Suspect in Revelstoke standoff killed himself: RCMP

Mohammadali Darabi, suspect in the Calgary homicide of his roommate, was stopped in Revelstoke

Clinton visits Vancouver, applauds Trudeau, celebrates Democrats’ win in Alabama

Clinton told crowd she cheered when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau appointed the country’s first gender-balanced cabinet.

VIDEO: Salt Spring Islanders ferry piano to their floating home

Everyone enjoys a little music on the water, but not everyone has a piano on their boat

Bomb detonated in Kamloops neighbourhood

Kamloops RCMP are investigating after an improvised explosive device was detonated Wednesday morning

No More Shootouts: Strong defence will be Canada’s backbone at world juniors

Head coach doesn’t want a situation where a hot goalie or a lucky bounce can determine a team’s fate

Proposed snowmobiles along Sicamous roads concern RCMP

RCMP, ICBC and province not yet on-board with proposed off-road bylaw in the B.C. Interior

‘Assemble your own meal’ kits grow into $120M industry in Canada

Kits offer a middle ground between eating out and grocery shopping

Most Read