Adventures in Art this Year to Date

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Coast Mountain Academy

Written by Ms. Marni Harris, CMA Art Teacher

It continues to be a pleasure and a privilege to guide 14 grade, 9-12 students, in art adventures in various mediums. In September, we started with drawing/sketching as the foundation of art of any form, with still life exercises, studio time, and discussions about the elements and principles of design. Students were asked to complete two sketches by early October and to incorporate the principles and elements discussed in their sketches.
Most students submitted sketches, photographs or computer designed images for selection for a CMA art exhibit, which is now up at a Table! (39149 Discovery Way) in Squamish. Thank you to CMA student Emalyn, for collecting and framing the pieces, to a generous soul who donated all the frames, and to Mr. Chang of a Table! who has kindly offered us the exhibit space for the whole school year. We plan to have three different exhibits there over the course of the school year. We will let you know when the exhibits are up so you can check them out. 

In October, we explored the medium of sculpture. After a talk about sculpture, sculptors and the myriad of materials that can be used for this medium, students were asked to create their own imaginative pieces of sculpture using wire, wood, clay, aluminum mesh, or fabric. Two students continued to work on their 3D projects on blender. The students produced some engaging, playful, and original works during class studio time.         

The photo above features a collaborative sculpture project as the students created a spirit nest. The inspiration came from Jayson Fann of spiritnestcreations.com. We used branches collected from the forest floor near CMA and plan to add to it over time. 

We have been exploring with acrylic and watercolour paints for the month of November. We had a fun, collaborative pour painting project adventure (photos below) in mid-November. Students have also been working on their own paintings during studio time.

Having guest speakers is a big part of the art adventures program we are developing at CMA. We are eager for the students to learn what it takes to pursue creative work as a hobby and/or a career, discover techniques, intricate details about different mediums, to connect with, and be inspired by, creatives in the Sea-to-Sky community.  We had five speakers in this term. Mural artist and adventurer Jessica Gilbert and British designer, Alex Fowkes, came to speak to the class about mural design, ideas, the mood board, colours, font, working with the client and natural elements. They designed and painted the mural on one of CMA’s shipping containers on campus, and they got a few enthusiastic students engaged in part of the painting process. 

Guillaume Hammadi, who is a photographer and software designer, dropped in for a chat with the students who are working on photography. He spoke about photography and editing using the ipad and ipad pencil. Ryan and Kris Harris of Beacon Media Group in Whistler (beaconmediagroup.com) came to speak to the students about filmmaking, photography, entrepreneurship, persistence, determination, and the creative life. We plan to have artist Andy Anissimoff drop by for some inspiration (date tbd). He’s on board, but now has to find the time. 

More campus art projects…

We plan to get more students involved in the painting of the picnic tables (flash colours) come the spring. We also hope to transform the now out-of-service bus (also pictured below) into a work/art space come the spring. We encourage any and all to help out with these two spring projects. 

Ms. Keeling
Ms. Keeling