Art-lovers and artists alike gathered in the North Island Secondary School multi-purpose room last Thursday evening for the school’s fourth Poetry Slam and Art Night.
The event, put on by art teacher Kathleen McArthur, featured art from NISS students and was open to the public.
“I come here for the art, the company, and the cinnamon buns,” NISS principal Jay Dixon declared at the beginning of the show.
He went on to commend the students and their enthusiasm for the arts: “If you walk through the halls, you’ll see what our art students have brought to this building,” he said, referring to the colourfully painted tiles that adorn the ceilings. “No longer do we have white walls and white ceilings.”
Dixon’s opening speech was followed up by a traditional ‘Namgis greeting song from student Michael Forbister, then host Kean Draeger was brought to the podium.
Students, teachers, and local community members recited their original poetry to a panel of judges. These readings were each followed by a musical performance. The night featured classical guitar, acoustic covers of pop songs, and Christmas carols.
Student-generated artwork was on display throughout the show and available for purchase. Audience members also had a chance to enter an art room raffle for a bowl produced by the NISS art room.
“It’s a way for them to showcase and to display their art,” said art teacher Kathleen McArthur. “And a way for them to make some money.” According to McArthur, the art sales have consistently raised more than $300 with each event.
NISS holds two poetry slams each year: one in the winter, and one in the spring. This was the school’s fourth slam overall.
“This was probably the best one yet,” said McArthur after the show. “The kids are getting used to the environment and the competition.”
At the end of the night, Becky Cyr and Susan Beatty tied for third place in the poetry slam. Draeger took home second prize, while first place went to Bryce Casavant.