Art lovers took in the show at Wagalus School last month.

Art lovers took in the show at Wagalus School last month.

Wagalus classroom transformed into art gallery

A black-draped art gallery temporarily took the place of an everyday classroom at Wagalus School of the Kwakiutl Band in Fort Rupert.

Paige Aoki

Special to the Gazette

A black-draped art gallery temporarily took the place of an everyday classroom at Wagalus School of the Kwakiutl Band in Fort Rupert.

The public was invited to a student art display at the school, hosted by teachers Jacqueline Hunt and Karen Aoki.

More than 70 people attended the Feb. 28 event, including students, parents, and members of the community.

The general reaction to the transformation of the school and the artwork on display was positive.

“It was beyond our expectations,” said hosting teacher Karen Aoki.

The classroom-become-art-gallery was packed, the refreshments disappeared almost as soon art-goers came in the door.

“I love it. I wasn’t sure what to expect… I’m blown away,” said one attendee.

The display was centered on student artwork taught to the school’s Kindergarten to Grade 7 students by First Nations Canadian artist, George Littlechild.

A Plains Cree born in Alberta, Littlechild is known for his work in mixed media using imaginative images and bright, bold colours.

Also on display at the show was student artwork in the style of three masters; Van Gogh — post-impressionism; Wassily Kandinsky — modern abstract— and George Seurat, known for pointillism.

Before the show, students participated in a three-day workshop with Littlechild — thanks to Artist in Education funding and money from First Nations Schools Association: Parent and Community Engagement — when they created self-portraits that focused on respect, confidence, and optimistic self-description.

Each student traced an outline of their body onto a large sheet of paper and set the outline against colourful, imaginative backgrounds of places or activities, such as “Swimming with Mermaids” and “Center of the Earth.”

The children also took part in activities where groups of students made positive comments about each other, which they then incorporated into their self-portraits by describing words pasted into the outlines of their bodies.

Littlechild was at the school three years ago, and Wagalus hopes to have him visit again, to provide future students the same opportunity.

 

Just Posted

Port Hardy council has agreed to cancel Canada Day celebrations in wake of the discovery of the remains of 215 children being found on the grounds of a former residential school. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Council votes to cancel Canada Day celebrations in wake of mass grave sites being found

Coun. Treena Smith made the motion for the chamber to not host Canada Day celebrations this year

Port Hardy Fire Rescue responded to an early morning fire around 3:50 a.m. on Sunday, June 13. Two porta-potties were on fire at the Visitor’s Centre on Hastings Street. Anyone with information is asked to contact the RCMP at 250-949-6335. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue photo)
Firefighters respond to early morning fire near visitor centre in Port Hardy

Two porta-potties were on fire at the Visitor’s Centre on Hastings Street

North Island MLA Michele Babchuk. Photo contributed
COMMENTARY: MLA Michele Babchuk talks the future of forestry

‘These forests are important to every single one of us, myself included’

Dr. Prean Armogam hands over a cheque for $10,000 to Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society president Rosaline Glynn. The money will be going towards a new roof for the Port Hardy seniors centre. This is the second donation Dr. Armogam has made to the society, giving them $5,000 a little over a year ago. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)
Doctor donates $10k to Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society for new roof

This was the second donation Armogam has given to the society

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Gabriola Island artist Sheila Norgate is promoting the Digital Innovation Group’s art impact survey. (File photo)
Vancouver Island artists get behind regional arts impact study

Artists urged to use their stature to help put arts and culture super-region on the map

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

Most Read