What happens when you lay some groundsheets, pour some paint, purchase brushes and schedule 400 students to create in an outdoor studio? A “Paint fest!”
We were lucky that the weather held for us and we had beautiful, sunny days to paint the final versions of our community fence artwork.
A splash here, a dash there and smiles all around. Primary colours were mixed and painting shirts donned. This was the busiest, most tangible and most exciting part of the Story Fence Project thus far. For weeks, students had been asking, “When can we paint?” Now students lined the tables in a flurry of creativity, all fully engaged in the joy of artmaking! From their blank canvases of wood emerged the story of their community. EVERYONE was an artist. We had themes such as Musqueam, Who We Are, Old School/New School, Habitat, Transformation and Farming/Agriculture. We learned facts and familiarized ourselves with the unique features of life along the river. I was personally inspired by the poems written collaboratively in the voices of the children that explained each segment and by moments where students, accompanied by their E.As, incorporated their handprints into the design, reinforcing the school motto, “Samuel Brighouse Elementary: Where Everyone Counts”.
Personally covered in paint from head to toe, I was as joyful and proud as each of the student artists through the weeklong painting process. Teachers, principal, vice principal and parent volunteers joined in. We kept the area pretty much spotless so the ‘mess factor’ did not impact the school grounds or building in a negative way. When the painting was complete and the artwork dry, it was sent to SD38 to be varnished and drilled. We now await its return before we move on to Stage 3: Hanging Our Outdoor Gallery! Stay posted! Thanks again to ArtStarts Artists in the Classroom grants and to the staff and PAC at Samuel Brighouse Elementary for making this happen!