This Spring was chock full of amazing opportunities to work creatively with young people. I did artist visits and Artist in Residencies with Eagle Ridge Secondary in Coquitlam, York House Junior School in Vancouver, and Pauline Johnson Elementary in West Vancouver.
It was loads of fun, if a bit daunting at times with scheduling and transportation (since I am a bicyclist and a transit user.)
The folks at Eagle Ridge Secondary School invited me to work with their students. A number of years back I had worked with some teachers to create lesson plans using comics to explore Language Arts and Humanities. They enjoyed what I did then and wanted me back for more.
I ended up working with 6 of their classes - mostly around grade 9 and 10. It was fun to be part of a project that took a different approach from the standard essay writing. I believe the visual medium can show a lot of subtle understanding of relationships and themes.
Since comics add some words into the mix, it is a great way to explore almost any topic.
Which is exactly what I did with York House in my visits with them. Each grade had their own topic, which the teachers chose so it could work with their curriculum. We made comics of fairy tales, pioneers, popular fiction, Greek myths, and even poetry! I will have to check with them if I can share some of their images on my site.
Pauline Johnson was more of an epic production. We painted banners on the theme of community. Painting always takes a bit more time to set up and clean up and we were working with 18 classes in 4 weeks!
It was a struggle some days to stay on top of the tide of children and paint - but we did it! I was quite happy with the results and am looking forward to visiting Pauline Johnson again to see how they look when they are hung in their stairwells.
Here is a sneak peak for those of you that love childrens' artwork as much as I do!