Airdrie Public Library hosts student art gallery this weekend

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The gala, featuring the art of students from George McDougall, St. Martin de Porres and Bert Church high schools, is open to the public between 7 and 9 p.m. and everyone is invited to view the local works and discuss with the artists on site. .

Airdrie High School students show off their talent and creativity by displaying their artwork at the first live gala at the Airdrie Public Library (APL) since the pandemic began in 2020.

Artwork by students from George McDougall, St. Martin de Porres and Bert Church High Schools has covered the walls of the library since the beginning of May and will conclude with a gala on June 11.

The gala is an opportunity for the public to meet artists and teachers.

“We really love being able to showcase community talent and we love to think of ourselves as a central hub here for the City of Airdrie and surrounding communities,” said Eric Pottie, Head of Programming and Customer Engagement at APL.

Pottie added that people often think of the library as a place for literacy and exploring the written word, but APL hopes to highlight other avenues such as art and get people thinking.

“It’s always great for us to be able to showcase art in general, but we really love being able to showcase high school and youth artists and show how talented young people in Airdrie are as well as certain people older,” Pottie said.

APL regularly features local and Alberta artists in its building and has always had a rotating spot for high school students.

“[We want to] kind of give high school students a little artistic opening — to get that experience,” Pottie said.

Teachers from each school will pick up the artwork after the gala is over so students can take their work home before the end of the school year.

A Grade 12 student from George McDougall High School, Emma McKee, plans to attend the Saturday night gala and is eager to discuss her teddy bear painting with the public.

“I try to make people think and I wouldn’t mind if people argued about what I do. I like to make it weird,” McKee said. “One of my other pieces was a surreal drawing of a man holding a baby but their faces were swapped. So I like to see how other people interpret it and people are always coming up with different ideas and trying to convince each other which one is the right one.

His teddy bear painting on display in the library was created with the theme of “smashed, vintage and destroyed” in mind.

For her gala art project, McKee said that instead of painting a physically crushed object, she decided to paint a bear that was destroyed and cut open, including cotton balls and yarn.

“I did the canvas a year ago because the canvas is 3D in itself, I had no idea then and I still had no idea this year, but it’s just me. came,” McKee said.

The 12th grader has been taking art classes for several years, but Saturday’s art gala will be his first live performance.

“It’s a bit morbid and kind of controversial, I guess,” she said, when asked what audiences can expect when seeing her artwork this weekend.

McKee said she was thrilled to attend the gala because art is something she is so passionate about. After high school, she plans to pursue post-secondary education and earn a degree in education to become an art teacher, with her sights set on Alberta University of the Arts (AUR) for the art portion and the University of Lethbridge for the education part.

Keanna Lougheed-Heirsch, a Grade 10 student at Bert Church High School, shared that she created an Arctic-themed pop-up project using markers to color it in, including icebergs and aurora borealis.

“I made art during quarantine and got into it during that time, then I decided to make art because it was an opportunity to learn new things, not just paintings,” Lougheed-Heirsch said. “I wanted to learn new techniques and it was a great experience for me to learn new mediums and techniques, not just stick to the same paintings I was doing and get out of my comfort zone.

Natalie Matwe, also a 10th grade student at Bert Church High School, created a dream painting project that incorporated fantasy elements, including portals from all her dreams. She shared that she learned the different techniques of the art over the past semester.

“I learned that art isn’t really one style, there’s a bunch of different styles that we covered throughout the semester and it’s really interesting to understand these different ways of doing art. ‘art,” she said.

The gala is open to the public between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. and everyone is welcome to check out the local works and chat with the artists on site, according to Pottie.

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