2008 - 2009

 

School Projects

Me and You For Laugh Together

 

Granville Ferry (Annapolis Valley) NS

School: Champlain Elementary P-Grade 6
Artist: Rion Microys
Teacher: Jane Glenen, Lynn Winter, Principal
Subjects:

Health – knowledge, skills and attitudes to live happily and productively

Physical Education – participate in variety of dance techniques and perform dance

Music – explore rhythm, dynamics and pitch to communicate musically

Visual arts – explore artwork from a variety of cultural/historical contexts

Social Studies - understand culture, diversity and world views

Me and You For Laugh Together is a school wide initiative linking the Champlain School, and their community, with Mapaki, Sierra Leone to create a closer connection and awareness between the children of these two communities.  ArtsSmarts artist Rion Microys and Mary Tulay (an artist well known for her tie dye work in Sierra Leone) taught the students traditional tie dye methods, which they used to create fabrics for quilts, costumes and backdrops for their African dance and drumming performances.  Peaceful Schools International supported the exchange of information between the two communities and facilitated an African themed community dinner to promote local involvement.

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Connected: You and I

Amherst NS

School: EB Chandler Junior High, Grade 7
Artist: Karen Stentaford
Teacher: Jane Wood, Dana Rector
Subjects:

English Language Arts – questioning and research strategies, writing and representing to produce a variety of forms and exploring the relationship between the writing process and art/photography.

Students researched their personal histories through interviews and family stories, then used B&W film and 35 mm cameras to photograph and communiate what is important about them, their families and their community.  Photography artist Karen Stentaford also taught them darkroom techniques to develop and print their photos.  The students combined their visuals and written works to create a large book that will be exhibited in the school and in the town library.

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Voices

 

Milford Station NS

School: Hants East Rural High, Grade 12 + program support students and Industrial Arts students
Artist: Susan Tooke and Richard Rudnicki
Teacher: Stephanie Dean Moore
Subjects: Visual Arts, Language Arts, Journalism

 

The Voices project created a visual voice for Extended Program Support (EPS) students, whose “voices” are often unheard in the educational system.

 

Working in conjunction with artists Susan Tooke and Richard Rudnicki, each of the eight EPS students created a unique collage-style piece that reflected their personal interests and artistic strengths.  Each artwork was created on a cut-out of a tiger, the HERH school mascot, and were assembled and mounted in a prominent school location as a sculpted mural.

 

The grade 12 Journalism students also interviewed the EPS artists to create a written piece that reflected the personalities, interests and dreams of each.  These documents, along with photographs of the mural’s creation, are displayed with the final art work.

 

This project has been an incredibly important for the EPS students, one which they are very pleased of.  They are now able to see themselves reflected within the school, as equal and active members of the HERH community.  As well, this project has brought their vital and valuable voices to the greater school community, for all to hear and see.

- Stephanie Dean Moore, teacher

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ArtsSmarts Halifax Saskatchewan Exchange

 

Halifax

Schools: Halifax - Halifax West High School Grades 10-12 & Saskatchewan - Broadview High School Grades 10 & 11
Artist: Halifax – Shauntay Grant
Teacher: Halifax - Marcia Webb, Andrew McIntosh
Subjects: Halifax – African Canadian Studies, Language Arts, Film and video

 

This year, students from Halifax and Saskatchewan participated in an ArtsSmarts exchange program.  Supported by SEVEC (Society for Educational Visits and Exchanges in Canada), a national charity that arranges for funding of the travel component of exchange programs for young Canadians between the ages of 12 to 17, the students spent a week in each other’s province.  In addition to learning about the culture and heritage of their host’s province, the students engaged in an ArtsSmarts project.  In Halifax, the students worked with well-known spoken word poet and performer, Shauntay Grant at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia to produce their own spoken word pieces.

 

Shauntay Grant is truly amazing, her words and her advice truly made me think. Fear is always going to be there but we need to get over that fear and push ourselves so that we can be something amazing, something that nobody knows we are.

 

Shauntay made me really think about how it doesn't matter if people don't think your work is good, as long as you do, it's good. I like to write a lot about experiences that I've had but I've been afraid to share it because I'm afraid people will look at me differently, but there is that fear which I think I'm ready to overcome. So if I could ever meet Shauntay again, I would truly say thank you, because she opened my eyes and showed me that being afraid is ok it's a part of life but as long as we conquer our fears then things will turn out for us.

- Broadview Student testimonial about working with Shauntay Grant

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A Unesco Habitat: Here and Now

 

Lunenburg

School: Lunenburg Academy, Grade 4 & 5
Artist: Simone Labuschagne
Teacher: Angela Lake, Emily Roy, Mary Chisholm (Principal)
Subjects: Science, Social Studies, Art

 

Lunenburg Academy is a local landmark and an architectural masterpiece.  Built in 1895, this is a heritage building where history and aesthetics influence students on a daily basis and this connection emphasizes preservation through a direct, educational and cultural context.

 

For their ArtsSmarts Nova Scotia project, students examined the cultural, environmental and economic factors that define their community, a UNESCO World Heritage site.  They visited local industrial sites to examine locally made technologies which have affected their economy and environment, studied local artists who have made an environmental statement in their work and interviewed community members to learn more about the history of their town.

 

The project culminated with a series of paintings produced by the students that reflect their new experiences and knowledge.  These paintings will be on display for the summer of 2009 at the Fisheries Museum of the Atlantic in Lunenburg.

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A Literacy Buffet

Yarmouth

School: Meadowfields Community School, Grade 5
Artist: Linda Coakley
Teacher: Connie Penney, Natasha Hiltz, Andrew Hiltz, David Sollows (Principal)
Subjects: Language Arts, Music

 

At Meadowfields Community School in Yarmouth, ArtsSmarts Nova Scotia artist Linda Coakley began working with students in grade 5 in November.  Their project was entitled A Literacy Buffet ~

 

Reading, writing, speaking, listening and viewing are the 5 components or “dishes” of a literacy course or “meal”.  The first two might be considered the “meat and potatoes”, sometimes overly emphasized as they are more easily tested and measured.  This project aimed to expand that traditional literacy “meal” into an appealing “buffet” made more delicious with the added colour and varied textures of effective speaking, active listening and objective viewing!

- Linda Coakley, artist

 

The students generated narratives (a major aspect of grade 5 writing goals) based on topics studied in class, such as earth care, teamwork, and mystery, then created characters and situations through drama, story telling and performance.

 

We all practiced story telling with each other, in small groups and large.  The more we rehearsed, the more risk taking we could see occurring.  We exceeded any dreams I had for this project! It was amazing!

- Connie Penney, teacher

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Self Portraits of New Minas

 

New Minas

School: New Minas Elementary School, Grade 5
Artist: Terry Drahos
Teacher: Heather Ross,
Trudy Willoughby, Marie Boudreau, Rachael Fisher, Susan Murphy, Kate Baldwin, Pam Ells, Gina Gallagher, Peter Sheppard, Janice Wheaton, Ardith Adams, Donna Carr, Carrie Surette, Cynthia Middleton, Rene Saulnier, Laura Simko

Subjects: Language Arts, Social Studies, Visual Arts

 

New Minas is a growing community which has greatly diversified its’ cultural palette in the past 40 years to become one of the most culturally diverse communities in Nova Scotia.  To highlight this unique aspect of the New Minas School community, the school planned a school-wide, self-portrait ArtsSmarts project and exhibition.

             

Each student brought in a photo of a relative taken in the late 1960s. Using their family photos, and their own current school photos, the students created “Pop-Art images”. This was guided by their studies of Andy Warhol and the Pop Art idea of collective memory through writing exercises on the school and their community’s collective memories.

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The Stone Canoe

 

New Ross

School: New Ross Elementary School, Grade 6-9
Artist: Alan Syliboy
Teacher: Julie Chandler, April Hiltz, Aboriginal Student Support Worker

Subjects: Language Arts, Social Studies, Visual Arts

 

Working with renowned Mi’kmaq artist, Alan Syliboy, the students visited the Mi’kmaq petroglyphs at Kejimkujik National Park and learned the legends of the Bear Woman and the Stone Canoe.  Syliboy showed the students how he developed his imagery, drawing upon the stories of his people, and then the students developed their own legend, which was depicted on tiles and created a mural for the school.

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Eels and the Waterways

 

Caledonia

School: North Queens School, Grade 6, 8, 10
Artist: Sarah McClure
Teacher: Sylvia Moore, Yvette Rawding, Tina Dixon (Aboriginal Student Support Worker), Catherine Fourdraine (Resource teacher)

Subjects: Science, Physical Education, Mi’kmaq Studies

Eels and the Waterways (con’t)

 

This project focused on eels, the Mersey River and the expression of the interconnectivity of life through art.  The students raised eels and studied their local habitat.  In Mi’kmaq Studies, they learned about the eel’s cultural significance and traditional use. The project culminated with a mural that combines the eel’s habitat with their role in Mi’kmaq culture and a dance ceremony created and danced by the students when the eels were released into the Mersey River.

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Celebrating Inspiring Writers

 

Pictou

School: Pictou Elementary School, Grade 2-5
Artist: Barbara Conrod
Teacher: Kay Hampton, Myrna LeBlanc, Lynn MacDonald

Subjects: Language Arts, Math

 

For 5 years, Pictou Elementary has been participating in the Hackmatack Program, which celebrates the works of Canadian children’s authors.  The school’s ArtsSmarts project gave the students an opportunity to visually respond to their sessions with the visiting writers.  They combined their images with their own written works, and then produced large scale versions of their images, which they painted on walls throughout the school.

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Mud, Glorious Mud

 

Halifax

School: Joint Project – Central Spryfield & Sambro School, Grade 3-5
Artist: Miro Davis & Wendy Shirran
Teacher:
Tracey Poole, P. Ellis Sanford, Lisa MacDonald, Chris Longaphy, Lisa Simpson

Subjects: Science, Visual Arts

 

The combination of art with science offers the opportunity for students to study scientific issues, envision artistic solutions and share their ideas though art.  Mud, Glorious Mud gave the students at these two schools (one urban, one rural) a chance to explore the role of “mud” in nature and human civilizations.  In addition to learning a lot about mud, the students produced African mud cloths, an art form that originated in central Africa and is now spreading globally (a style of Converse sneaker now features traditional mud cloth patterning), blending traditional and popular culture.

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Stone Bear Tracks and Trails

 

School: West Hants Education Centre, Grade 3-5
Artist: Shalan Joudry
Teacher:
Brian Wong, Angela Pound

Subjects: Mi’kmaq Studies, Visual Arts, Language Arts

 

West Hants Education Centre offers a flexible learning environment that follows an alternative approach to learning. With small class sizes, many hands-on opportunities and experiential activities, it offers hope to students who have not experienced success in a regular classroom environment.  Shalan Joudry is a Mi’kmaq storyteller.  She accompanied students from West Hants on a 3 day retreat to Stone Bear Tracks and Trails.  Students participated in forest walks and Mi’kmaq ceremonies, and then worked with Shalan to communicate their experiences through stories and songs.

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English 12: African Heritage ArtsSmarts Project (supported by the African Canadian Services Division of the Nova Scotia Department of Education)

 

Weymouth

School: St Mary’s Bay Academy, Grade 12

Artist: Shauntay Grant
Teacher:
June Maxwell

Subjects: English 12: African Heritage

 

At Saint Mary’s Bay Academy in St. Bernard near Weymouth, students in the new English 12: African Heritage course worked with ArtsSmarts Nova Scotia Shauntay Grant, an accomplished spoken word performer, journalist, musician and choir director, in conjunction with the course’s Visual and Performing Arts component.  This component of the course, which encompasses the experience, study, and appreciation of language, literature, media, and communication from an African heritage perspective, provides an opportunity to look at some of the pioneers who helped to establish black cultural expression in the arts.

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English 12: African Heritage ArtsSmarts Project (supported by the African Canadian Services Division of the Nova Scotia Department of Education)

 

Sydney

School: Holy Angels High School & Baddeck Academy, Grade 12
Artist: Shauntay Grant
Teacher:
Margaret MacKenzie

Subjects: English 12: African Heritage

 

 

School: Holy Angels High School & Baddeck Academy, Grade 12 (con’t)


Holy Angels is a unique school, in that they are the only public all girls' high school east of Montreal and students choose to attend, coming from all districts of Cape Breton. The school is committed to educating young women to be respectful, responsible, continuous learners. This May, spoken word artist Shauntay Grant spent 3 days at Holy Angels, working with students in the English 12: African Heritage course.  The students created their own spoken word pieces and held a small performance and reception lunch in the school.  Students from Baddeck Academy also came to Holy Angels to work with Shauntay and create spoken word poetry.

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English 12: African Heritage ArtsSmarts Project (supported by the African Canadian Services Division of the Nova Scotia Department of Education)

 

Antigonish

School: Dr JH Gillis High School, Grade 12

Artist: Darlene Strong
Teacher: Jennifer Laudadio

Subjects: English 12: African Heritage

 

Dr. John Hugh Gillis Regional High School is a secondary school attended by approximately 960 students in grades 9 to 12 and was ranked fourth among Nova Scotian schools in 2009.  In February, African Nova Scotian artist Darlene Strong spent 5 days with the students in the English 12: African Heritage course, introducing them to songs and imagery from her own personal history growing up in Amherst and guiding them to create their own paintings, drawing upon their studies in the course.

 

The project culminated with a celebration, exhibition and silent auction of the student’s artwork (proceeds benefitted Dr. JH Gillis’ twin school in Mapaki, Sierra Leone) hosted by the Tall and Small café, a popular downtown restaurant in Antigonish.

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English 12: African Heritage ArtsSmarts Project (supported by the African Canadian Services Division of the Nova Scotia Department of Education)

 

Wolfville

School: Horton High School, Grade 12

Artist: Sylvia Hamilton
Teacher: Natalie MacIsaac

Subjects: English 12: African Heritage

 

English 12: African Heritage ArtsSmarts Project (supported by the African Canadian Services Division of the Nova Scotia Department of Education)

 

This year, filmmaker and writer Sylvia Hamilton guided students in the English 12: African Heritage course at Horton High to make their own short films.  Hamilton screened her films Speak it! From the Heart of Nova Scotia and Little Black School House for the students (with discussion), then introduced them to community research sources (documentary, oral-people, geographical and materials).  The students screened their films as part of an African Feast event held at the school.

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Freedom Quilts (supported in partnership with the Office of African Nova Scotian Affairs)

 

School: Bridgewater Junior Senior High, Grade 11

Artist: Rebecca Fisk
Teacher: Sandra Bergeron

Subjects: African Canadian Studies 11

 

Working with local artist Rebecca Fisk, students in the African Canadian Studies 11 class creating their own ‘freedom quilts’ using historical symbols (used to guide slaves to freedom) and contemporary symbols (that are reflective of the students). Instead of using the traditional quilt making materials, students created  ‘quilts’ using large canvases, textured papers and paint.  The class hosted an evening art exhibition in the school’s library with refreshments and invited school and community members to attend.

 

The kids are having so much fun.  Not only are they learning about African Canadian history, but they’re applying what they’ve learned. So many have told me that they wish they could do this in every class.

- Sandra Bergeron, teacher

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Art and Environment Project (joint project with Evergreen)

 

School: John MacNeil Elementary, Grade 1,3,4,5,6

Artist: Marijke Simons
Teacher: Neil Daigle, Christina Wolfe, Joa
n Montgomerie, Danielle Hibberts, Jannea Burgess
Subjects: Visual Arts, Science

 

ArtsSmarts Nova Scotia artist Marijke Simons worked with the students to design and paint a series of 4’ x 8’ plywood panel murals depicting the wildlife of the Acadian Forest.  The panels are installed along a chain link fence in the school’s elementary playground. This installation is also part of the schools’ long term “green plan” that has been developed and supported by Evergreen, a national non-profit environmental organization with a mandate to bring nature to our cities through naturalization projects.

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Your Own Up Home

 

School: Nelson Whynder Elementary, Grade 4,5

Artist: Shauntay Grant, Susan Tooke
Teacher:

Subjects: Visual Arts, Language Arts

 

This spring, artist Shauntay Grant’s book “Up Home” was published. “Happy memories sparkle in this journey through poet Shauntay Grant’s childhood visits to North Preston, Nova Scotia.” (Nimbus Publishing)

 

In conjunction with the book’s launch, and an AGNS exhibition of the book’s original paintings by Susan Tooke, ArtsSmarts and the AGNS ArtReach program jointly funded a series of workshops at Nelson Whynder Elementary School in North Preston.  Artists Shauntay Grant and Susan Tooke guided the students at Nelson Whynder to create their own up home recollections through poetry and visual art.  During a rousing, well attended, and profoundly touching exhibition opening ceremony, the students from Nelson Whynder Elementary presented their poetry and art that celebrated their community, created during the workshops at their school.  “Up Home” is also the recent winner of best Atlantic Published Book and the Lillian Shepherd Memorial Award for Excellence in illustration and copies of “Up Home” book have also been distributed to schools across the province courtesy of the Nova Scotia Department of Education’s English Program Services.