Something in the art


From left, Nadia Wood and Cassidy Ring work on felt birds in their art class at Ecole Boreale. The two were part of a group that entered a mural painting competition for Hay River schools.
Angele Cano/NNSL photo

A few more colours have been added to a grocery store palate. That’s because five art class students from Ecole Boreale toiled an entire day with several paintbrushes, sharing one ladder, to cover a portion of glass at NorthMart with a colourful scene.

It was part of a challenge to art students by store manager Rob Wilkins.

Students from local schools have been asked to gather their resources and paint the storefront windows as part of a competition.

Wilkins, who moved to Hay River from Fort Smith in March, said he and his staff were looking to do something different to give back to the community.

We wanted to raise the profile of the cause,” he said. “In these times where budgets are always pinched and stretched to utmost limits, I know sport and art are often cut to keep the basics in the classroom going.”

The theme for each mural is healthy living, combining concepts of eating well and an active lifestyle.

So far, Ecole Boreale has painted the first scene with images from the four seasons: snowshoes, a sunny beach, an artichoke and a pumpkin.

Five female Grade 9 students at Ecole Boreale – Nadia Wood, Cassidy Ring, Alex King, Angela Roy and Kateryna Staszuk – worked with their teacher an entire school day on Nov. 15 to complete their mural.

There are so many artists and so much art in town, we just need more places to display,” said art teacher Natacha Kruger-Rewega. “We especially need to see it more from the younger artists.”

Most of the students agreed they would like more opportunities like this.

There’s not always a lot of stuff to do in the community that’s related to art,” said Wood. “It’s more just sports.”

There are a lot of artistic (youth) in town,” added Ring. “They’re just hidden. This is nice because it gets people looking and thinking about art.”

Once all the windows have been painted, customers will get the chance to cast a vote for their favourite. Although each vote costs, people can vote as many times as they like. Each school will receive the money from their share of votes and, on top of that, the most popular scene will win $100. All combined proceeds will be put towards the schools’ art programs.

Voting will be open from Dec. 8 to Jan. 31, with the winning results revealed on Feb. 1. 

We often get approached to help out causes and we always try to accommodate,” said Wilkins. “This is different. We’re not making any profit off this, but we get pretty windows for a couple of months. I’d really like to see this become an annual contest.”

— Angele Cano