The SKSS Visual Arts Department believes that the quality of a student’s life is uniquely enriched in essential ways by the development of skills and values learned in the creation of artworks. Visual arts encourage the students to function on multiple intellectual, analytical, thoughtful and expressive levels.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Lessons in Art History

Collaborative Art History Gridding Investigations, Studio Art 11/12, SKSS
The Great Wave, by Hokusai (original colour woodblock, 1829)
The Old Guitarist, by Pablo Picasso, 1904, oil painting
Collaborative Gridding Acrylic Painting, SKSS
SKSS Art Students assemble the finished work!

Recently, I had the pleasure of connecting with a former SKSS art student who is currently studying design.  As an art educator I am always interested in art and design university studies; however, our conversation quickly turned from the content of university assignments to the importance of art history. Evidently, this vibrant alumnus argued a personal passion for why young students need to study and investigate aspects of art history. 


Painting Inspired Sculpture, grade 10-12

Dali, The Melting Clock                                     Edvard Munch                                                       Edvard Munch, Madonna

Art teachers have always looked to the masters for inspiration in the field of art education.  Further, keeping art history exciting and meaningful to current students tends to be the challenge or we risk the classroom quickly turning into an ‘art in the dark’ slideshow lecture.  In this sense, my brief conversation questioning the need for more art history lessons personally inspired and influenced our art making process and artistic investigation this year at South Kam. Specifically, we learned more about symbols in visual language and aspects of gathering clues through images to reveal what was important to people from the past.

In fact, I encourage you to join Ellen, my former student, online sharing her passions for art history through her growingly popular Instagram feed: @arthistorylesson.  Thank so much for the lesson, Ellen!

Personal Images Inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper, 
Drawing & Painting 11/12

Plaster Frescos, Grade 9/10 

Investigating Portraits, Studio Art 11/12

Monday, February 29, 2016

Interpreting Sounds of the Symphony

The Catacombs by Krista Buder, Grade 12
Mussorgsky by Nicole Hanna

Classical music has a remarkable capacity to inspire.  With hopes of making connections through the arts, the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra approached the art department at South Kamloops Secondary with a unique opportunity to visually interpret a famous symphony.  Pictures at an Exhibition, a musical work in 10 movements by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881) was originally inspired by the artwork of his talented friend, Vicktor Hartmann (1834-1873). Investigating the six of the 10 remaining images, SKSS students embarked on a process of listening to the recorded 10 movements of the symphony and researching specific aspects for a personal art image.

 Camyrn Morris, grade 11                                                            Cynthia James, grade 12 
In a final presentation of student learning, SKSS art students framed their work, provided artist statements and installed 22 artworks for display at the Kamloops Symphony's performance on February 13, 2016.  Many of the secondary students were in attendance the night of the symphony performance.  Unexpectedly, alongside the original Hartmann images the student work was projected during the live performance.  For many reasons this experience had a profound and positive impact on the art students who were sitting in the audience listening to the live performance!  

The symphony was fantastic. It was so much more interesting to listen to the music live. The coolest part was probably seeing how the student artists interpreted the sounds of the symphony while the professional musicians were playing. Evidently, it was inspiring to see how the music can give people such different imagery. -Kayla S., grade 12
The collaboration between the symphony music and visual art was a fantastic learning experience. During intermission we shared with audience members who approached art students with questions as well as many compliments.  This process of sharing with the community was a whole new experience itself, but such a great feeling as a developing artist! With this being said, sitting in the audience along with your classmates, listening to the live music while your own art was being projected in the performance was phenomenal! I specifically enjoyed the quiet whispers in the audience complementing the student art images.  –Alma S., grade 11
Free Range Eggs by Lyle Loveday, grade 11

City of Storms by Miranda McGhee
   A special thank-you to Krystal Kehoe of the KSO for arranging this unique opportunity and collaboration with SKSS art students.  We are truly grateful to make meaningful community connections through visual arts.  Also, thanks to Vice Principal Blake Buemann for attending and supporting students at this event!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Just Colour: Inspiring Community through Illustrations

In a world that's increasingly fast-paced and virtual, people are discovering the meditative calm and visual pleasure offered by the new generation of coloring books for adults. Adult colouring books are a great way for people to relax, be creative, and go back to their childhood.  

Coloring is accessible.
It unleashes the creativity we all have in a way that is safe.

For these reasons, SKSS grade 9 & 10 art students decided to create their own sophisticated colouring book.  Illustrating images for a collective purpose became a way to show individual creativity, share artwork outside of the classroom, and an opportunity to invite others to be a part of their art making. 

Students participated in multiple colouring parties hosted at the school that were fantastic community events with teachers, counselors, principals, friends, grandparents and parents in attendance, taking time to connect with art students through the simple act of colouring.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

More than just Clay: Sharing Friendship & Peace

Providing students with an active clay and sculpture program builds many opportunities for learning.  Clay is a unique art material that is highly responsive to touch and very forgiving.  In this sense, allowing for mistakes and playful art making gives students a sense of control, builds personal confidence and opens the mind to a greater sense of self-expression and imagination.

Applying sculpture skills, SKSS students shared a connection with our neighbouring elementary school (Lloyd George) by teaching clay techniques to Mme Girard’s grade 2 class.  We decided on a theme of Friendship & Peace. Just incase we could save the world, one grade two student at a time!  Students worked with clay slabs to cut their hand shape from both high school and elementary students to create a collaborative bowl.  To finish the designs, students added french or english words and symbols that represented our peace and friendship theme. 

Excited young artists chattered and worked hard over two sessions of classes creating common ground through their clay work and glazing.  Perhaps most importantly, SKSS students spoke about the valuable outcome of our collaboration, which was more than our colourful hand-bowls.  In fact, they expressed that teaching and working with young students reminded them of the importance of helping others and the significance of art making at any age. 

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Celebrating First Nations Culture - Kamloops 2016

Cynthia J, Grade 12
Celebrating First Nations Culture, Kamloops 2016 art exhibition celebrates the 10th year South Kamloops Secondary students have conveyed aspects of our community through artistic vision. Created by senior art students, our paintings represent individual interpretations of a personally meaningful connection to First Nations. With this in mind, we acknowledge and give honour to the Secwepemc, the ancestral peoples who have lived on this territory for thousands of years, upon whose traditional land South Kamloops Secondary is located.
SKSS student work will be on exhibition in the Sagebrush Lobby Gallery through to  December 18, 2015. In addition, a selection of these artworks will be printed as a fundraiser in a full-colour 2016 calendar.  Calendars and cards can be purchased from the Kamloops Art Gallery, The Art We Are, and South Kamloops Secondary School. 

Please consider joining us for our opening community reception:

Sagebrush Theatre Lobby Gallery

Thursday, November 5, 2015
6:00 – 7:30pm

Student presentation at 6:30pm
Teagan L, grade 12
Charlayna N, grade 12

Friday, September 18, 2015

Inspired by Collaboration: Imaginary Animals

Animals enrich us in so many ways … the facial expression of an irritated house cat or the sheer beauty of witnessing a local herd of Bighorn sheep crossing the street at Sun Rivers in Kamloops.  Animals are interesting to learn about and observe. In this sense, animals inspire a creative subject for playful art making. 
Upper: Kaitlyn M face painting, LG artwork: Raccola
Lower: Art by LG student, Kate M & Rhona Armes admire LG student practice face painting 

Throughout the month of June 2015, South Kamloops Students participated in a collaborative art project with Lloyd George Elementary School.  Grade three artists from Mme Roy’s classroom came to the South Kam artroom and created an imaginary animal with a high school student.  Through a dialogue of composition, explanation of line, shape, colour, and an openness to creativity, 24 elementary students designed imaginary animals.  This process of creating imaginary creatures provided an ideal subject to take risks, try new materials, and connect both realistic and imagined imagery. 

Designing Collaborative Images: Easton & LG student
Garden Art Show!  SKSS Students set up the framed elementary student work in our school courtyard.
LG students were invited to SKSS back for a second visit to view the in-progress artwork created
 by their high school buddy's.  We also had some face painting! 
SKSS Student Courtney shares a moment with LG students reading artist statements.
The second stage of our creative thinking involved SKSS art students working with the images created by the grade 3 students to develop a personally meaningful image.  Aspects of material and composition presented a diverse opportunity for students to develop the image, maintaining some of the same qualities while pushing the sophistication of each imagined animal. 

Here are some of the outcomes of the SKSS student work:

Artwork by: Kate, grade 9
Artwork by: Camryn, grade 10
Artwork by: Lauren, grade 9
Our collaborative project comes together with a final presentation of student learning at Riverside Park on September 19th, 2015.  Students will share our work and process with the community at the Kamloops Children’s Art Festival, an annual event hosted by the Kamloops Art Council. We are very proud to be a part of this celebration of the arts and share our finished work with with Kamloops!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Adventures in Printmaking

Maia, Grade 12, Printing on found paper,clay (glazed ceramic slab)
Supporting the creative development of student artists begins by addressing multiple aspects of visual exploration and expression. In this sense, SKSS senior art students engaged in a committed process of learning through linocut printmaking.  Investigating both traditional and experimental printmaking techniques provided a variety of avenues for art students to expand skills as critical thinkers and push boundaries as visual artists.  

Most specifically, two events throughout our process of designing and carving linocut reliefs influenced many art students.  Firstly, a class trip to Thompson Rivers University Visual Arts Department 4th year exhibition, UNTITLED 13, opened a rich dialogue and potential for exploration in theme, subject, and materials.  Secondly, SKSS alumnus Sydney McKenna, shared her print portfolio and experience of printmaking processes at NSCAD. 
TRU BFA exhibition - Untitled 13 - May 2015
Moreover, the development of student voice within youthful artists is an exciting process to witness. Allowing students to investigate a variety of visual art, alongside dialogue from multiple university art students, encouraged engaged subsequent dialogue in the classroom. Evidently, the final imagery exemplifies problem solving and artistic experimentation, and opportunity for students to refine their individual voices as student artists.
Addie, Grade 11, pulls a print through the press
Claire, Grade 12, carving lino, mixed media print