Saturday, April 24, 2010

Art students' banner year

Kars class project earns national recognition
Two middle-school students from Kars will have their winning painting displayed on a banner in Major's Hill Park this summer for thousands to see.
The Raise Your Voices National Banner Contest, organized by the National Capital Commission in partnership with Classroom Connections, encouraged students to submit art that represents topics of importance to Canadian youth, such as the environment, sports, peace, and multiculturalism.
"We asked young Canadians to express their views, and they responded overwhelmingly from coast to coast," Marie Lemay, the NCC's chief executive officer, said in a press release.
From 800 submissions, "First Nation Peace Tree," created by Grade 7 student Madeline Legg and Grade 8 student Braeden Praill from Rideau Valley Middle School was one of seven chosen to be made into a banner.
The students painted a sun to symbolize the beauty of Canada, the totem pole for our history, the tree to represent the environment, and a Canadian flag.
A panel of judges that included representatives from the National Gallery of Canada, the University of Ottawa arts administration program and the NCC industrial design department said they found the design very original.
Lynda Wynn, the student's art teacher, incorporated the contest into her teaching in the classroom. She put students into groups and let them work on the project during their 45-minute art period.
"I just thought it sounded kind of neat," said Wynn. "I showed them the information on the website. And then, they brainstormed ideas, did sketches, made a detailed rough draft, and then the final product."
The two winners, who both show a strong interest in the arts, were ecstatic when their teacher told them they had won.
"I was really happy," said Legg, who is taking visual art classes at the Ottawa School of Art. "We knew it was possible, but it was really unlikely."
Wynn was delighted, but not at all surprised that her students won.
"I knew someone had to win the contest and theirs was so beautiful," said Wynn.
"We wanted to represent a peaceful environment," said Praill, who gained an interest in sketching from his mother, an interior decorator. "The theme is important to everyone and I hope people get something from it."
The NCC will produce the banners and a set will be sent to the winning students and their school.
The banners will be displayed on the east end of Major's Hill Park from May until October.

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