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May 12, 2009
For immediate release

Student Art Now on Exhibit at Confederation Centre and Eptek

Communities, Cultural Affairs and Labour

Two exciting new art exhibits are featuring the work of over 600 Island students who participated in extraordinary arts-based learning opportunities at school this year.

The first ArtsSmarts exhibit opened this week at the Confederation Centre of the Arts. It runs from May 1 to 17. A second exhibit will be open at Eptek Centre from May 19 to June 3, 2009.

ArtsSmarts is a national program that promotes the arts in education. Students learn core subjects through collaborative projects that are led by their teachers and well-known Island artists.

Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Gerard Greenan encourages the public to visit the exhibits. “People are sure to enjoy this diverse collection of young people’s art. The projects on display at Confederation Centre range from an interactive sculpture made from wooden toy blocks, to wall murals which depict the history of Island communities, to paintings and songs inspired by the beauty of nature and the environment,” he said.

The Eptek exhibit will feature artwork by students from Western and French language schools. The students created a new theme song for École-sur-mer, acrylic paintings of Canada’s native animals, masks that express African culture, and wall frescoes that depict the Acadian community within the world’s francophonie.

Honourable Carolyn Bertram, Minister of Communities, Culture and Labour commended the students, teachers and artists on their success. “Together, they have created some fantastic work that will remain in our schools and inspire us for years to come,” she said. “We are proud to support the ArtsSmarts program which encourages innovation in our classrooms and provides young people with more of the great opportunities to participate in the arts that Prince Edward Island is so well known for.”

For more information on ArtsSmarts visit


ArtsSmarts Projects

Celebrating Cultural Diversity Through Mask Making ~ St. Louis Elementary and Bloomfield Elementary

As part of the Grade 1 to 6 social studies curriculum, 284 students learned about African culture through mask making. With the assistance of artist Christina Campbell, they explored the making of masks and the role of masks in the expression of African culture. This project provided students with the opportunity to learn about a different culture while expressing their creativity.

Chante-moi ta chanson ~ École Évangéline

Thirty one students in Grade 8 helped to create a song with artists Jeannita Bernard, Lucie Bellemare, Stéphane Bouchard and Paul Gallant. By reviewing Acadian song repertoire and Prince Edward Island’s Francophone singer/songwriters, students were able to broaden their musical knowledge and discover the artistic process involved in creating a song through words and music. This project linked with several curriculum outcomes including French, reading and social studies.

L’Acadie au coeur de la francophonie ~ École Évangéline

This project was aimed at strengthening the ties between the Acadian and Francophone culture on the Island and the international French-speaking community. Grade 5 students compared cultural elements such as music, dress, art, food and way of life. With the help of artist Lynne Gaudet, they created three wall frescoes representing Acadia within the French-speaking community. The project helped to meet outcomes of the French and social studies curriculum.

Canadian Critters in Colours ~ Elm Street Elementary

Canada is recognized for its plants and wildlife, its wide-open spaces and its artistically inspiring landscapes. Through this project which was led by artist Maurice Bernard, Grades 4 and 6 students painted a picture of an animal native to Canada. This allowed them to discover basic drawing techniques and painting with acrylics. The project was linked to learning outcomes identified in the language arts, math and science curriculum.

Composition d’une chanson thème pour l’École-sur-Mer ~ École-sur-Mer

World renowned singer/songwriter Angèle Arsenault, helped students in Grades 5 and 6 to write a theme song for their school. The students learned about the search for ideas, poetic writing, melodic composition, and musical arrangement. They explored the planning, execution and professional production of a musical recording. The project met curriculum outcomes for French, music and social studies.

Earth Songs ~ Central Queens Elementary

This project encouraged Grades 1 to 6 students to see the beauty of the environment through visual art and music. Working with artists Maurice Bernard and Catherine MacLellan, the students wrote a song inspired by a painting, and then created a painting inspired by a song. The project linked with visual arts, language arts, math, music, science and social studies outcomes.

Building Blocks of Art ~ Parkdale Elementary

Through this project, Grade 1 students learned techniques for creating a sculpture from recycled objects. They painted and decorated old wooden blocks and explored ways to put the blocks together in an interactive sculpture which other students can continue to contribute to. The artist was Terry Stevenson. The project was designed to meet math and science curriculum outcomes.

Our Place in Time ~ Grand Tracadie School

Grades 1 to 6 students highlighted the importance of fishing, agriculture, and the people of Grand Tracadie since the 1800s by creating three exterior murals with artist Everett Johnson. They visited the Provincial Archives and the Artifactory, and interviewed seniors in the community. The project was linked to outcomes in visual arts, math, science, social studies and technology.

Media Contact: Connie McNeill
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