Last year’s Young Visions exhibit at the Kootenay Gallery

Young Visions: Canada comes of age

From April 23 to May 30, the Kootenay Gallery of Art will showcase Young Visions 2015, featuring the artwork of students in Grades 8 to 12.

  • Thu Apr 23rd, 2015 9:00am
  • Life

From April 23 to May 30, the Kootenay Gallery of Art will showcase Young Visions 2015, featuring the artwork of students in Grades 8 to 12 and their teachers from J.L. Crowe Secondary School, Stanley Humphries and the Kootenay Columbia Learning Centre. The gallery will be filled with their sculptures, paintings, drawings, ceramics and photographs.

At the risk of sounding like a doddery old lady, how I wish I would have had that opportunity when I was young! Growing up in small town Saskatchewan, all I knew about artwork was through jigsaw puzzles, paint-by-number, and velvet paintings. Even then, I did not make the connection between the paintings and the people who had painted them.

Times changed, and so did I. While taking a Canadian Literature course at UBC in 1978, I was appalled to hear the professor announce that Canada does not have its own culture. I was an older student, feminist, nationalist, and impertinent. Amidst the class of 200 young students, who were carefully noting every word the professor uttered, I waved my arm and leapt to my feet.

“Are you saying that making quilts is not an art form? My father created home-grown music. Was that not culture? What about Acadian music? What about artists like Emily Carr? The Group of Seven?”

Oh, I was angry.

The professor, as it turned out, came from the United States, and gracefully ate crow. She actually held me back after class and apologized. I like to think that my high mark in the final essay was payback for my audacity, but no doubt she had forgotten all about the episode by then.

Times have changed from the time I was a university student as well. Now young students can freely and enthusiastically create their own art and take their places in the exhibition of our great Canadian culture.

I saw the Young Visions exhibit a few years ago, and was impressed by the quality of work and fresh vision offered by the younger generation. It was interesting to observe that the students from each school displayed a distinct characteristic, either because of the difference in culture or instruction. Some works were worthy of recognition in the larger world, and one would hope that those artists chose to pursue their talents beyond high school.

The opening reception will be held tonight at 7 p.m. with many of the artists in attendance. The exhibition will be showing until May 30 at the Kootenay Gallery, located across from the Castlegar Airport, adjacent to the Doukhobor Discovery Centre. The gallery is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 to 5 p.m. For more information contact the gallery at 250-365-3337 or visit kootenaygallery.com.