Out of adversity comes heightened creativity and this year’s graduating class in Selkirk College’s Fine Woodworking program are proof of remarkable outcomes in the midst of challenging times.
In the sawdust strewn shop at Nelson’s Silver King campus, the 19 learners in this year’s cohort are putting final touches on nine months of garnering knowledge, developing skills and determining outcomes. The results will be on full display in a pandemic-altered Fine Woodworking Year End Digital Show that opens online May 27.
“It has truly been a spectacular year,” says Fine Woodworking program instructor David Ringheim. “Going into this year with all the uncertainty of COVID-19 and how that would affect the students was a major concern. But to be honest, we have been able to make changes where needed and pull off a successful nine months with no disruptions. A large part of this is due to the calibre of students that chose to join us this year. Those choosing to enter into a post-secondary learning environment in a pandemic year shows how dedicated they are to learning the craft of woodworking.”
One of Selkirk College’s most celebrated programs, students have hosted the year-end show at a variety of locations in Nelson over the last 29 years. The spring highlight event showcases exacting toil and beautiful results in an array of desks, chairs, tables, shelves, bowls, spoons, boxes and cabinets.
For the second straight year, a global health crisis has quashed the ability for students to gather the public in-person. With public presentation a key part of the career-focused training that enables students to earn a living from their trade, Ringheim and instructional assistant Scott Stevens — both alumni of the program — have helped students move the show online. With a launch set for May 27, a special website will feature photos of final projects, student bios, videos and program information for those who appreciate the elegance of wood to savor.
“We’ve been finding space to explore new avenues for students to showcase their work and having a dedicated website is the next best thing to display the hard work students have been doing throughout the year,” says Ringheim. “It will never replace the in-person show, but it’s a great way for our students to reach a wider audience, and for their friends and family to participate from the comfort of their own homes.”
The website will go live on May 27 and can be found at https://selkirk.ca/finewoodworking-exhibition.
You can learn more about the Selkirk College Fine Woodworking Program at: https://selkirk.ca/program/fine-woodworking.