This spring, I had the amazing opportunity to work on another VIBE Arts Arts For Social Justice project, this time with Westview Centennial, and hip hop dancer/choreographer, Jennalee Desjardins. For this project, the students wanted to challenge the discrimination they feel when they tell people where they’re from. All of the material in the video was created by the students using their smart phones! Jennalee and I helped put it together. Have a look!
If you’re familiar with my blog, you’ll know that one of the organizations I frequently work with is Vibe Arts. Each year, they hold a spectacular annual showcase of artwork created by youth and just looking at the schedule, this year looks like it’s going to be even bigger than the last!
I’m thrilled to announce that one of the projects I’ve facilitated is going to be on display there. The project wrapped up just last week and I’ll be blogging about it soon, but if you’re in Toronto this week, come check it out in person!!
This past winter, I had the honour of working with the students of Mr. Beline’s Grade 12 Drama class at Central Etobicoke High School with the amazing director, choreographer, and performer Allison Beula, VibeArts, and the CCLET.
As these ASJ projects are student designed and directed, when we start, we never know how the ideas will manifest which is always very exciting! Throughout our discussions in this session, the students identified many injustices in the world around them and chose to address them collectively in a choreographed group protest. In their performance, they focused not only on what isn’t fair in the world, but also expressed their ideas about how we can change things for the better. Their incredibly empathetic perspective and boundless positivity through the entire process was truly heartwarming and inspiring. Please do check out their work in the video posted above.
It is always so rewarding to see an artwork develop and live on beyond the program. Here is a photo of the students performing their piece at a school assembly! Bravo everyone!
I’ve just started another Arts for Social Justice project for the spring term and I can’t wait to see what the students come up with this time! As always, I’ll post images/videos of the new work when I can. Until then, be well everyone.
After a long, long winter here in Toronto, spring is finally here and it’s field trip season once again! Whenever I can, I take my Avenue Road Arts School students on field trips across Toronto. We’ve gone all over the city from Centre Island, to the Toronto Zoo, Guildwood Park, and we once had a photo tour of Spadina House Museum where we were allowed to use our tripods (very exciting!). While my primary concern on these trips is always to help my students with their photos, there are moments when I get to shoot too! To give you an idea of some of the places we’ve gone, here are some of the photos I’ve taken. You can view the rest of the album here.
Ward’s Island Beach
Distillery Christmas Market
The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
Spadina House Museum and Gardens
High Park for the Sakura Blossom
This past week, I spotted small versions of the Vibe Arts paintings done for the Pan Am/Parapan Am Welcome 41 project at Terminal 1 of Toronto’s Pearson Airport! What a welcome sight, and a perfect exhibition location. Well done, everyone!
I’m very excited to be co-leading another Arts For Social Justice program for Vibe Arts and the CCLET, this time with Allison Beula in Mr. Beline‘s drama class at Central Etobicoke School. I can’t wait to see what these students come up with!
A photo from this morning’s drawing warm up. We listened to the music of Michael Bates and others with charcoal and paper in hand. It’s a great exercise to loosen up any apprehensive artists.
This term, I’m thrilled to be teaching Digital Photography to a group of teens at the Avenue Road Arts School here in Toronto. We’re only half way through the term and already their work is astounding! Check it out!*
Spring registration has started at the school and one of my classes is already full with a waiting list! If you’re interested for yourself or someone in your family, you can enrol by clicking here for teen, and here for adult photo classes (beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels available).
* I had initially thought I’d wait until the end of the term to share their work, but it’s only been a couple of weeks and I’m way to excited to wait.