Artwork by dozens of Chilliwack teenagers will fill the walls and display cases of the Chilliwack Cultural Centre gallery for the school district’s annual high school art show starting next week.
ART33, a group exhibition showcasing the works of students from Chilliwack, Sardis and G.W. Graham secondaries, runs April 17 to May 25 at the O’Connor Group Art Gallery. Pieces include paintings, drawings, sculptures, paper mâché and photography.
One unique piece, created by Grade 12 Sardis student Logan Walton, looks like it came straight out of a sci-fi movie. She made a monster mask out of a material she’d never used before — latex.
“I like how it turned out for my first try,” she says.
The mask is deep forest green in colour with two huge blueish-white eyes jutting out from the top. It’s a self-assigned project as part of her Independent Directed Study (IDS), and she’s been working on it in her spare time at school, and at home. This is the third year that Logan will be part of ART33.
“Logan is totally self motivated,” says teacher Pierre Tremblay. “You don’t need to tell her to get started. That’s why she was able to do an IDS, because she’s the type of kid that is doing it because she wants to and has a real interest.”
Janae Rajarethnam, a Grade 12 Chilliwack secondary student, is also doing an IDS at her school. She, too, is participating in ART33 for the third time.
|Janae Rajarethnam and her self portrait from last year’s ART33. This year’s painting for the high school exhibition is currently on display at Chilliwack General Hospital. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)|
Her painting — a glitter-accented portrait inspired by artist Sara Shakeel — is currently on display at Chilliwack General Hospital.
Janae loves being involved in art and sharing her work with others. She’s painted a mural for a teacher’s classroom to help blackout his windows, plus she’s in the process of painting a canoe for CSS’s First Nations wing, and she’s the student council’s fine arts representative.
“I really like putting art out in the community. I’m trying to make a name for myself… I don’t know if it’s working or not, but it’s fun!”
CSS art teacher, Kaima Bazar, says Janae is a “passionate, motivated, detail-orientated student. She very much cares about doing her best. She puts the time in to do her best, and has been very excited about the journey that her art is [taking].”
Rose Khadka, an 18-year-old Grade 12 G.W.Graham student has only been involved in art for about two or three years but is willing to experiment with any media, says teacher Rebecca Sagert.
|Rose Khadka made this ceramic water jug featuring the history of the universe around it. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)|
This will be her second time in ART33 and her focus this year is on ceramics. She made a water jug that she’ll be submitting to the show.
“I loved the idea of something that’s been used across time to carry something as vital as a substance as water,” she says.
It’s a large, white jug with a black band around it featuring various images: beginning with an ouroboros (symbol of a snake eating its own tail), and including the Big Bang, dinosaurs, humanity, religious symbolism, science, modern-day inventions, and ending with an explosion.
“Rose is willing to go for it with her art and not afraid to put her thoughts and ideas into her art,” says Sagert. “Her skill level has developed really quickly. She’s really embraced it — she’s putting in the effort but also the thought behind it.”
Both Rose and Janae have been accepted to Emily Carr.
“I’m really hesitant to call myself an artist,” says Rose. “I don’t feel like I’ve dealt with the objective standard of being able to call myself that… it’s a very heavy term. I feel like I have to earn it, I’m not there yet.”
New to ART33 is Grade 11 Sardis student Anne Biela. She’s been taking pictures for seven years, but just recently started taking photography more seriously this school year when she bought her own DSLR in November.
|This is the first year photographer Anne Biela will be taking part in ART33. Her photo collage titled ‘True to Myself’ is seen below. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)|
“I like shooting manual. It’s the way to go,” she says. “It feels like the photo is yours, it’s more personal.”
“I always thought photography would be a thing for me to do as a hobby, but now it’s got me thinking that maybe I can go with it as a career.”
Tremblay, her teacher, says she’s a “top student” and is “always open to critiques and suggestions. She knows a lot, but she wants to know more.”
Catch their work, along with several other talented teen artists at ART33. The show runs April 17 to May 25 at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre. Opening reception is Thursday, April 18 from 6 to 8 p.m.
Gallery hours are Wednesday to Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free.