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Bowen H₂O: Youths Explore Sense of Belonging and Local Ecology Through Art

Annual youth art show Primary Colours is back at the Hearth Gallery

Primary Colours: Art from the Kids on the Rock is now on at the Hearth Gallery until April 1. The annual youth art exhibit is this year called Bowen H₂O, a collection of BICS students’ artworks that is informed and inspired by local ecology.

Put together by the Bowen Island Community School, the Community School Association and the Hearth, this art show aims to celebrate youthful creativity and our community.

This new exhibit showcases artworks that explore one’s sense of belonging and connection to place, self, and others, as well as youth’s reflections on local ecology through art.

A large, bright, inclusive, and fun exhibit that gathers multi-media artworks from talented and diverse classes, including paintings, dioramas, digital work, clay and more.

This year, a large 8’x16’ whale mural made of 300 tiles was created by BICS students under the guidance and initiative of Sarah Haxby, Community School Coordinator, and Susan Hillmann, local artist and Professor Emeritus at Emily Carr University of Art & Design.

For this Sense of Belonging project, every BICS student painted one tile of the mural. Its design was inspired by the school’s yew yews - orca in Squamish - logo, which was designed by Xwalacktun, Rick Harry. Through this project, students learned about the history of abstract painting, and about patterns and mark-making with paint as a way to express joyful memories.

When all the individual canvas pieces are put together, the big picture is revealed. Every individual painting has its own stories and inspiration; though, together, it shows how we all belong together. The individual images connect to form one big mural to illustrate how every student as an individual is a part of the big picture: the community that is within the school, and our island community!

“You are an individual with your own stories. You are part of a class, that class is part of the school, and the school is part of a community. You are one part of a big picture. A community is like a quilt, each piece connected by kindness, caring, respect and curiosity,” says Sarah Haxby.

Additionally, students have been invited to create art about their experience, knowledge, and connection to local ecology, and most specifically, to Bowen Island’s streams of water. Ocean, lakes, waterways, rain, snow, all things H₂O!

Local books, maps, and images have been an important part of the learning process and inspiration for this youth art show, some of them will be displayed in the gallery among the art as well.

For this colourful and inspiring show, the Community School Association will host a Fool’s Closing pARTy on April 1 at the Hearth from 11 am to 1 pm: coffee, donuts, and hot chocolate. Bring your jokes!

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