Authored by: Daniel Buckland on July 21, 2011
During this school year, I volunteered at the Winnipeg Art Gallery as part of the Student Art Board (SAB). We started the year with an introduction to the SAB and the Gallery. My supervisor, Aline Frechette, gave us an overview in October of what we would be doing for the rest of the year. She also gave us a Gallery tour. We started a project to paint a picture that was inspired by a painting already displayed in the permanent gallery. I chose a painting by Bertram Brooker, a Canadian painter, that was inspired by music. In December, we hosted a formal gathering at the WAG called “Botero or Bust”. I got to display my Brooker- inspired painting at this event. Fernando Botero paints fat people mainly in portraits. The paintings depict his difficult childhood and youth in Columbia.
The next meeting was held at Wanda Koop’s studio. She is a well-known Winnipeg painter and we went on the bus to visit her during a blizzard. She works in an old warehouse almost under the Disraeli Freeway. While at her studio, we looked at her work and learned about how she does her paintings. I was very impressed with the number of paints and paintings she has in her studio.
The next event I volunteered at was the WAG Christmas party. I helped set up the crafts and then helped children make origami Christmas ornaments for the WAG Christmas tree. I also helped with clean-up. In early January the SAB began planning several events that would be held to draw teenagers into the WAG. I also volunteered for a Family Sunday in January. The featured artist was Botero so there were dancing and crafts that focused on Columbia. I helped young children make Botero-inspired crafts, and was responsible for set up and take-down of the craft centre.
During January and February we gathered supplies and planned our Teen Art parties to be held in March—drawing party one week and a painting party another week. We walked over to the Art Junction where we could get free art supplies for our parties. The parties were well-attended. I set up for the parties and handed out supplies to the students who were drawing or painting. I also did clean-up afterwards. During March I also attended a High School WAG Volunteer orientation.
In April, we made thank-you cards for patrons who donated money for the events that SAB was able to plan during the year. I also did an Art Critique during April. The SAB brought their portfolios of art on different days and the rest of the group critiqued their art. I found it interesting seeing other students’ art and I learned a lot from them.
I volunteered for another Family Sunday event on May 1, helping set up and take down the craft centre and helping young children experience and appreciate the art at the Winnipeg Art Gallery. In mid-May we invited family and friends to an art-inspired potluck for our last meeting. I am sorry to say goodbye to an awesome year of learning, enjoying, and working with art and people who love art in Winnipeg.
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