Through the Eyes of a Child

April 2, 2011 to May 1, 2011

It’s lively, colourful, creative, and just plain fun! It’s the work of nearly 800 young people ranging from 5 to 17 years who have taken fall and winter art classes at the WAG. Unencumbered by artistic conventions, these budding artists just go for it, expressing the wonder and delight of their world.

These students come to us to from all areas of the city and beyond, to hone their artistic skills and have their creative spirits nurtured. Some come to public programs, others to programs sponsored by local school divisions. Some are awarded scholarships funded by the Volunteer Associates to the Winnipeg Art Gallery, and other generous donors, who want to ensure that children interested in art have the opportunity to study at the Gallery.

The ethnic composition of our province has transformed dramatically over the past decade with the arrival of many new families from all over the world. Who “we” are continues to shift and change as time passes, and Studio Programs’ students reflect a broad range of cultural backgrounds and traditions. A quick look at the names of students whose work appears in Through the Eyes of a Child emphasizes this point.

The lively and imaginative artwork within this exhibition demonstrates that although artistry is often a reflection of cultural influences, the joy of creativity transcends geo-political borders. The creative impulse is one of the great human common denominators that unite people from all places.

At the WAG, we do our best to introduce students to the visual language. Through universal elements and principles such as colour, form, light and design, students develop their own ideas, and learn to fluently communicate what it means to be human, to move in this world and be shaped by the forces that exist in a particular time and place.

This exhibition affords us the opportunity to witness the first fruits in the growth of hundreds of young, fertile minds and hearts that have roots in many different places. We celebrate the efforts of these artists; rejoice in their unique perspectives and appreciate the shared elements of the visual language that bind us together.

Exhibition supported by Great-West Life, Winnipeg School Division, and the Volunteer Associates to the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

Abby Harris, age 8., Feathers in the Moonlight.

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