Ottawa Art Gallery Showcases Students’ Reflections

Ottawa Art Gallery Showcases Students’ Reflections
Posted on 06/28/2022
Ottawa Art Gallery Showcases Students’ Reflections

The Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) teamed up with DeSerres and two OCDSB schools to put on a program of workshops for students, with a focus on art, climate change, and social justice, which culminated in an exhibition displayed at the OAG this month.

During the fall semester, grade 10 art students from Sir Robert Borden High School and Specialist High Skills Majors students from Gloucester High School took part in community artist-led workshops facilitated by artist Emily Rose Michaud. 

During the workshops, students chose a word or phrase that lifts them up and gives them strength. These words became the source of inspiration for their own design on a wooden hexagon. Installed as a beehive mural, this collaborative work is a reminder of the sweetness of sticking together and the impact of one drop within the collective.

The mural, entitled Reflections H2O, was on display for three weeks in the OAG’s Sky Lounge. For many participants, this was their first experience seeing their work through from concept to realization with the goal to share art with the community. The students enjoyed finding words to inspire their artworks and getting feedback from the artist. In addition to honing their art skills, they learned about climate change and other social issues, gained experience in collaborating with peers from another school, and reflected on their hopes for the future. Here’s what Sir Robert Borden and Gloucester staff had to say about the experience:


This was a great opportunity to work with the community and with a local artist to showcase students’ artwork. It has been a challenge to collaborate the way we did pre-COVID, so this was definitely a highlight for many students. Students felt very excited about having the opportunity to have their art displayed at the OAG. - Mrs. Cain, Teacher, Sir Robert Borden High School

This project provided students with an invaluable experience of having their art works displayed in a gallery. Students were challenged to explore individual concepts while working collaboratively, an opportunity many have not experienced. - Alanna Marcellus, Teacher, Gloucester High School


Madeleine Bardou-Clark, Learning & Engagement Coordinator at the OAG, reflected on the collaboration: "Working with the OCDSB, teachers, students, and Emily on this project was a wonderful community building experience. The mural showcases the creativity of these students and the new skills they learned along the way."
This project isn’t the first time that OCDSB students have participated in an exhibition at the OAG. Last year, work by students at Viscount Alexander Public School was featured in an exhibit entitled “The Future Awaits,” in partnership with MASC.
Here’s a look at the students’ process and the complete Reflections H2O artwork. Well done to all the students involved!

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