June 14th’s choreographed walk marked the final event of A New Path to the Waterfall.
Over the course of the year, the students in MaryAnn Persoon’s grade 6/7 class worked with six different artists, additional guest artists and the Contemporary Art Gallery at large.
The presence and practices of each of the artists, T’uy’t’tanat Cease Wyss, Elisa Ferrari, Carmen Papalia, Helen Reed and Hannah Jickling, and finally Justine A. Chambers excited the class with each project and interpretation of the intersection of art and the everyday. Themes addressing and questioning power structures, visibility, knowledge sharing and alternative sensorial methods of learning were manifested through herbariums, sound walks, visibility campaigns, soda making and choreography. These projects offered the students new pathways to learning and understanding art within the wider world.
At a pivotal moment, with some students transitioning from elementary school to high school, individual reflection on the project revealed desires to interact with their worlds’ in a new way. One student, Lola expressed that she “did something that [she] wouldn’t normally do”. Diana expressed that she felt included in each project and Ms. Persoon expressed that by the end of the project, especially with Justine’s approach to movement based practices, there was “an acceptance and an ability to take risks” from everyone as a group. As observed by the attendance, conversation and participation at each end presentation, it seemed that the adults, parents, staff, friends and family had learnt not only from the participating artists, but from the creativity and enthusiasm of the grade 6/7 class as well.
A very big thank you to students Phoenix, Benjamin, Legend, Nala, Chloe, Marissa, Valentina, Pierre, Sean, Vanaya, Joseph, Henry, Arius, Mia, Antonio, Diana, Aisha, Elijah, Noella, Sailor, Jamal, Sylvia, Shanika, Lola, Sophie, Nyaruach and Brooklyn for their willingness to try new things, take creative risks and challenge themselves throughout the project!