As this country gets ready to celebrate 150 years since confederation, Vernon school district students have been grappling with what it means to be Canadian, through art.
The result is the exhibition, Mapping Canadian Identity, currently on display at Gallery Vertigo in downtown Vernon.
The show’s theme is not only a tribute to Canada’s 150, it is a starting off point for the celebrations that are following that same thread for Vernon Winter Carnival, said Vernon Secondary School art teacher Elizabeth Allardice.
“The SD #22 art teachers challenged their students to reflect and respond to what it means to be Canadian, specifically, for them as young students,” said Allardice. “We were all thrilled with the multiplicity and diversity in their visual responses and encourage you to get out and view this incredibly strong and relevant exhibition.”
Artwork on display runs the gamut from screen prints, paintings, mixed media, and three-dimensional pieces, with various interpretations of the theme.
Grade 11 VSS student Elaina Young’s mixed media piece, Rocky Mountain Juniper, features a multi-layered effect of a Canadian symbol.
“By painting on top of maple leaves, there is a somewhat obvious symbolism as it can be considered a trademark of Canada,” she said. “The colours chosen can represent our diversity, personality, as well as the trials and triumphs Canada has faced. The branch on top is a Rocky Mountain Juniper, native to Canada. It depicts the way we remain connected to our past but have grown and blossomed into the strong and free nation we are today.”
Another Canadian symbol is displayed on the hanging mobile sculpture, Make it Rain, by Grade 12 VSS student Terren Meloro.
“I chose to print the Canadian loonie on pieces of wood in the shape of a coin, to represent Canadian identity in the form of money,” she said.
Mapping Canadian Identity is now available to view at Gallery Vertigo, located upstairs at #1-3001-31st St., until Jan. 28. Gallery hours are noon to 4 p.m., Tuesday to Saturday.