Canada’s Next Generation of Young Artists
On Sunday, April 23rd, 32 students from OMS Montessori had the unique opportunity to experience “life as an artist.” With the talented guidance of Gordon Harrison, a renowned Canadian Landscape artist, these students were given the opportunity to participate in their very own art exhibit entitled, “From Sea to Sea.”
“(This project) was created in order to give back to the community, to inspire young people to discover the colours of Canada and to make time in their busy life ahead of them for art as art really changes how you look at life. These little young artists were ready for the task and we’re so looking forward to it; I could tell in their facial expression as they saw the colours their eyes lit up and on they went with their brushes and with their paintings.” said Gordon Harrison, as he reflected on this experience.
The journey for these students was initiated months ago, through an application process set-up to inspire artists who have a curiosity or interest in art. Once 32 students were selected, we organized a personal visit to OMS Montessori by Gordon Harrison. He displayed over 50 pieces of his artwork for students to choose from to use as inspiration for their own art piece. The second experience was to join Gordon Harrison in his studio, at the gallery, and view works at the National Art Gallery in Ottawa. The day concluded with their paintings complete and ready to be framed. Lunch was provided by Gordon Harrison and our students were in awe and wonder of his talent, home of artwork, and passion for his craft.
The art auction took place on Sunday, April 23rd, 2017. Students, staff and parents of the OMS Montessori community gathered to support the students’ work at Gordon Harrison’s gallery on Sussex Drive.
“One expression we often use is head, heart and hands; for the students are never just given something to do that involves just the head or abstract thoughts but involved the hands! Students embraced the Colourist aspect of Gordon’s work and applied their oils, engaging themselves in focused attention to detail to create the lovely canvases that were on display in “From Sea to Sea” said Beth, OMS Montessori’s Art teacher who helped organize and make this event the success that it was.
The exhibit, held in the form of an auction, raised a total of $1,000 for OMS Montessori art initiatives. While most of the paintings were sold to the parents of the students, some paintings received the attention of outside buyers from as far as Japan and the West Coast of Canada and created a fun bidding competition within the auction audience.
“Art inspires children to share their perspectives in a unique and often more comfortable manner. The incredible depth of our students’ paintings, and observing how Gordon’s teaching impacted the experience, led to a fully engaged art inspiration journey for all.” said Greg Dixon, Director of OMS Montessori.
Calliope, an OMS Montessori student, accepted the role of auctioneer and, with her energy and youthful persistence, helped to increase each bid to the maximum amount.
“I feel like I am a better artists now. Gordon Harrison helped me realize that I shouldn’t hesitate; I can be creative and use any colours I want.” said Anna Lois LeDrew Fuller, OMS Montessori student and young artist.
Gordon Harrison’s Art Inspiration Project aims to inspire Canadian youth to pursue their artistic ability and discover the beauty of Canada’s natural landscape. OMS Montessori is greatly appreciative of the multitude of memories that Gordon created for our students that will last a lifetime.
Gordon Harrison Canadian Landscape Gallery in Ottawa
495 Sussex Drive, Ottawa, Ontario K1H 6Z5