OMS Montessori students’ oil paintings sell at The Gordon Harrison Canadian Landscape Gallery

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“Always find time in your life for art,” renowned artist Gordon Harrison encouraged OMS Montessori students at an exhibit in February hosted at his boutique gallery, The Gordon Harrison Canadian Landscape Gallery.

Photo 3Students had a unique interest in this exhibit on Sussex Drive; “The Creative Canadian Souls” exhibit featured 21 oil paintings created by Elementary students at OMS Montessori.

The paintings, which were created during the “Gordon Harrison’s Art Inspiration Project” were auctioned off and sold for a maximum of $100. Although families had the first right of refusal, many paintings received bids from the public, including clients from out west and the United States.

Soren McMillan, a Grade 6 student at OMS Montessori, sold his painting to a client in Regina, Saskatchewan. He said it was hard to sell his painting because most of his family wanted to keep it, but in the end, he wanted someone unrelated to him to enjoy it.

“The best part is knowing someone out there appreciates my art work,” said Soren, who described the whole experience as “excellent.”

For many of the participating students, it was their first time working with oil paints. “It’s like using coloured butter,” joked Grade 6 student, Samantha Taubman.

Gordon Harrison shakes a student's hand

Gordon Harrison presents a student with her keepsake.

All students left the exhibit with a keepsake: a personalized card displaying the 21 paintings from “The Creative Canadian Souls” exhibit. However, they left with a lot more than that: They left inspired to live a life with art whether it be as a career, a hobby, or as an admirer.

Gordon Harrison created the “Gordon Harrison Art Inspiration Project” with his partner, Gallerist, Phil Émond in 2009 as a way to give back to the community while simultaneously inspiring young people to pursue their artistic talent. Each year the duo works with one school and the participating students experience “life as an artist” from a blank canvas to the selling of their work.

OMS Montessori, in Alta Vista, was the lucky school for the 2014/2015 school year and it is surely an experience the students will never forget.