Westwood Elementary Hosts Aboriginal Art Show
Prince George, B.C. – About 80 intermediate students showed off their Aboriginal artwork at Westwood Elementary School this week.
The artwork was the culmination of a 10-week artist in residence program at the school featuring indigenous artist Clayton Gauthier (Cree and Dakelh).
Funding for the project was provided by the Prince George School District’s Aboriginal Education Department.
“Clayton worked with our teachers and our students helping them develop stories,” said principal Steve Dalla Lana. “Through that process they learned how to draw indigenous art and some of the techniques behind it.”
It’s the first show of its kind in the school district and was the vision of Gige Blais, an Aboriginal Education worker.
“We wanted to get some artistic stuff around the school with some culture and we were able to get Clayton to come and teach them,” she said. “The goal was to have a piece of themselves within the artwork and have that aboriginal piece.”
Dalla Lana added “it was a good fit for our school considering we have a high percentage of aboriginal students and we wanted to have a wider conversation around that.”
As for Gauthier, he was blown away by the final product.
“Oh my goodness, I’m so floored with what they’ve done. My heart goes out to them. I didn’t guide them in what they did,” he said.
“They wanted to share their heart and they drew it all. I’m pretty honoured to be in this time where our people are respected and our ways of life are starting to be heard.”