Laggan School Children's Exhibition
May 8th - May 11th, 2008
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An Exhibition of work by the students of Laggan Public School
May 8th - May 11th, 2008
Curator's talk at the reception
The purpose of this talk and the purpose of this show – is to help present the idea to you that art is not just what you do between - say 10 to 10:40 in the morning at school. There is a whole world of art in Canada, linked in with the international art-scene that involves galleries, museums, auction houses, magazines, archives and hundreds of thousands of people: Artists to be sure but also: curators, critics, writers, conservators, preparators, art-couriers docents, administrators, designers and on and on. The people who work in the arts in Canada are responsible for making, presenting and conserving your culture, both popular, current and historical – a task that is as important and as precious as raising your family.
By participating in this art show, you join in the project of participating in our community’s cultural life. But putting up artworks on the wall of a gallery is not like displaying work on your fridge at home or even the walls at your school. An art gallery is a special place. It is kept empty of furnishings and painted in colours – usually white - that best focus your attention on the artworks. It is a place that does it’s job best when it directs your attention away from itself and helps you to perceive something special in the time you spend with an artwork.
The sheer tactile pleasure of making art is all around us in the works of your young people. How exciting to be able to assemble things, use paint and pencil crayons to make marks on the paper, draw your shoe, illustrate a poem. We all remember the fun of playing and making art – but it’s a pleasure most of us leave behind as adults. I sometimes think that we adults take our art too seriously. And art-viewers who are not versed in art theory or history get frustrated because the works they see don’t mean anything to them. We stop being open to visual art as adults because we feel it must mean something. The average time people spend looking at an art object in a museum is 3 seconds. And art takes longer than that to unravel and give up its secrets. Try sitting down and looking at a work for 2 minutes and see what that does to you and your perception of it.
It is so appropriate that one teacher has included this quote by Picasso “Every child is an artist. The trick is to remain an artist once one has become an adult.”
Because some in the art world feel the best works are made by artists who have managed to preserve that feeling for art, the willingness to explore and to revel in the simplest of mark-making into their adulthood. That’s why, when you hear someone remark about an abstract canvas ‘my kid could paint that,’ many artists will take it as the highest complement you could pay them.
When they make art your kids are discovering the ability to make themselves happy through something they have created themselves – without waiting for the tv, computer or another person to entertain them.
When you take them to art galleries, you are developing their capacity to enjoy culture, employ their critical thinking skills, and participate in the cultural life of their communities. Art is an amazing journey… you never know what you will find.
Thanks to our young artists and the teachers and staff at Laggan for all their hard work.