Travelling Exhibitions (TREX) NW caught up recently with one of our most enthusiastic venues, St.Catherine Catholic School, to ask why and how they partner with TREX to bring resources to their classes. Apart from bringing culture and connection to communities, TREX is designed to be educational as well.
With education in mind, each exhibit includes educational guides paired with the works. These are wonderful resources that include: information on the pieces, suggestions on talks, ideas and themes to present to students, as well as ideas for hands-on activities.
We asked our contact at St.Catherine, Elizabeth Hutchinson, a few questions about her and the students’ thoughts on TREX.
Q: How do the students feel about the artworks?
“They are always very curious when the crates arrive. There is a pride that ‘real work’ from galleries is being displayed in their school. Responding to the artwork creates a fabulous connection with the greater community. It has been fascinating to see how students express their likes and dislikes. They often question ‘Is this art?’, while considering their predefined ideas about what art should look like. They have to navigate their personal preferences, the voice of the artist, and authority of the gallery.”
Q: Do students/teachers like working with the educational packages provided with the exhibits?
“The educational catalogues are such a rich resource! They make it easy for teachers to bring arts integration and high engagement into their lessons. Teachers who are new to the arts can navigate techniques and ideas with guidance and experienced teachers can dig deeply into the content. Any extra copies of packages are hung onto to find other ways the lessons can tie into the new curriculum at a later date!”
Q: Would you say the students have valuable experiences from interacting with art in person?
“Absolutely, students connect the work to their own memories, family customs, and experiences. They see how artwork they are doing has a value beyond technique and realism, with a stronger focus on process and the exploration of ideas. It brings new perspectives and a variety of voices into the school in a highly inviting and nonthreatening format.”
Q: Why do you feel it is important for the school to take part in the TREX program?
“Art has this incredible ability to draw kids into learning with an even playing field. It is highly engaging and accessible to children of all abilities. It shows children a diverse range of ideas and values and welcomes them to respond with their own truth. Providing children with invitations to view, understand, and make art builds space for children to explore creativity and their own unique voice.”
Q: If there’s anything else you’d like to say or highlight please do.
“As an arts integration school we absolutely love the TREX program as a resource to bring authentic art experiences into our school. This has been doubly important during the challenges we’ve faced with covid, as opportunities to invite artists to work with children directly have been postponed. The program is such a rich educational resource, and the AGGP is always eager to support our programming and extend our ideas in learning and education.”
TREX would like to thank Elizabeth for her input and feedback, and for providing an amazing snapshot into St.Catherine and their students’ work.
Thank you to the TREX NW program sponsor KMSC Law LLP