Discipline: Visual Arts
Renée Sala has spent her entire life being a crafty kid! Her mother's pottery studio, her father's building sites and her own curiosity and imagination have been her inspiration to develop Crafty School of Art. She spent most of her twenties travelling the world and learning about new cultures and their arts, and taught ESL in South Korea for three years. Upon her return it was straight into art school at Camosun College in Victoria (after having completed a Diploma in Applied Arts and Sciences at VIU in 1997). She started her pottery business, Renée Sala Studio, while in art school in 2005, graduated in 2006, and became a full-time production potter in 2007. These wonderful experiences all came together with Crafty in 2009, and Renée sincerely feels that passing along her skills and enthusiasm for creating art is what she does best. Renée now provides large-scale school-wide art programs creating lasting collaborative art projects with entire schools using clay, felt or painting. She also offers after-school classes in her home-based studio, seasonal camps at local rec centres, event activations and private workshops for community groups. Crafty is busy and growing and Renée loves all of the hard work and creativity that fill her days!
Renée did a wonderful job of bringing an art project into our classroom that everyone could both be challenged by and succeed at. She was well organized in the presentation of her lesson and the multiple supplies necessary for the activity. She demonstrated a great awareness of demonstration time versus time on task allowing the students to remain engaged for the entire time. Renée connected well with the students as she was respectful, kind and had a firm manner with the students which all responded to positively. Amy Taggart, Teacher, Oaklands Elementary
It was a pleasure to work with Renée Sala on our Centennial project. Her energy and knowledge assisted us in choosing a project that would both honour our history and reflect our beliefs. Her ability to collaborate with others, her flexibility and her commitment to both our vision and the project were exemplary. Renée Sala facilitated an atmosphere of creative magic in our school. Holly Holt, Principal, Oaklands Elementary
Renée is remarkable in that she carries out her work with children like a 'trained teacher'. I have had many comments from the teaching staff about Renée's patience with children, her ability to help them be passionate about art work and Renée's innate ability to teach. Raman MacArthur, Principal, Wishart Elementary
At École Margaret Jenkins in 2016, working with 125 students, Grades 4 and 5, this project was designed specifically for students who were about to transition into Middle school after beginning their journey as Elementary school students. Renée generated discussion and drawing activities with the kids to discuss the idea of a "healthy future" for their bodies, communities and environments. They used these preliminary ideas to inspire three clay tiles: a self-portrait representing their healthy bodies, a round tile with raised imagery representing their healthy environments, and a rectangular tile with a single word on it (in either French or English) representing their healthy community. The tiles were mounted on large panels covering a surface area just outside their main school doors of almost 10'x10'. The students who created this piece have already moved on, leaving their ideas about a healthy future behind to inspire those coming after them.
At École John Stubbs in 2016, working with 650 students, Grades K-8, this three-month project involved a lengthy creative process right from the conceptual stage to the finished result. The concept was designed to bring the disparate age groups at this newly turned French Immersion school together collaboratively. They started with discussions and drawings about the meaning of the word "ensemble" and what it meant to them individually and as a group. The image chosen was a depiction of a local gathering place called Esquimalt Lagoon, and Renée had students in Grades K-3 and 6-8 work together to create the large felted elements such as the sky, ocean and mountains. They also worked just with their own classes to make smaller details like fish, flowers and trees. The Grade 4 and 5 students were tasked with creating clay tiles that included a French word that related to the students connections to the word "ensemble". They also pressed leaves and other natural elements into the clay to connect it even further to the natural place they were representing. These tiles were used as the frame for the large felted image, and the entire piece is 9.5' x 5.5' and resides in their main school foyer.
Renée is pleased to work with your school to create a project that reflects your school specifically. She will listen to your ideas and vision and construct a plan that encompasses a realistic outcome, timeline and budget while creating something beautiful with the students. She can work with and teach a variety of mediums (such as clay, felt-making, pastel, acrylic paint or watercolour) and is happy to explain the options available to you and your fellow staff members. Renée can work with a minimum of two classes to a maximum of the entire school, and can design projects to remain at school as lasting art pieces or teach the kids to make something to take home. Some recent projects are here, and photos of those projects are in Renée's collection here on her ArtStarts profile.