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August 23, 2012

A Peek-a-Boo into our History by Sir James Douglas Elementary

Earlier this year, from January to May, students from three grades of Sir James Douglas Elementary in Vancouver proudly displayed their school''s one hundred year history in a series of mixed-media collages.

Artists in the Classroom Sir James Douglas Elementary

With support from the Artists in the Classroom program, the students from grades 4, 5 and 6, had the opportunity to collaborate with artist Alison Prendergast, to conduct a thorough research of historical documents, photographs and memorabilia to learn about key factors that shaped each decade for the one hundred years that Sir James Douglas Elementary school has been in existence.

The extended school community also participated in lending important historical artifacts and memorabilia that would help with the success of the project.

Artists in the Classroom Sir James Douglas Elementary

The invited artist then taught the children about the major art movements of the past 100 years. The historical findings and distinctive art styles of artists such as Matisse, Picasso and Warhol were fused to inspire a series of ten collages—a "peek-a-boo" into each decade.

Artists in the Classroom Sir James Douglas Elementary

The children from the participating classes felt the positive impact of the project and working with an artist in residence:

"Without Alison, I don’t really know who or how we would learn art the way we learned it with her."

"It can make your heart flutter if you pour your heart into it to make it amazing."

"The best part of it is that we made our own art journal that we can keep forever as a reminder of our abilities and our talents."

Artists in the Classroom Sir James Douglas Elementary

Artist Alison Prendergast thought that this project was "a perfect way to bridge the old school and its history with the new school."

Congratulations to everyone involved for bringing Sir James Douglas Elementary’s history to life in such an inspiring and enriching way.

Artists in the Classroom Sir James Douglas Elementary

Thank you to the BC Arts Council, the Province of BC and Vancouver Foundation for funding this Artists in the Classroom project in the 2011-2012 school year. We are grateful for your support, which allows collaborations like this one to thrive.

The deadline for schools to apply for the next round of Artists in the Classroom grants is October 5, 2012. Find out more about the program and how to apply here.

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