SMUS Artists and Poets Show Their Eclectic Side

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by Darin Steinkey

SMUS has partnered with Eclectic Gallery for a very unique show. Artists from Art Foundations 11/12 and poets from Writing 12 collaborated to create a collection of pieces that will be on sale to raise money for War Child Canada and the Amma organization. There are about 70 prints for sale. Seventeen are exhibited in frames and sell for $60. The rest are all matted and packaged to sell for $35. Eclectic Gallery is located at 2170 Oak Bay Avenue. The show runs until Saturday, January 14.

I attended the opening on Monday and spoke with art teacher Jennifer McIntyre, Liam Maclure, Harrison Kim, Alex Davies, Ana Wang, Sophia Niewerth and Eclectic Gallery owner John Taylor. After you watch the video, you can read my interview with Gabe Lunn where he talks a little about what it’s like for a 16-year-old to have his poetry hanging in a gallery.

Filmed and Edited by Darin Steinkey
Music
“The Distance” by Voyageurs

What did you think of the whole project?
Initially when Ms. Stenson told us, I didn’t think a lot of it to be honest. I thought it was a cool idea to be collaborating with the art department on this, but I never realized that the other students would actually be interpreting our poems into an actual single image, which is ironic, because creating poetry is all about imagery. But when I finally arrived at the showing, I was really surprised and pleased with what the art students had done.

What did you think about the atmosphere at the opening?
Claustrophobic, ha. There was 15 or 20 people all squeezed into this art gallery that was smaller than a coffee shop. But I think that among the poets and parents, we were all very into what we saw, because we don’t really share our work with each other and it’s like a glimpse into each other’s thoughts and ideas. I don’t know if I can speak for the artists, because they already knew what was happening, but they all looked pretty happy with it as well.

What is it like to have a poem in a show?
Geez, it’s a weird feeling. Poetry is the kind of stuff that you never really let out to the public unless your either rash or shameless, or both. And when you’re 16 and you’ve been published it’s even weirder. You think, wow, people are going to read these? This is something my mom’s going to remind me of when I’m 30… But it wasn’t too uncomfortable since the Writing 12 kids basically read all our stuff to each other for about an hour every day.

Any other reflections on the project?
I’m just going to promote Ms. Stenson on this one. Any students at SMUS who like to write, read, or just like English class, should take Writing 12 when you get to Grade 11. Honestly, it’s the best class in my whole schedule. You get to spill your guts in front of other students however you want, and it’s fine because it’s an English class. Ms. Stenson won’t be teaching it next year as she’s heading back to Claremont, but Mr. Young will be coming back to take over and that’ll be just as awesome.

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