Students from Fernie Academy publicly presented their work on Wednesday, November 23 on the theme of art and war.
Karen Luzny, an art teacher at the school, said she did an entire unit last semester with her 10th grade class on “Make Art Not War.”
“What we did was study artists throughout (the 20th century) who worked on war,” she said.
Artists studied included Paul Nash, Henry Moore, Picasso and modern anti-war artist, Banksy.
The students did their own work in response to these artists and did tons of research, Luzny said.
“And now the last task they’ve done is to make a statement of their own…to make a visual statement about war and conflict.”
She said that all the students were anti-war, and it was interesting to see how 16 and 17 year olds approached the subject and what knowledge they had about it.
Himari Fukada is one of the students from Luzny’s class who presented her works.
“While learning the history of war through art is important, realizing the voice these works give through style, techniques, and inducing emotions is what I find makes the process and fascinating research,” said Fukada.
“It gets us young artists thinking about how we can express ourselves through creativity.”
Luzny said this was her first year doing the project at Fernie Academy, although she did something similar in a former teaching job in Regina.
She said she pushes students to see things in a more complicated and sophisticated way. She said some struggled with “a whole new way of doing art”, while others really enjoyed it, and it uplifted art in their eyes, giving them a greater appreciation for what they were studying.
“From my point of view, I’m really excited that students realize that art is not just about pretty pictures,” she said.
“They actually use their visual voice to comment on the world.”