May 28th, 2024

St. Patrick students doing hands-on project


By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman on October 5, 2021.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman Artist in Residency, Debra Bryan, along with St. Patrick Fine Arts School principal Kathy Jones-Husch help students with tile placement for a mosaic the school is creating.

St. Patrick Fine Arts School in Lethbridge has been hosting their “Arts in Residence” program since Sept. 27 to create an all-hands-on project.
This week Deb Bryan, a ceramics artist from Edmonton, has been helping students create two 4′ by 7′ mural panels that will be placed in each side of the movable wall at the centre of the school, visible to anyone who enters the building.
“The original artwork was an interpretation of St. Patrick’s school by the students, so each element that is important in their school is represented in the mural,” said Bryan.
On one mural they have two dancers to represent their dance program, two masks for drama, a book with a heart for the love of reading, learning and literacy and a person painting a ravine with the High Level Bridge.
On the other, they have Saint Patrick whom the school is named after, the rainbow is all about their music program and friendship in school, they have a Catholic cross to represent their faith, a wild rose for Alberta, the poppies across the bottom for Remembrance Day and a blue bird for happiness.
During their time with Bryan, the children come in and rotate through four different stations.
A “glass mosaic station”, which is like a tile mosaic, but the difference is that they are working with a clear piece of glass in the background, laminating it and then grouting it.
The middle station is the “found object mosaic station” that in one side has natural materials so they understand that they don’t have to buy anything, they can just find things in nature. The next station is “steam punk found object station” and on the last station they practice doing the mosaic before heading to the mosaic itself to place the pieces.
The older children use tools like tile snippers and glass cutters and the younger kids from kindergarten and Grade 1, are mostly placing the pieces and having adults help them glue them down.
They work around the edges as their height is insufficient to reach the centre of the piece.
The project came to be about two years ago.
The St. Patrick Fine Arts school council hosted a fundraising gala to raise the funds in the fall of 2019 to host Bryan, their artist in residence.
The idea at the time was to celebrate kids as artists and how they see themselves at school and because of the pandemic, they had two different delays, so they are finally able to have everything come together.
“The kids love to be able to do something unique, they are working together, and the finished product will really just be a chance to celebrate, even though we had some challenging times in the last year and half.
It will be a nice product to have to remember what it means to be creative and to work together,” said Kathy Jones-Husch, principal of St. Patrick Fine Arts School.

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