competition open to young artists; Art graduates needed more than ever – 71Bait

Students in grades 6 through 8 are invited to submit their work by June 9 for the SMC art exhibition on June 14; prices available

Art students in Grades 6, 7, and 8 are invited to submit samples of their work, which will be included in a separate exhibition and competition at St. Mary’s College’s annual art show, held Tuesday at 7 p.m. at Second Line East High School. to be shown June 14.

Students have until Thursday, June 9, 3:00 p.m. to submit their drawings, paintings or digital artworks with their ID and contact information in person at SMC’s main office.

While the SMC Art Show is an annual event – featuring works by artists in grades 9 through 12 and not only visual art but also music and dance performances in one evening – this year is the first show and competition for grade 6 students till 8 .

The competition is the brainchild of Adriano DiCerbo, SMC art teacher, and Samantha Lance, an SMC graduate who is now pursuing a career as an art exhibition curator in Toronto.

“Adriano approached me with this idea. He wanted to get the ball rolling and try to get the kids’ attention. We came up with the title Spring back to life Getting students to think about what inspires you about this new season?” Lance said.

This includes:

  • Which spring images best represent your personal connection to this season?
  • Which spring moments do you cherish?
  • Are there certain aspects of spring (flowers, plants, landscapes, animals) that are particularly close to your heart?

The competition poster has been designed and will soon be mailed to parents and teachers across the H-SCDSB system.

DiCerbo hopes that art students in grades 6-8 in other school boards will learn about it.

Students and parents can contact DiCerbo via email

Lance will be judging the art show for grades 6-8.

“I first got involved with fine arts in 10th grade in Mr. DiCerbo’s class, and then I started helping at the art festivals from 10th through 12th grade and while I was doing the work curated, I realized that art is what I wanted to do professionally,” said Lanze.

Lance graduated from SMC in 2017 and went on to study art at Ontario College of Art & Design – OCAD University in Toronto for four years.

There she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts with a specialization in Criticism and Curatorial Practice and learned how to organize art exhibitions in galleries, museums, art exhibitions and festivals.

She plans to begin a Masters of Curatorial Studies program at the University of Toronto in September.

At OCAD she was inspired by the work of many artists including Vincent Van Gogh, American photographer Nicolas Bruno and Christian painter Akiane Kramarik.

“After graduating high school, I came back to curate the arts festival at SMC. It’s been nice to see the work and bring the talented students to the table every year,” said Lance.

“I appreciate art history and love looking at the different types of media that people bring to their art. When I do my Masters in Toronto, I want to support local, national and international artists by showcasing their art,” Lance said, adding that she always enjoys staying in touch with the Sault art community.

Admission to the June 14 SMC Art Show is free for children and $10 for adults.

Admission proceeds go to Tumaini Africa, a Sault Ste. Marie-based unregistered volunteer group dedicated to working with children and women in Kenya in areas such as education and nutrition.

“After COVID, everyone needs this art show,” Lance said.

Both Lance and her high school art mentor, DiCerbo, spoke about the importance of art and arts education for children despite the heavy emphasis on science, technology, engineering, and math in schools.

“Art speaks when words can’t,” Lance said.

“Art gives everyone – students, young and old – the opportunity to speak in their own way about their background, their culture and their reaction to everything that is happening in the world, it gives them the freedom to do so. It’s so important to express yourself and have that confidence.”

As for early exposure to art in younger students, Lance smiled: “If we encourage that in younger students from the start, we could encourage the next Monet or Van Gogh.”

“I believe in comprehensive education. Yes, science and math, but also the arts,” DiCerbo said.

“That allows students to develop creative and critical thinking skills, and they need those opportunities to express themselves. It’s an incredibly valuable skill for the 21st century, more than we realize. It helps us connect to nature and to each other. An arts festival is a celebration when we come together and celebrate creativity.”

“There are jobs for creative people,” DiCerbo said.

“They’re just not as visible as the teacher, the doctor, the dentist. There are so many creative people behind the scenes working in traditional and digital media, architecture studies, the business world needs creative thinkers. You are needed.”

“Imagine Paris without the Eiffel Tower. What if the mona lisa disappeared? It’s priceless. These are iconic pieces of art that help define who we are. The Group of Seven helps define who we are. Filmmakers, musicians give us a sense of identity and belonging. How can we take this out of our world? We need that more than ever, especially in these times,” said DiCerbo.

“Hopefully we’ll get a lot of entries,” Lance said.

“We don’t expect students to donate a huge painting or drawing, but it will be exciting to see what comes in.”

Lance said she hopes it will be an encouragement for kids to start building a portfolio and consider a career in art.

It’s late in the school year, but kids can submit work they did earlier in the current school year.

Prizes of $100, $75 and $50 will be awarded to first, second and third place finishers in the Classes 6-8 show and competition.

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