Sixty eight Bella Coola Valley school age children submitted artwork for this year’s Children’s Art Show, held May 29 to June 1 at the Valley Gallery. If you visited the Gallery during the show you will have been met at the door by Jacob Gascoyne’s large black and white batique depicting Pandora’s Box. There was obviously a Greek theme at some point because just past the Pandora’s Box you came across Cela Jones’ bigger than life Medusa’s head and Jordan Tuck’s Minotaur.
As you turned to face the west you would have been stricken by a wall of imposing blackbirds. There was Kasey Karran’s raven with a large blue eye in the middle of its body and another with a beautiful effect of falling snow (a joint effort I am told).
The elementary school students produced some delightful pieces – riots of colour and imaginative shapes. Several young artists obviously enjoyed having access to silver glitter paint, creating some attractive pictures. Finn Carlson did an imaginative piece by weaving strips of paper across a picture of an Aztec Sun disk.
At the end of the hall, lit up by lights, was a surprisingly realistic and colourful image of a Moose standing in water done by Sequoia Clellamin (and quickly bought by his mother). For fun we did allow students to offer their pictures for sale, and quite a few sold.
The north wall had a series of blue and white water colour washes and pictures reminiscent of the pictures on the china my mother used to have. And there amongst the fine blue drawings is a gorgeous orange fish by Catriona Nelson.
Cats were obviously a theme. Each cat had a distinctive personality – perhaps reflecting the artists. The eyes of Sarah hall’s cat were an absolutely captivating greeny blue that caught everyone’s attention. Over on the sidewall were three cute cut out dolls with real hair and ribbons and a personal story written on folding cards forming the dolls’ bodies.
Other striking pieces were Ashley Moore’s mermaid, Rebecca Chatham’s bluebird which I think she titled ‘Spring out of Winter’, and a lovely scene of a whimsical girl on a path amongst brightly coloured mushrooms by Niahm Cearnaigh. And, of course, there were many other works, too many to mention, that were well worth seeing. What you have to do is make sure you see this show next year.
Although this show was sponsored by the Bella Coola Valley Arts Council, it would not have happened without the support and encouragement of the Valley’s teachers, and in particular we are grateful to Elaine Ignas and Sheila Wilson for their efforts and enthusiasm. And, needless to say, it required the efforts of the Valley’s children who had the courage to let their work be shown publicly.