ST. GEORGE – There was a time when art classes in school were just a way to keep kids busy, and students weren’t actually encouraged to be overly creative. These days, that is definitely not the case. Art teachers all over New Brunswick are teaching several highly talented individuals, and the work of these students does not go unnoticed. For instance, the Anglophone School District-South (ASDS) office has multiple artworks on display throughout the building, all created by students from schools within ASDS.
Fundy Middle and High School Art teacher Jessica Stewart said she was approached by her mentor in the district office, Andrea Lewis, and was asked to have a student or students create an art piece that would be mounted in the office in Saint John. She then asked Grade 11 student Kathleen Quinlan to create a work of art, which Quinlan completed over the course of a semester.
“She is a part of the Essential Skills program, and also had two periods a day that she was able to work on it,” said Stewart. “So, she would work on it periodically, and the actual art piece is based off one of her photographs. The program allows students to choose a career path and pick areas of interest to focus on instead of traditional courses. I haven’t taught the class myself. It’s just that her area of interest is art, so she’s been working with me.”
Quinlan painted a beautiful picture of a pitcher plant, the official flower of Newfoundland. Quinlan said she chose this particular flower both for its beauty, and the fact that she wanted to try doing something that was outside of the box for her, artistically speaking.
“I got that photo while I was in Newfoundland, and I just thought it was really pretty. I wanted to push myself and try to do something I haven’t done before,” said Quinlan.
Quinlan, who has been painting since Grade 6, said she loves art, but it is more of a hobby than an actual career aspiration. She said even though she has been painting for a few years, she really started to take more of an interest in this medium this year.
“It’s more of a hobby, but I do sell my paintings. People will see my art and ask for stuff to get done and I’ll sell my art.”
When asked how it feels to have her work chosen to hang in the district office, Quinlan said “it’s really cool”. She is excited to have her work displayed, and if anyone wants to see more of her artistic creations, they can check out her Instagram page at www.instagram.com/kathleens_sketches