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‘The Many Masks We Wear’ art exhibit showcases John Galt PS students’ creativity

June 12, 2018

GUELPH, Ontario – A new colourful art exhibit is showcasing elementary students’ creativity and confidence in their abilities.

Beginning on June 11, the art exhibit “The Many Masks We Wear” will be on display in the Upper Grand DSB’s Guelph Board Office. The masks were made by John Galt Public School intermediate students, led by teacher O’Neil Ford.

Through the project, students are given the freedom to design and sculpt a mask made from Kraft paper tape. Their creations range from fantastical creatures to barnyard animals with a twist.

On Tuesday, Ford and Anneke McCabe, UGDSB Curriculum Lead in the Arts, were at the board office, as staff gathered to take in the new student art.

This is the second year Ford has done the project with the intermediate students, saying it is great to watch their skills progress and confidence build from grade 7 to grade 8. “Students take risk and explore the freedom of the creative process through making the masks,” said Ford in the exhibit’s artist statement. “As students apply the creative process you see more confidence and risk-taking coming through the art.”

Ford said that one of his favourite things about the project is that it teaches the students something that they can get excited about and then continue doing outside of the classroom, adding that kids are already talking about what else they could create. “I’m really excited to see what they wear on Halloween this year,” he said.

Ford said that he’s witnessed kids who previously would never have considered themselves artistic really embrace and excel at the project.

For McCabe, she hopes that the exhibit will bring the playfulness of the children’s work into an adult educator space so we can experience their creativity through a different lens. “As you reflect on a year of learning, what masks have you worn in your role in education?”

The masks will be on display in the Guelph Board Office until June 26.

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