“There is the joy of beautiful stuff coming out of the studio and the buzz about what is happening. Students know that in their school, there is room to observe, examine, think in big ways, to notice, to create.
The space tells them that it is valued.”
Carrie Gelson, Gr 4/5 teacher
At the heart of the AIRS program is the studio. The designation of a permanent studio space for the visual arts within a school makes possible an ongoing commitment to the fundamental importance of the visual arts for learning, and establishes a shared, creative space of belonging and transformative possibility for both individual students and the school community.
Through the shared studio space, and the showcasing of student work across the school, students are enlivened to the possibilities for visual expression inspired by other student work and level of achievement through practice and over time. This motivates students to work on their skills and move beyond stereotype to find their own authentic voice.
This year, AIRS continued to offer meaningful art making experiences for 16 elementary schools in Vancouver through artist residencies .
While the health and safety restrictions prohibited artists from working in the studio space with students, artists re-conceptualized the ‘space of the studio’ at each school to a hybrid virtual and outdoor model.
While artists engaged students in a multiplicity of different mediums and concepts through their residency, each focused on creating a sense of community and connection for students through art in the context of pandemic conditions.
What are the ways in which art can make visible and tangible our belonging together even when we are physically apart?
Read our news article to find out more about how artists have envisioned their studio residencies and projects this year.
The studio is a space that invites children to slow down, and attend with felt perception, to the aesthetic subtleties of the world around them and their lived experience of it. For many children who have difficulties with classroom work, the studio provides a safe place where they can experience greater freedom and success through visual expression and in an atmosphere of non-judgement.
Every studio has its own identity, reflecting the needs and culture of the school and the expertise and vision of the artist.
To learn more about how the AIRS program has impacted student learning at each school we invite you to read our collaborative inquiry report for 2019/20.