“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
The AIRS studios for the 2018/19 school year are Florence Nightingale Elementary, Queen Alexandra FAMILY School, Britannia Elementary, Seymour Elementary, Begbie Elementary, Mount Pleasant Elementary, Trudeau Elementary, Thunderbird Elementary
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.
“Without the studio, many of the students would not have tapped into the creative processes which exist inside of them. For some of the students who would otherwise be labeled "behavior concerns," this was a solace, and a place of peace for them.”
Godwin Barton, Aboriginal Enhancement Worker
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 2017/18.