Student Christmas artwork adorns business windows – Chemainus Valley Courier
Art was the perfect opportunity for the students of Chemainus High School to deploy their talents beyond the classroom and into the community to spread the joy of Christmas.
Students working with art teacher Rhona Kane went out for two days last week and again on Monday to dress up some of the windows of businesses around Chemainus as a gesture of kindness and positive action during the holiday season.
The idea arose out of Principal Lori Hryniuk’s desire for the community at large to see the artistic abilities of the students reflected in their work within the school.
“She thought we did such a good job there that we could take it out to the community and do something good for everyone,” Kane said.
“This is great news for the youth in our community,” said Hryniuk.
“I contacted (the president) Chris Istace and he got me into the Chemainus Business Association and it started from there.”
“They then emailed all the companies on our behalf,” Kane added.
One company, By The Bay Lavender, even offered an in-kind donation as a thank you.
“We had about 11 companies that wanted to do this,” Kane said. “We didn’t have enough time to hang out with everyone, but we did our best.”
As the students did the work on site, “everyone who passed was just in awe of what they were doing,” Kane observed. “You could really see the community coming together. “
“It was fun,” said Crimson McClellan, a grade 12 art student. “We were able to go out into the community, meet nice people. I don’t go out very often to Chemainus because I come from Thetis (island).
“Painting the interior is awesome. We would draw it freehand or with a stencil and place it against the window. Shopkeepers loved it, really grateful for all the decorations.
“It was nice to discover the Chemainus center,” added Sarah Ladot, a grade 12 international student from Belgium. “It was nice to use different techniques with paint, pen, different colors. I have never done that.
The students have previously teamed up for a competition to determine the best Christmas artwork in the school. Ashley Loeffen, Laura Rundquist and James Bélanger were the overwhelming winners in a school vote for their Winter Wonderland exhibit.
Now that the school has diversified, there is a desire to start over.
“It worked so well,” Kane said. “With more time it will be bigger and better.”