St. James students have a unique opportunity to work with Jessica Somers, a visual artist with Focal Point Artistry, and collaborate on a mural. The opportunity is made possible by a grant provided by Ontario Arts Council – Michelle Thiessen completed the proposal with the project in mind. Students will be able to feel inspired, creative and innovative as they work alongside Jessica to create a hand-made mural representative of the Indigenous teachings and land.
To kick off this partnership, the school welcomed Elders Nokomis Julie and Mishomis Frank who guided students about the importance of Indigenous teachings and how the land in which we live on contributes to these teachings. Students spoke about things such as bears, trees, water and fish. Jessica then allowed students to take their first steps and encouraged them to draw what they were inspired by. Students eagerly leaped into action, using pencils, markers and colouring crayons to convey their thoughts, emotions and inspirations.
“I like to draw because it is very calming and you can use your imagination to create whatever you want,” said Michael, Grade 3 student.
“It was very cool to hear from Nokomis Julie and Mishomis Frank about the land and the different things that make up Indigenous teachings. I like that we are working with a real artist too, it makes us feel special!” said Mia, Grade 2 student.
Classes will work with Jessica and collaborate on the mural throughout the month of February. Stay tuned to see this work of art come to life!