For Art's Sake

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Story and photos by Sarah Crookall

Visitors at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery view student's artwork.

Why? The reason is in the title, “For Art’s Sake!” Paintings and photos decorate the tall walls of the Robert McLaughlin Gallery. The art surrounds a group of sculptures , all crafted by students of Durham Region.
High school students of the Durham District School Board showcase their talents with an art collection that opened Thursday. Art program facilitator for the DDSB, Andy Barber described the exhibit, “It’s a chance for students to showoff what they’ve done throughout the year, and it’s so amazing to see the quality of work we have here.”
Barber knows quality art with his experience developing art curriculum alongside teachers of Durham. This is his first opportunity opening the exhibit that visits Oshawa every two years.
“Sculptures, clay sculptures, photography – you name it. Whatever medium, it’s all here,” he said. He added that the diverse pieces come from classrooms where teachers nominate student work.
In addition to visual art, student jazz combo BFlat5 serenaded the exhibit opening with live music . Parents and students admired artwork and spoke about their experience.
R.S McLaughlin student Kevin Cormier with his untitled painting.

“I really appreciate the opportunity to contribute to the community,” said R.S McLaughlin student, Kevin Cormier. Cormier’s untitled contribution is a painting of two children, with a cigarette hanging from one boy’s mouth. “Children are participating in things you wouldn’t really expect,” he said of his work. “Our youth isn’t as innocent as perceived and might need some guidance.”
Kameron Payumo, grade 12 student of Anderson Collegiate has a photography contribution titled “The Ant and the Grasshopper,” inspired by the 19th century fable.  “I like the fact you can’t manipulate photos like you can in modern times,” said Payumo of his film photography.
Kameron Payumo of Anderson C.V.I and his photography piece, "The Ant and the Grasshopper."

Robert McLaughlin Gallery communications manager, Jacquie Servers suggests that people take the time to walk through the gallery, because there is so much to see.”There is a high level of talent coming from high school,” she said.
The student exhibit will be on display until the end of Easter weekend on April 8. Admission to the gallery is free but it accepts donations.
In addition to this collection, Servers suggests teens check out the drop-in program that provides space for students creating artwork. The new program runs from 3 to 5 p.m. on Thursdays, and is aimed for 13 to 19 year olds, .

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