Small Grants Make a BIG Difference

A small collection of paintings done by the participants of the ART Image program.

(2005 GCF Community Fund) – “Did you know China is one of the largest countries in the world, mom?” stated 8 year old Halli. “Did you know China is in Asia and the Asian continent is the largest in the world, and that China has a very, very large population, 400 times bigger than Canada?”. “That’s very interesting Halli, are you learning about China in social studies?”, stated Mom. “No Mom, we had ART Image today and looked at Chinese art and learned about the artist Wang Hui, who painted a silk scroll that was 13 meters long”.

This is a glimpse of one of the many benefits of ART Image, an art appreciation program at John McCrae, a French Immersion Public School located in Guelph. This volunteer run program has been running for approximately 15 years and is funded by parents.

‘Seeing art and making art’ is the underlying philosophy. Reproductions of a variety of works of art are presented to the children and the facilitator [volunteer parent] will then discuss the artwork and artist. The children are encouraged to interpret and express ‘how they see the art’ and this leads into discussion on colour, balance, light, shape, etc.. The students then have the opportunity for the ‘making art’ activity.

While learning about artists from various cultures of past and present eras, the students gain appreciation and understanding of art, culture, history and artistic heritage. Teachers are very familiar with the program and often have great ideas to incorporate the activity into their own lesson plan. ART Image guide books for each grade level make it easy for volunteers to be able to facilitate a class session.

In 2005, John McCrae received a $700 grant from The Guelph Community Foundation to fund:

  • 15 new reproductions [to increase Canadian content from 30% to 45%];
  • specialized art supplies and materials [needed to teach some aspects of the program];
  • resource materials [to support volunteers];
  • products such as paint palettes [that will be used for years].

This grant will sustain the ‘arts and culture presence’ that John McCrae parents, teachers and children value so much. ART Image truly inspires the students who will shape our community and its future.

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