New Art Room Wets Appetite for Future Developments

Over the 2012 summer at Hamilton District Christian High, the art room was relocated from the upper level to the main level as part of a larger vision for a Project Based Learning environment. The art room is now more accessible to students and provides a more inviting location for guests. It is also much more practical. When students are creating larger works of art like tall sculptures, or bringing in heavy supplies such as stone, clay, steel, or wood, it is convenient to have access through the art room’s new exterior door. The new space has provided the tools and environment for the students to be able to engage in larger, more ambitious projects, to expand the sculpture program, to have room for easels, and to have space for hanging and critiquing work.

This project was made possible through many generous donations, including some funds from the Arts Matter evening last March. It is a blessing to our students and staff to see so many people invest in the future of HDCH.

Attached to the art studio is a painting gallery space which doubles as an art gallery. As the student body flows in and out of the room, the school becomes more aware of the profound statements that students can make in art.

“Part of the vision for our school is to have a space where small art exhibits can be on display and found easily from the front entrance,” says Jonathan.

When asked what the experience has been in the new art room so far this year, Jonathan noted that it has been both wonderful and chaotic. He said that, “there is a definite enthusiasm about the new space, and as supplies are becoming more organized and the finishing touches are made, it is starting to feel like home. The students have mentioned on several occasions that they feel like the new studio is a ‘professional’ space. It is definitely a learning environment that they are a proud of.”

Students have also shared their appreciation of the new art space. Helena Schuurman, a grade 12 student, thinks the new atmosphere is great. Helena believes that the new space gives students the perfect opportunity for creative development.

“I feel a new creative excitement due to this new creative place,” says Helena. “The studio is far more professional with its easels and lighting. This room is full of opportunity, and I think that’s a really valuable thing. The room is central to the school and gives students a place to chill at lunch.”

“We have more room to show our canvasses instead of just stacking them up,” adds James DeVries.

Overall, the new art room is an expression of the change in education at HDCH. The focus is on providing a variety of learning spaces, each appropriately equipped so that students can demonstrate their learning in unique ways that might not be possible in a traditional classroom.

As the new learning style ripples across the curriculum, our facilities will evolve to meet the needs. The changes are just beginning! The objectives are to have students meaningfully engaged in their learning, to provide opportunity to explore the full range of what they are studying, and to provide students with core skills that they will be able to carry with them beyond high school. Our building renewal will provide an excellent context to build these skills.