North Vancouver School District
the natural place to learn©
May 09
Students channel emotions into art for World Collage Day
Abbey Heard2_jpg.jpg
Argyle Grade 11 student Abbey Heard's watercolour collage, Waiting for the Good News.

by Maria Spitale-Leisk, NVSD Communications

Since time immemorial, art has been a creative outlet for self-expression and social commentary.

COVID-19 is certainly not immune.

With no shortage of emotions or opinions right now, World Collage Day organizers have decided to embrace the uncertainty and chaos the pandemic has created.

Celebrating Collage in the Time of Pandemic is the theme of World Collage Day on May 9.

Artists For Kids' staff reached out to students from across the school district, as well as artists and educators in our community, to contribute collages based on one or more of the following themes:

  • Distance;
  • Your environment;
  • Longing;
  • Structures and nature;
  • There is light in the darkness

Argyle Grade 11 student Abbey Heard, who is also enrolled in the AFK Studio Art Academy, contributed a handful of collages.

Her watercolour collage, Waiting for the Good News, features cheerful blossoms flowing from a TV which normally spews negative news of COVID-19.

Heard personifies the pandemic in another submission, called Corona on the Run, created from magazine cutouts.

Abbey Heard.jpg

"My collages are centred around my feelings toward the ongoing pandemic," explains Heard. "Channelling my feelings into art helps me to express myself in a time where words seem to fail me."

Student artist Georgia Devonshire admits she never had much interest in collage – until now.

"My art is very meticulous and tidy," she explains. "Collages have always seemed to be this mess of paper in my view, but I have recently discovered the diverse styles of collage."

Collage has pushed Devonshire's artistic boundaries, allowing her to become more creative and explore beyond realism, she says.

Devonshire, a Grade 12 Studio Art Academy student, submitted a series of digital collages using the theme: structure.

"This is because being stuck at home I have felt a lack of structure; unsure of how the next few months will be," she explains.

Devonshire studied different photos of architecture that felt very structured to her. She then used photos of the buildings to layer different textures and colours on top, digitally.


"Each collage has fragments of a place or something that reminds me of a place I wish I could be at," she says.

Artists For Kids education co-ordinator Daylen Luchsinger also jumped at the chance to make some collages.

One of his pieces, Deep of Winter, is inspired by a longing for nature and getting out of the city.

"The current pandemic has intensified this sentiment," explains Luchsinger.  

"As our society has self-isolated the city has lost much of its appeal for myself, so many cultural activities have been cancelled or suspended – galleries, restaurants and theatres are closed. However, nature continues on, as the British artist David Hockney wrote in an article earlier this year: 'They can't cancel spring.' "

Grrrr is inspired by Luchsinger's daughter, who makes that very sound most mornings upon waking up, prompting dad to read her favourite book about bears.


Due to social distancing, Gordon Smith Gallery will not be hosting a summer exhibition. Instead, staff have launched an online gallery to showcase these collages.


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