Grade 2 students
at Canyon Heights Elementary draw leaves set to be scanned into the Superintendent's holiday card.
Daylen Luchsinger, District Vice Principal of Fine Arts
Artists for Kids
was asked to lend its support to the creation of the Superintendent’s holiday card, an annual tradition at the North Vancouver School District.
As this request came across my desk, I must admit my inner “Ebenezer Scrooge” got his hackles up a little. I, like so many in the arts, have a bit of a kneejerk-cringe reaction to holiday art projects. Perhaps this has to do with some of the aloofness that gets ingrained in us within the art world. That being said, a good hand turkey art project always brings a smile to my face.
With images of snow globes and snowmen swirling in our heads, the AFK team started dreaming up an activity that would take the form of a class collaboration project. We settled on an observational drawing activity.
This activity spoke to our artistic hearts, as this is a foundational artistic skill that develops the practices of looking and recording.
For this project, I had the pleasure of working with Mr. Robert Moser’s Grade 2 class at Canyon Heights. Robert and I discussed the project and selected a time. We chose the afternoon, even though Robert eloquently shared with me that attention spans can be short in the afternoon!
To prepare for our drawing project, the students were tasked with collecting their drawing subjects, an assortment of natural objects from the school grounds.
When we met for our collaboration session, the students spent the afternoon carefully observing and recording the details of the objects they had found.
After the drawings were completed, each student’s drawing was scanned and arranged in the collaborative artwork you see on the finished card below.
During this experience, I was fortunate to witness a moment of wonder. As the students’ collective energy and excitement grew, Mr. Moser calmly walked over to his computer and played a rendition of John Lennon’s "Imagine."
Slowly, all the Grade 2 students sat down in their seats and started singing along, refocusing their energy on drawing and the project at hand. It was a beautiful moment, and it warmed my heart.
We know that 2020 has limited how far and often we can travel, yet it has also turned our collective focus to some of the natural wonders that exist in our own communities. This artwork is a delicate sharing of some of the special objects found by this one group of students at Canyon Heights.
I would like to thank everyone involved in this year’s collaboration: Superintendent Mark Pearmain for asking AFK to lead this year’s project; the entire
team for their ideas and technical support; Kevin Ward and Judith Lowe for welcoming me into their school; and most of all, Robert Moser and his students for warming my heart.