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Canada 150 Art by Surrey Students

Imagine what the future of Canada looks like through artwork by Surrey students.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and Surrey students have a lot to say when it comes to our country. The works of hundreds of elementary and high school students explore ideas about contemporary Canadian identity in a screen-based exhibit at the Surrey Art Gallery that is on now until April 16. This project was a collaboration with the Surrey School District that coincides with Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations.

Canada 150 Art by Surrey Students showcases the breadth of voices and talents that comprise the next generation of youth in one of Canada’s fastest growing cities. Paintings, drawings, photographs, films, and mixed-media artworks, realized by students at every year of the educational system, express a wealth of responses to the big ideas of Truth and Reconciliation, the Voices of Youth, and Environmental Stewardship.

The works on display convey a range of attitudes and worldviews, which don’t paint any one single picture of Canadian life. Some students chose to focus on specific people, places, and stories in their lives, while others explored more abstract ideas such as the beauty of nature, technological innovation, and interpersonal conflict. Together, the art of Surrey’s school students suggests a nuanced view of Canada: one that celebrates its wonder and achievement, while also striving for ever-greater equality, environmental security, and quality of life.

Since 1983, Surrey Art Gallery annually hosts an exhibition showcasing the creativity of students participating in the Surrey School District’s art education programs and the value of art education in the BC School curriculum. These exhibitions are developed through ongoing partnerships with the Surrey School District and its art teachers.

Image credit: Cardboard Canadian flag made by art students at Will F. Davidson Elementary, Mary Jane Shannon Elementary, and Guildford Park Secondary schools for the exhibition Canada 150 Art by Surrey Students.