Uni­fy­ing Art Tree pro­ject at Festival Hall

The Daily Observer - - NEWS - CÉLINA IP CIp@post­media.com

The Art Tree Pro­ject has hon­oured Canada’s 150th by uni­fy­ing Cana­di­ans through the sym­bolic image of a tree.

Founded by Burn­stown art in­struc­tor Mar­lene Schaly in 2016, the Art Tree Pro­ject is a lo­cal Canada 150 ini­tia­tive that has in­vited var­i­ous fam­i­lies, schools, busi­nesses and groups to come to­gether and cre­ate their own Art Tree mas­ter­piece.

As a tree sym­bol­izes growth, sus­tain­abil­ity, strength, hope and peace – Schaly thought that the tree would be the per­fect sym­bol to hon­our our coun­try’s mile­stone.

“The image of the tree re­lates to our national logo of the maple leaf and is sym­bolic of our Cana­dian land­scape,” said Schaly. “Each of us has roots in our coun­try, schools, faiths, busi­nesses and or­ga­ni­za­tions. We grow and branch out as hu­man be­ings within these com­mu­nity groups.”

In 2016 teach­ers, stu­dents and artists joined with vol­un­teer groups in the Ottawa Val­ley to cre­ate the first Art Trees for this Canada 150 event.

There­after, the pro­ject at­tracted more than 200 groups from across Canada who have been cre­at­ing the Art Trees that re­flect their unique sto­ries and what they rep­re­sent as a uni­fied team. Us­ing var­i­ous artis­tic tech­niques and ma­te­ri­als, the groups have cre­ated the Art Tree posters that each por­tray a tree in the mid­dle that is sur­rounded by im­ages re­flec­tive of the mem­bers’ vi­sion.

“It’s not pro­fes­sional artists but it’s ev­ery­day peo­ple get­ting an op­por­tu­nity to be cre­ative in find­ing and hav­ing pride in their group and their place in their com­mu­nity. We’ve had peo­ple of all back­grounds, rang­ing from young kids to adults and from just about ev­ery prov­ince who’ve been in­volved. The peo­ple seem to be get­ting a lot out of it and it’s all vol­un­teer­based,” said Schaly.

In the Ottawa Val­ley, var­i­ous schools, le­gions, vol­un­teer groups, churches, youth groups and the Al­go­nquins of Pik­wakana­gan took part in the cre­ative ini­tia­tive.

Pem­broke’s Our Lady of Lour­des Catholic El­e­men­tary School had all 13 classes col­lab­o­rate on the Art Tree by each cre­at­ing an image that suited the class­room and their cre­ative process. The poster fea­tures a col­lage of colour­ful stu­dent hand­prints, pic­tures of stu­dents work­ing and play­ing to­gether and phrases such “giv­ing to oth­ers” and “car­ing for each other” that rep­re­sent the school’s val­ues.

Staff and stu­dents at Eganville Dis­trict Pub­lic School cre­ated an Art Tree rep­re­sent­ing a view of the Bon­nechere River nearby their school. With the back­ground done in acrylic paint, the tree is sur­rounded by art works from classes in Kin­der­garten through to Grade 8. The pho­tos of stu­dent art have been com­posed to­gether onto the scene and are ex­am­ples of paint­ing, draw­ing, sculp­ture, and print­mak­ing.

Since Jan­uary, the Art Tree Pro­ject has been tour­ing the Ottawa Val­ley. The ex­hibit be­gan in Arn­prior be­fore trav­el­ling to Ren­frew, Cal­abo­gie, White Lake, Eganville and now Pem­broke. With a to­tal of 14 trees on dis­play, the ex­hibit will re­main in Pem­broke at the Festival Hall for the Per­form­ing Arts un­til Oct. 22 be­fore trav­el­ling to Shawville for the fi­nal stop on the tour.

For those in­ter­ested in learn­ing more about the Art Tree Pro­ject or cre­at­ing their own Art Tree, visit art­treep­ro­ject.ca or “Art Tree Pro­ject” on Face­book.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Eganville Dis­trict Pub­lic School cre­ated an Art Tree rep­re­sent­ing a view of the Bon­nechere River near their school. With the back­ground done in acrylic paint, the tree is sur­rounded by art works from classes in kin­der­garten through to Grade 8.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Staff and stu­dents from Our Lady of Lour­des Catholic El­e­men­tary School in Pem­broke col­lab­o­rated on this colour­ful Art Tree that show­cases a col­lage of pic­tures, hand­prints and phrases rep­re­sen­ta­tive of their school com­mu­nity's val­ues and vi­sion.

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