“Art must occupy a significant place in the educational system if that system is truly dedicated to exploring and developing the human intellect.” - Phillip Dunn, Art Educator
The Penticton Art Gallery is pleased to once again work with the Visual Arts Programs of Summerland, Penticton and Princess Margaret Secondary Schools to highlight the creative output of their grade 9 to 12 students. After a year’s absence due to the move of our library upstairs to our former Education Space, this year’s exhibit titled Connections will take over the Project Room, Toni Onley Gallery and Tea Room.
Art and creativity are critical components in the development of every child and they permeate every aspect of human existence. Exhibitions such as these are vital as they serve to validate the importance of creativity in education and in life. A visual arts education helps students develop a higher order of thinking through creativity, critical thinking and the ability to pose and solve problems. Through this process they also gain an understanding of self-discipline and increased self-confidence. Albert Einstein once famously stated that, “Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
The Province of British Columbia’s Ministry of Education standards for grade eleven and twelve visual arts student’s states:
“The art of image making is a unique and powerful human endeavor. In visual arts, images give shape and meaning to ideas and feelings. Images take many forms and transcend boundaries of time, culture and language. The visual arts both reflect and affect the social, cultural and historical contexts in which they exist. For this reason, visual arts education provides a unique opportunity to foster respect for and appreciation of a variety of values and cultures. In addition, an education in visual arts promotes understanding of the role of the arts in reflecting and challenging social values throughout history.
The visual arts are an essential form of communication, indispensable to freedom of inquiry and expression. Visual literacy skills enable students to evaluate the contributions of artists in society, and to work with images to better understand social and environmental issues. Through experiences with the visual arts, students gain pleasure, enjoyment and a deepened awareness of themselves and their place in their environment, community and culture. By making learning personally relevant to students, visual arts education fosters lifelong learning. Visual arts education promotes intellectual development by expanding students' capacities for creative thought and encouraging critical-thinking skills such as curiosity, open-mindedness, persistence and flexibility.”
It is in this spirit we offer this exhibition for your consideration and we congratulate both the teachers and the students for sharing their vision with us. This exhibition would not have been possible if not for the vision and guidance of Brad Gibson from Princess Margaret Secondary, Donna Cowles of Summerland Secondary and Dawn Richards from Penticton Secondary School. It’s due to the commitment and dedication of teachers like these that students are able to reach outside of themselves and challenge the way they see and interact with the world around them. While not all of these students will pursue a career in the arts, they have all been given the gift of creative thinking which will manifest itself in ways yet unimaginable for the rest of their lives.