Friday, October 11, 2013

Blyth Academy Visual Arts classes at the Varley Gallery and Ai Wei Wei at the A.G.O.

    It's been longer than usual since my last post so I'll make up for it by covering two posts in one: Blyth at the Varley Gallery and Ai Wei Wei at the AGO. The start of this school year has been so busy - but I guess they always are! I 've been less involved in art education this term because I've been teaching exclusively grade 12 Social Science courses. Even though I miss Visual Arts, the new courses have been very rewarding to teach. I organized a field trip to the Coroner's Courts in Toronto, to sit in on the Inquest into the Death of Ashley Smith. I also brought in a social justice lawyer to visit my classes and discuss the inquest after.

    That will all change soon- my courses end in mid-November and I will be establishing a Visual Arts program at Blyth Academy, Thornhill. The arts program that I've been working on with the wonderful team at Blyth is based on a parntership with the Varley Art Gallery in Markham. The students will tour the collection, paint in the studios and curate their own show that will be held in the gallery at the end of the course. I am very excited about this partnership and can't wait to get started!

Back in Toronto... the Ai Wei Wei exhibit at the AGO is one of the best shows I've seen in a while. The works are thoughtful, surprising and truly creative. The pieces communicate important messages about social justice issues with a bold, thought-provoking directness. Even though he is not allowed to travel outside of China due to his open criticism of the Chinese government, Ai Wei Wei uses art to visually communicate all over the world and, luckily for us, especially in Toronto.

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