The walls of South Canoe Elementary are going to be inspiring to students as prints by world renowned artist Robert Bateman and nationally-recognized local artist Valerie Rogers will soon be decorating them!
Robert Bateman started his career as a secondary geography and fine arts teacher and he has been an avid naturalist and environmental educator throughout his career. So, when he connected with teachers from the Outdoor Learning Program at South Canoe Elementary, he was thrilled to hear about this initiative and was keen to support. Bateman, one of Canada’s most well-known and beloved painters, donated six prints of local birds and animals to the school. Askew’s Foods, a supporter of the program donated money to help with the cost of framing the prints.
Another talented wildlife painter, Valerie Rogers, happens to live only a short walk from the school. She has opened up her studio and her property to South Canoe students, teaching them techniques for drawing horses and helping with the framing of the Bateman prints. She donated a beautiful framed print of a bathing grizzly that was selected as part of the National Art Portfolio for Ducks Unlimited.
Finally, Emily and Geoff Styles, two of the teachers at the school, donated three Bateman prints to the school, which were bequeathed to them through the estate of their late uncle, Ron Styles.
These paintings highlight the beauty and complexity of the natural world, and increase appreciation of local artists. Perhaps they will inspire wildlife artists at South Canoe Elementary!
On Friday, 97 students and 13 staff members, will squeeze into the library to host a gratitude assembly. They have invited Valerie Rogers, Claire Askew and Robert Bateman to attend (via Skype). Emceed by students, the students will share songs about gratitude, listen to gratitude-themed skits and thank many others including CUPE staff and their hardworking student teacher, Sonya Rokosh. Many community members have supported the school in this first year, and South Canoe students and staff are grateful!