Art students take the spotlight

Oak Bay High Grade 10 student Paige McGregor

Oak Bay High Grade 10 student Paige McGregor

Oak Bay High service club organizes exhibit

It wasn’t the black acrylic painting of a woman’s face that caught Sanja Dodos’ attention.

Nor was it the painting of a green fish inside a lightbulb hanging from a tenuous thread, against a murky red and gold sky.

Instead it was a sculpture by Oak Bay High Grade 10 student Lorenzo Scala that she liked.

Made from pieces of an old chair, electrical wires, plastic hoses, empty tape rolls and pipe cleaners, the sculpture was “a good example of how you can reuse garbage,” said Grade 11 student Dodos.

The exhibit of 12 works by Oak Bay High art students was organized by the school’s Key club – a junior Kiwanis service club, supervised by retired school secretary Jan Burns and Oak Bay police Const. Chris Goudie.

Although Karissa Goudie and other Key club members are not focused on art at school, she said they felt it was important to host a judged exhibit and display the entries.

“There’s activities for different groups in the school – like athletics – that people get recognized for, but we wanted to give artistic students something they could be recognized for,” Goudie said.

Dodos, who checked out the 10 drawings and paintings as well as two sculptures in the exhibit, said the show was a good idea. “We’re a big sports and academics school, but we’re not really focused on art.”

Grade 10 student Paige McGregor has a differing perspective. She takes three 90-minute art classes a week at Oak Bay High.

“I purposely went to this school because I heard it had an amazing art program. I’ve done way more art here than I thought I would,” she said.

For the contest she entered a pencil sketch of an eroding Statue of Liberty that fit in with the exhibit’s theme of what the world might be like in the future.

Students voted on their favourite works. The winning artists were awarded art supplies donated by Island Blue and cash from the Key club’s coffers. The club is also planning a poetry contest for later this term.

Art teacher Bevin Bigalky stressed that art is not the poor cousin in the school.

“We do a lot better than other schools,” he said, adding that Oak Bay has one of the largest art programs on Vancouver Island in terms of number of students and classes. “Our profile is just different from track and field,” he said.

He appreciated the club’s efforts to organize the exhibit, which is on display in the cafeteria until April 8. The public is welcome to take a look. “This kind of experience is really great. They (art students) are young, but who knows where this can lead?”

vmoreau@oakbaynews.com