Students from The Fernie Academy publicly presented their work on Wednesday (Nov. 23) on the theme of art and war.
Karen Luzny, an art teacher with the school, said she’s been doing a whole unit this past semester with her Grade 10 class on the theme ‘Make Art Not War’.
“What we’ve been doing is studying artists throughout (the 20th century) who have done work in regards to war,” she said.
Artists studied included Paul Nash, Henry Moore, Picasso, and the modern anti-war artist, Banksy.
The students did their own work in response to those artists, and did tons of research, Luzny said.
“And now the last assignment that they’ve done is to make a statement of their own… making a visual statement about war and conflict.”
She said all the students were anti-war, and that it was interesting to see how 16 and 17-year-olds were approaching the subject and how much knowledge they had about it.
Himari Fukada is one of the students from Luzny’s class who presented her artwork.
“While learning of war history through art was important, realising the voice these artworks give through the style, techniques, and provoking of emotions is what I find makes the process and research fascinating,” Fukada said.
“It makes us young artists consider how we can express ourselves through creativity.”
Luzny said this was the first year she’s done this project at The Fernie Academy, though she had done something similar at a past teaching job in Regina.
She said she was pushing the students to look at things in a more complicated and sophisticated way. She said some struggled with ‘a whole new way to do the art,’ while others really enjoyed it, and that it elevated art in their eyes, giving them a stronger appreciation for what they were studying.
“From my point of view, I’m just really excited that students are realizing that art’s not just about pretty pictures,” she said.
“They’re actually using their visual voice to make commentary on the world.”