VAC exhibition gives us a window into students’ world

'Untitled Man' by Emily Osborne

'Fidelity' by Kate Traynor

The Visual Arts Centre (VAC) of Clarington is holding its annual “Art from the High Schools” exhibition, featuring selected works by local students from Bowmanville High School, Clarke High School, Courtice Secondary School, and St. Stephen’s Secondary School.

The variety and energy displayed in the various works make the show quite enjoyable, and gives us a window into the students’ world. From the whimsical to the serious, and from the political to the magical, the sheer scope of the subject matter of the pieces reminds us that students today are not only well-informed about the world, but very involved in it.

The exhibition is arranged by school, and appears to reflect population; St. Stephen’s and Bowmanville are strongly represented, while Clarke and Courtice have fewer works featured.

As you enter the gallery, you are greeted by a series of colourful, hanging scarves created by students from Bowmanville High. From the same school, and also commanding attention is a number of large installations spread throughout the exhibition, made of wood, fabric and mini-lights. A group of silk screen prints, and a collection of water colour and chalk pastel abstracts from that high school are also interesting.

The students from Courtice Secondary School have created some nice pen and ink drawings of celebrities, and some colourful acrylic works.

St. Stephen’s students presented some interesting three dimensional pieces, a number of visual interpretations of the persona of the late Michael Jackson, and some well-crafted acrylic abstracts and still lifes. The pieces “Burst” and “|Light as a Feather” particularly stand out.

Clarke High School students contributed a pleasing series of strong graphic shapes on acrylic on canvas, including pieces by Amanda Connolly, Megan Coles, Katelyn Marshall, Sam Luxton, Andrea Walker, Connor Shaw, and Jessica Stec.

Other notable works from Clarke students included “Untitled Man,” an pencil drawing by Emily Osborne; “Fidelity,” an acrylic on canvas landscape by Kate Traynor; “Design,” a black fine-tip pen drawing by Miranda Prescott, part of a strong series by fellow Clarke students; “Ravens,” an acrylic painting by Malcolm Cook; “Notre Dame,” a pencil drawing by Danielle Stirbisky; and “Hard Sun,” an acrylic on canvas painting by Connor Shaw.

The exhibition opened on January 24th, and runs until February 28th, 2010. Located at 143 Simpson Ave. in Bowmanville, the VAC is open Tuesday to Saturday, 11 am to 5 pm; Thursday, 11 am to 8 pm; and Sunday, 1 pm to 4 pm. For more information, phone (905) 623-5831 or go online to


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