By Anna Woodwick – Sun Newspapers
For the first time, students from Robbinsdale areas 10 elementary schools will be able to see their work hanging for all to see at Robbin Art Gallery in Robbinsdale.
Ten third- through fifth-grade students from each of the elementary schools were chosen by Wendy Wold, Robbinsdale area schools elementary art specialist, to be a part of the unique opportunity.
The idea for the show – Art is Primary – was a brain child of Robbin Gallery Program Director Vannessa Merry.
Merry, a member of the Parent Teacher Association in Robbinsdale, had heard a lot of individuals express the desire for more art in the schools. Knowing that the gallery had a block of open space in December for a show, Merry approached the school district and asked if it would be interested in allowing students to participate in an art show.
“It’s the area that needs some focus and representation,” Merry said. “We would love to have the show here.”
“I was contacted by my boss about the idea and I thought ‘let’s do it,’” Wold added. “I’m excited. What a great way to showcase students’ work … they’re really excited about it.”
Gallery Director Mike Proulx was behind the idea from the beginning and said it’s been a way the gallery could do something for the community.
“It’s something we can do,” he said. “It’s a beautiful gallery and it doesn’t get used enough. The president expressed a desire to do something for students, and Vanessa came through with a plan.”
The mother of a first-grader, Merry said her son is already envisioning two years in the future when he will get to show his work at the Robbin Gallery.
“He can’t wait,” Merry said. “It shows that you’re talented and for the kids to get that support, it encourages them to feel proud of themselves.”
Art is Primary is Dec. 18-28 and Wold said the show will feature 10 frames from each school and will showcase everything from aesthetic style, mass sea life mola artwork and landscapes. All work will be two-dimensional.
“They really study about art around the world,” she said. “Art is a great connection with timeline history. The two points are really important.”
As an art specialist for the Robbinsdale schools, Wold focuses her lessons on aesthetics, art criticism and production and sequential skills and concepts tat are built over the three years of art classes the students take. Art is Primary will encompass what the students have been learning during their lessons with Wold.
“It gives the students the opportunity to show their work and step into an art gallery,” she said.
The show will also give Robbin Gallery the exposure to community members that may have not visited the art gallery before, said CJ Longaecker, who does public relations for the gallery.
“It will introduce the gallery to the community for those that drive by and don’t always know what we’re about,” she said. “It’s an opportunity for new people to get exposed to our mission and offerings.”
“We want to raise the pool for the gallery in the community and this is a way to do that,” Proulx said. “I love the idea of doing something for the kids and for art education.”
If you go
Art is Primary, Dec. 18-28 at Robbin Art Gallery, 4915 42nd Ave. N., Robbinsdale. Gallery hours are noon to 4 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday and 5:30-8:30 p.m., Thursday evening.