Early childhood educators, children and their families gathered at the Vernon Public Art Gallery Saturday to celebrate a new community art project.
A large 3.5-by-4.5-foot canvas titled Here I Am was unveiled as part of the Children as Active Citizens Early Childhood Educators of B.C. leadership initiative art project.
The collaborative project was created by local children ages one to 12 years old in honour of National Children’s Day, which took place Saturday.
Made up of nearly 100 individually painted squares on canvas, the piece was created using brushes, rollers, sponges and finger painting.
“We are really happy to partner with other organizations and provide opportunities for showcasing art created by the youngest of artists in our community,” said Dauna Kennedy Grant, VPAG executive director. “This exhibit includes an important message, if we provide artistic support to children in the early stages of their development, their creativity has the chance to blossom, which will benefit their future learning and artistic endeavours.”
In attendance at the exhibition opening were local artist/educators Angela Roy and Paul Rossetti (the team who hosts the Expression summer art camps in Vernon.) Both have been working with the North Okanagan Early Childhood Educators Leadership Initiative on a project to create awareness about children’s rights and a local charter of rights in the community.
The duo worked with a group of children at the North Okanagan Childcare Society’s West Vernon Education Centre, sharing and teaching an adaptation of the UNICEF children rights song, also entitled Here I Am.
A hand drumming, percussion and movement component also accompanied the performance program.
Besides performing at the art gallery, the group gathered for a surprise flash mob performance of Here I Am, Saturday at the Village Green Mall.
The Here I Am art project is now available for viewing at the Vernon Public Art Gallery until Dec. 21. Admission to the gallery is free.