What comes to mind when you think of your elementary or secondary school? The sound of lockers banging, meatloaf Tuesdays, chalk dust, fingers stained with ink? In Vancouver School, five prominent Canadian artists were invited to create their own interpretations of school what it meant, and still does mean, to each of them.
Derek Root, Untitled (2006), installation [Artists for Kids Gallery, North Vancouver BC, Apr 18-May 13]
Vancouver School is a collaborative site installation by Douglas Coupland, Graham Gillmore, Angela Grossmann, Attila Richard Lukacs and Derek Root.
The quintet, recently infamous for the Basement Show (2003), formed fast friendships during art school in the early 1980s. In Vancouver School they take on Canadian school culture as art for arts sake. Provided with artefacts like gym equipment, film projectors, textbooks and chalkboards from a school slated for demolition, they have modified and rearranged the objects in new contexts that examine notions of self-esteem, personal identity, social status, rivalry, crushes, embarrassing moments, athletic experiences and academic learning, among other highlights of school life.
More than 2,000 students in Grades 1 and 2 will tour the exhibition, and a documentary film is being made of the process. A select group of senior secondary art students will have a three-day workshop with Angela Grossmann, with guest visits from other artists. The exhibit is open to the public 3-6 pm weekdays and 12-4pm weekends.
Vancouver School is one of many projects curated by Bill Macdonald, Director of Artists For Kids. The art education trust was founded in 1989 through a partnership between the North Vancouver School District and Canadian artists Gordon Smith, Jack Shadbolt and Bill Reid.