NDSS students paint significant historical moments to mark Canada’s 150th

Artist Sherry Pringle, centre, guided NDSS students as they created Canada the Great, a showcase of culturally significant paintings now on display at the Lennox and Addington County General Hospital. Two of the painters involved in the project were Austin Dunham, left, and Katie Badour. Justin Medve photo.

Justin Medve
Special to the Beaver

They say a picture is worth one thousand words –  for proof of that, look no further than Canada the Great, a showcase of culturally significant paintings from students at NDSS.

With the direction of local artist and author Sherry Pringle – and, in some cases, history students and research partners – the group of ten each portrayed a notable individual or event from the last 150 years of Canadian history.

“You need to see it as a whole body, it’s a whole body of work that they all contributed to,” Pringle said.

Canada the Great had its local premiere at the Lennox and Addington County General Hospital Gallery this Sunday.

Limestone Learning Foundation, who organized the initiative, hosted their Canadian Crystal fundraiser in Kingston earlier this month. The exhibit was first seen there, but the group is happy to see it displayed closer to home.

“They’re all fantastic and I’m very proud to be a part of it,” said Grade 12  student Katie Badour, who has been dedicated to the project since its inception in May.

Badour based her piece on women earning the right to vote. She said it was a great way of using her art skills to learn more about Canadian heritage.

Pringle, who has a passion for portraying military history in her own work, said the idea of visualizing history motivated most students from the start.

“Once they chose their topic, they were focused. They were dedicated to getting it done,” she said.

Those topics range from Indigenous roots to famous photographs, presented in the order they took place.

A small explanation is written beside each painting, but a lot can be learned from the style and colour used for each scene.

Pringle said an up-and-coming artist’s first gallery feature is encouraging, whether they pursue their craft as a hobby or career.

“Once you’ve done it and know you’re capable of doing it, you can pick it up whenever your lifestyle can accommodate the time,” she said.

Students are also able to use the experience toward a Specialist High Skills Major in Arts and Culture, their post-secondary portfolio and community volunteer hours.

Deputy-Mayor Marg Isbester and several representatives from the Limestone Learning Foundation attended Sunday’s exhibit opening, commemorating students and Pringle for their effort to keep culture and history significant.

Canada the Great will be displayed at the Lennox and Addington County General Hospital Gallery until Jan 12.

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