This sketchbook is a collaboration between myself (Natalie Stevens) and my truly amazing art students: Shaylene Gibbons, Valiyah Khurshid, Marissa de Boer, Rachelle Fortier, Kaitlyn Beimers and Faith Ebert.
I am a high school art teacher in Renfrew, Ontario. The girls involved in this project are grade 10 and 12 art students at Renfrew Collegiate Institute. Shaylene is in her first year of film studies at Brock University. I have the pleasure of teaching some of the most thoughtful, creative and inspiring young people, and when it came to approaching this sketchbook, working with these girls seemed the perfect way for us to bring together our passions and talents. This is the second year that we have collaborated on a sketchbook.
The girls involved in this project are some of the most talented artists I have ever had the privilege of teaching. They are also and more importantly, kind, compassionate, thoughtful young women, and this is really reflected in their truly inspiring creative visions.
We decided to explore the theme 'right here, right now' because this sketchbook is a collaborative effort, and our minds as artists are so different that this theme allows us to express ourselves individually as artists. The pages in this book reference our individual values and interests as well as mutual likes. We share an appreciation for nature. We love references to other periods and styles of art. We like to explore the use of text and quotes from current literature, music and media, and we all share a love of classic literature as well. We love to practice yoga together and have also included mindful art.. The book is a mixture of past and present to show that even right now in this moment we are also always rooted in the past and its rich history. We chose to title our sketchbook 'Today's Agenda' and assembled it like a journal in keeping with our theme.
This was again a wonderful experience for me to be able to work with such fantastic students. The students involved with this project were definitely such a great source of motivation for me as an artist. The amazing thing about this collaboration is that our individual passions and shared ideas can be reflected in one place. We hope you enjoy viewing it as much as we enjoyed creating it.
Thank you to Shaylene, Valiyah, Rachelle, Marissa, Kaitlyn and Faith for their commitment and their talents, and for coming together to produce such a beautiful book!
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