In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.
1 Thessalonians 5:18
Jul 19, 2017

A painting of collaboration

by Andrew Gibbs, Visual Arts Teacher, St. Andrew's Regional High School

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During our Day of Reflection [for Island Catholic Schools], one of the central topics that came up was the story of the Good Samaritan in the Bible. We reflected on the question “Who is our neighbour?” and wondered how we might be able cross the road to our neighbour and be of service.

The thought occurred to me that creating an artistic depiction of a traditional Songhees village might be received as a gesture of respect and reverence by the Songhees and Coast Salish people; I hoped to honour their rich and beautiful culture and history here on the West Coast.

The students understood that this painting would likely have many inaccuracies and artistic embellishments. Nonetheless, in the process of assembling it, we learned more than we previously knew about the way First Nations people lived, and their relationship with their land.

The senior art class and I started the project and worked on it for several weeks. Later, the rest of the school was invited to contribute to the image.  Some students and staff put down just a line or two of colour.  Some felt motivated to contribute much more and made significant additions to the content.

For me, the painting evidences how collaborating and drawing upon multiple perspectives can strengthen an idea. Together, we created a richer, more compelling expression of ourselves and our Catholic worldview.

The painting is featured below.


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