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DMCI students collaborate with professional creatives

April 15, 2021
DMCI - Artist Workshop

Visual art students at Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute worked with two professional artists to create a collaborative collage.

On April 9, Advanced Placement Program in Studio Art students participated in an in-person talk and workshop with Winnipeg artists Paul Robles and Takashi Iwasaki.

DMCI visual arts teacher Ruby Yudai said she wanted her students to make some fond memories during a trying time.  

“It’s their Grade 12 year, so I was wanted to do something really special for them to celebrate their accomplishments,” Yudai said. 

“They’ve been working completely independently and there have been lots of struggles throughout the past few months. I thought an artist talk and workshop was a good way to celebrate what they’ve accomplished, while also thinking about what they could do in the future.”

Robles and Iwasaki both specialize in the art of papercutting, albeit with totally different styles. 

“Paul does paper cut-outs, whereas Takashi does the opposite. Instead of cutting out, he cuts to apply pieces. Instead of reducing, he’s adding,” Yudai said. 

“It’s a very different way of creating art. Not only were the students introduced to new art forms, they also worked collaboratively, making a piece with actual working artists. I think that’s pretty darn cool.”

In addition to working with DMCI students to create an art piece, Robles and Iwasaki answered questions and showed examples of their own work. 

“They were very impressed with the depth that the students were thinking at,” Yudai said.

DMCI student Gabrielle McDiarmid said working with Robles and Iwasaki actually changed her mind about what art is and can be.

“I thought art was all about ability, about the process. Art was for the viewer,” McDiarmid said. “After the workshop, and seeing art that I couldn’t possibly understand what it meant to them without an explanation, I learned that the viewer doesn’t have to understand or grasp the meaning behind your art.” 

The artist talk and workshop was made possible by a $450 provincial Arts Education Grant. Yudai believes by working with local professional artists, students can see that a career in the arts is achievable. 

“It was an opportunity for these art students to connect with established artists from their own community,” Yudai said. “The fact Paul and Takashi come from backgrounds that are similar to the students showed that being an artist is not a pipe dream. It’s something that can actually be achieved.”

“To know these artists are very successful and come from down the road, quite literally, opens up a world of possibilities for me,” McDiarmid said.

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