The Cadre | UPEI

Review of Inspire Exhibit — Art by PEI Public School Students, Teachers and Staff

The Inspire Exhibit is currently on display at The Guild in downtown Charlottetown. Staff from every branch of the PEI Public Schools Branch were invited to submit art to be featured in this exhibit. Students, staff and teachers specifically from Montague High, Elm Street, Tignish, East Wiltshire School, Vernon River, Summerside Intermediate School, Sherwood Elementary School, Parkside Elementary School and Central Queens contributed the artwork; the list of artists also includes administrative staff, cafeteria staff, and educational assistants. Many of the works that are featured have been shown around the globe and have won significant international prizes. 

The exhibit includes a healthy mixture of mediums including but not limited to fabric collage, mixed media, photography, painting, sculpture, drawing, and embroidery. The featured artists’ were tasked with creating a piece of art that expresses their relationship to Canada. The Cadre reached out to Lili-Anne Webster who is an Educational assistant and the Secretary of PEI Visual Art Teachers Association.

Webster explained, “As the PEI Visual Art Teachers Association, it is our desire to support students and staff to better explore and express their creative abilities through literacy and tactile means. We have been hosting art exhibits for a number of years and this is the second show so far titled INSPIRE. This year, we included a collaborative piece in which Island students were invited to send in smaller pieces of art reflecting their ideas and feelings on what it means to be part of Canada and what the 150th anniversary means to them.”

A variety of subjects are covered and touched on in these artworks. The exhibit itself is carefully curated, with pieces that are ornate and vibrant to pieces that are monochromatic and dark. Each piece offers a vivid glimpse into a unique moment in time and space. Whether it be a portraiture, landscape photography or a fabric collage, every piece reflects the painstaking effort behind its creation.

An exhibit such as this makes a strong case for the importance of an education in visual arts. “As a group, it is our goal to bring attention to the importance of art on its own as well as the cross-curricular implementations. Creativity is one of the most important tools for young people to have in their skill sets. We wish to INSPIRE this creativity. Putting our talents on display helps to unite us,” added Webster.
The Inspire Exhibit opened on October 11th, 2017 and will be on display until October 22nd, 2017. If you have a predilection for local artwork then the Inspire 150 exhibit is a must see.


By: Adi Vella

Photo: Lorelei Kenny