Penticton elementary students artwork displayed around Penticton

Parkway Elementary Gr. 4 and 5 students have created an art project displayed for sale at businesses around Penticton with money raised going back to the school, local charity and internationally. (Submitted)
Parkway Elementary Gr. 4 and 5 students have created art work, like Sophia's trees, displayed for sale at businesses around Penticton with money raised going back to the school, local charity and internationally. (Submitted)
Parkway Elementary Gr. 4 and 5 students have created art work, like this abstract sunset, displayed for sale at businesses around Penticton with money raised going back to the school, local charity and internationally. (Submitted)
Parkway Elementary Gr. 4 and 5 students have created art work, like Sophia's trees, displayed for sale at businesses around Penticton with money raised going back to the school, local charity and internationally. (Submitted)

Grade 4 and 5 students at Penticton’s Parkway Elementary have found a way to make a difference through art, spreading some positivity and raising money during these challenging times.

With support from their teachers, they have explored the world of art and empathy and have taken brushes to canvas to create works of art now on display and for sale at a local coffee shop, art store and hotel lobby.

Armed with school spirit, students opted to take on the mission of making a difference by creating an art piece that represents joy in the process, passion for spreading positivity, and purpose that supports the school community, said teacher Tammy Kay who is the founder of the InStill Life art project.

The project enables elementary school students to see how they are connected to the rest of the world,” said Kay. “They can see that their work will benefit the Parkway community in ways that we could not have imagined. Their actions matter, and they matter to the world, seen perhaps now more than ever.”

The results are student masterpieces on display at Dragon’s Den, Blenz Café, and the Lakeside Resort.

READ MORE: Travelling art kit a hit in North Okanagan schools

Each original work will warm people’s hearts, said Grade 4/5 teachers Renee Funk and Tammy Kay. All proceeds go to support the school, the community and beyond during these financially unstable and challenging times, providing food cards, supplies, and opportunities, said Kay.

“A small hand, providing a helping hand, to give a hand-up.”

That is where the name of their exhibit came together: “Hands and Hearts Together.”

Kay has been doing the ‘In Still Life’ project for 22 years.

“Over the years, the project has changed to reflect the needs of schools that I have worked in and the community needs. The idea of allowing students to plan, create and inspire others by using their skills and talents to generate funds that we then put back into our school, community (SOWINS), and internationally (KIVA), helps students to feel that they matter and they can contribute in a meaningful way,” said Kay.

This project began when Kay was working to fundraise for a school trip to see the Leonardo Da Vinci exhibit in Victoria, B.C.

“Nikos Theodosakis (previous owner of Theo’s Restaurant) commissioned my kiddos to create various versions of the Mona Lisa, which worked into an evening of dinner, silent auction, earned us the money we needed to take the children on a life-changing trip.,” said Kay.

This year, the students, ages 9-11-years-old, have brainstormed, planned, and executed how they wish to support the younger students with a legacy of generosity. Some examples are purchasing a tree for the outdoor learning space and curling equipment for everyone to use and enjoy.

Art canvases will be on sale May 4 to 17 at Blendz, Lakeside and Dragon’s Den, and then at Parkway school after that.

Visit the Parkway Elementary School website and view their virtual gallery to see all the students’ artwork.

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