Sufficient data exists today to overwhelmingly support the belief that study and participation in the fine arts is a key component in improving one’s learning throughout all academic areas.
Those who have studied learning processes throughout the ages, beginning with Plato, have consistently emphasized the importance of the arts in the education process. Arts education refers to education in the disciplines of music, dance, theatre and visual arts. Students who have participated in the arts as part of their education, have demonstrable gains in their proficiency in math, reading, critical thinking, cognitive ability and verbal skills. Arts learning can also improve motivation, concentration, confidence and teamwork. A 2005 report by the Rand Corporation about the visual arts argues that the intrinsic pleasures and stimulation of the art experience do more than sweeten an individual’s life. According to the report, they “can connect people more deeply to the world and open them to new ways of seeing.” Creating the foundation to forge social bonds and community cohesion. It has also been shown that an arts education is effective in reducing student dropout, raising student attendance, developing better team players, fostering a love for learning and more.
With this in mind, it is with pleasure that the Penticton Art Gallery features a sampling of artwork created over this past year by the students of our region’s three high schools. A great deal of credit is owed to art instructors Donna Cowles, Brad Gibson and Dawn Richards who have provided the fertile ground from which the works in the exhibition have taken root. This year’s exhibition Visual Diversions presents a sampling of works created over the past seven months
The art gallery this opportunity to thank all of the students for the risks they take in the classes daily. They hope you the viewer enjoy the wide variety of concepts and media they expose their students to and invite you to look upon the work and celebrate the many diverse approaches every student takes when solving visual problems. They encourage student participants and gallery viewers alike to consider the possibilities in their own lives that feed creativity and offer new opportunities towards building confidence as unique and diverse individuals in this complex world.
Visual Diversions opens in the Toni Onley Gallery, project room and education space, on Friday at 7 p.m. The exhibition runs until May 13.