NWP student art big success at AGGP

·2 min read

Seven fine arts students at Northwestern Polytechnic (NWP) are exhibiting their work at the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie (AGGP).

The students of NWP’s Special Projects course will have their work displayed in the show gen.e.sis, with mediums ranging from painting to sculptures.

“We kind of felt gen.e.sis was a great title because, with everything that we've been through in the last two years, we knew that things were opening up again and that we were probably going to be able to do a live show again,” said Tina Martel, NWP Special Projects instructor.

She noted that this is the start of many of the artist's careers and a unique start with such an extensive gallery show.

“These students are showing in a professional gallery and not only that, but the second largest professional public gallery in Alberta,” said Martel.

“That is not something you get to do as a student.”

The opening night of gen.e.sis brought in over 100 guests to the gallery, a big opening night for the AGGP.

“I was just blown away as I'm sure a lot of people were,” said Martell.

“Special Projects is like a stepping stone where we have to come up with our own concept at the beginning of the year and work on it for over a year with some input from Martel,” said Alysoun Wells, an artist who had sculptures made of metal and stone at gen.e.sis.

Ali Boychuk has been in the Special Projects course for two years and has seen her craft grow under the guidance of Martel and her fellow peers.

“Students in this course right now have been coming back for two to six years,” she said.

Boychuck said the Special Projects class is less structured, with fewer assignments and deadlines.

“It's really about learning how to push yourself and learning how to create your own studio space,” she said, preparing artists for their futures.

When Martel joined the college almost 20 years ago, there was a single class of one-on-one instruction with a single student. Martel eventually found herself taking on more students, eventually needing to speak to the fine art department chair after the number of applicants continued to rise.

Together, they formed a class where students would have a studio space to work on their projects, bounce ideas off each other, and create.

The AGGP has displayed the student's work from the Special Projects course since 2016, although the past two years were virtual exhibitions.

The exhibit gen.e.sis will be on display until May 30 and also features the work of Connie Potter, Shayna Geisel, Christina Wallwork, Rosemary Kay and Wenoa Backer-Kisner.

The AGGP has received operating support from the County of Grande Prairie of $75,000 annually for 2019-2022.

Jesse Boily, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Town & Country News

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