Mount Boucherie Secondary Students reimagine famous works of art in mural

You can travel back in time 100 years and get an artist’s view of Canada 100 years ago in the Northern Pine Exhibition at the Kelowna Art Gallery.

“It’s a really important telltale about some important historic artists in Canadian history,” said Nataley Nagy, Kelowna Art Gallery executive director.

“I think that those of us that have grown up with the Group of Seven, or even if you haven’t, I think you get a pretty interesting history lesson about Canadian history and geography but also about painting drawing and printmaking 100 years ago.”

The Group of Seven is a Canadian collective of artists, founded in 1920 and famous for their landscapes, that established a distinctively Canadian style, breaking from the European tradition.

The Kelowna Art Gallery exhibition shows who they were before they were famous in the drawings and watercolour paintings on display and five Mount Boucherie Secondary Students were put to task to reimagine the artwork in a mural.

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“We focused mostly on Franklin Carmichael who was one of the lesser-known Group of Seven artists,” said Stephanie Emmond, Mount Boucherie Secondary School visual arts teacher.

“Most of us know Lawren Harris and have heard of Tom Thomson so we wanted to give a different artist a little bit of a showcase.”

The five students came together to create a cohesive eight-foot by 12-foot mural.

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“We all had different ideas and we all brought that to find what we liked the best and all experimented and we all talked, it was a very cool experience,” said Miranda Nutt, Grade 11.

“We wanted to take all the little pieces of his process and put it into one big image,” said Sierra McLeod, Grade 12.

“He (Franklin Carmichael) would go to the landscape and actually look at it and try to take what he was seeing and incorporate it into his art.”

The students recreated some of the Group of Seven’s most iconic elements of their work and made it their own.

“They have a very weird and unique take on trees so we tried to bring that into the mural,” said Muriel Craig, Grade 12.

“It’s very loose and flowy compared to realism, so it’s very surreal.”

The mural and the Group of Seven exhibition will be on display at the Kelowna Art Gallery until March 7.

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