This is a cool and unique opportunity you have to put your imprint on Sylvan Lake for the next 100 or 200 years,” École Fox Run School Principal Darren Pickering told Grade 7 students last Tuesday.
He was introducing the Centennial legacy art project which is being coordinated by Doug Driediger of Metro Design Group.
His submission was chosen by the town’s Centennial Task Force following a call for proposals.
The concept includes a large picture on a background of waves with a variety of smaller pictures and stories grouped by subject. These smaller pictures are the ones all Grade 7 students in Sylvan Lake’s schools are being asked to create. Stories within the big story. At the bottom of the mural is a sandy beach on which the names of all the Grade 7 students who participate — an estimated 275 — will be recorded.
Besides Fox Run students, those in Grade 7 at École Mother Teresa School, Sylvan Meadows Adventist School and Lighthouse Christian Academy were briefed by Driediger last week on their role in creating the masterpiece.
The finished artwork will be permanently displayed in the new town hall.
“My vision in life is to tell stories and tell them well,” Driediger told the students. “What’s the big story of Sylvan Lake,” he questioned, getting the answer that the community is celebrating 100 years as an incorporated municipality in 2013.
He then talked about the stories within the bigger story and explained that’s where he’s looking for their creativity.
Showing examples of his work, Driediger said telling a story takes lots of research and planning. It can also be done in different ways with different types of media.
Teachers were given a variety of topics which will be assigned to students. Then it’s up to them to research, explore and imagine. Their results will have a chance to be included in the finished product.
“The project is wide open, there’s no predetermination what it needs to look like, the colours …” said Driediger.
He then took the students on a journey to learn mind mapping. “There are always interesting things to discover when you take the time to mind map,” he said encouraging them to create a list of different things they think about when looking at a specific subject. “Only if you’re going through a big list do you see that one’s good, this one might be good.”
Then it’s on to thumbnail sketches. “Don’t get too fussy about them, get your ideas figured out.”
Driediger promised everyone’s work will be kept and permanently displayed in a binder. Some will be included on the mural. If a piece is really fragile it may be housed in a museum box as part of the mural.
“Drawing, painting, writing, photos, clippings, objects, collage, sculpture — we’re not just limited to people who like to paint,” he said.
Driediger will return to Sylvan Lake after Christmas to review how the students are working and give them pointers.
“Regardless of the topic, don’t think it’s dull,” he encouraged.
Kathy Inglis, one of the Centennial Task Force members who’s working on the project, said the subject areas have been divided into nine categories. “We hope all get done a couple of times.” The categories include landmarks, tourism, people services, transportation, milestones and celebrations, lake-water play, early settlers and visitors and industries.
“There are so many different ways you can tell our story,” she said.