Attention Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome aboard Artcreebec destination Expedition 2004, the École Luke Mettaweskum School Visual Arts Show. Our trip will consist of many stopovers, from Kindergarten to secondary 5. We will be flying at an altitude of many ideas. Please fasten your seatbelt and keep your eyes open. We are now ready for takeoff.

On your right you can see the colourful cut-and-paste crafts generated by the Kindergarten. If you pay close attention to detail, you will see pictures representing scenes from both the old and the new Nemaska. Scenery that is composed of an elegant balance somewhere between rough fingers and fine ideas laid out in a unique way.

A little further on your left, you will be able to distinguish “meegwen” painting, a technique which uses feathers as paintbrushes. Should you look closer, colourful roosters will appear, next to the splash paint art created by elementary students. Wow! We just flew over the geese and yellow ducks swimming not too far from the silk paper flowers in vases.

We are now approaching a zone of major turbulence. Don’t worry, what you see are not really monsters, but rather masks. These were made using strips of plaster applied to students’ faces, a process which requires trust, timing and patience. After the cast dries, the juices of creativity get going. Will it be this or that colour? What if they added a couple strings or beads or beaver hide? Look at that beautiful pattern! See those feathers? Pure genius in tones ranging from golden to colours never seen before.

In about one minute you will witness pictograms dating back to 2003-2004. A brand new technology has been mastered by the students: digital photography. Yes, photos without a film. Student operators have seized the moment over and over again. What you see are pictures of students by students, a testimony to school work. Very good composition enhanced by a neat balance of light and shadows. Close-ups, landscapes, architecture, people, activity, and community. Old and young, pride and joy, sand and snow. Teacher, the camera, please. La caméra s’il vous plait.

Painting, does that ring a bell? Have a close look at the wall of frames. Moose, birds, hills and thrills. What’s an abstract painting doing next to a most recognizable scene? Maybe it’s the way tomorrow’s leaders saw the world when they set up the art show. A huge rose and some Navaho inspired representation go hand in hand with the damsel with swan eyes showing in the window of Nemaska Recreation Hall.

Prints in plaster of Paris will be served to accompany your journey. Oh! Look at that, can you see the hand? I think I see a rabbit and some fish. Did you know that glue and paper can melt into such beautiful things? Neat stuff that goose, good stuff that’s neat!

Once again, thank you for flying with us on this last week of May, and have a pleasant and safe stay.

François Rabin, ELMS Art teacher