Toronto District School Board
Student exhibit featured at Aga Khan Museum

Student exhibit featured at Aga Khan Museum

Thursday, December 22, 2016
Categories: Great Things, Happenings @ TDSB, School Web Stories

A new student exhibit featured at the Aga Khan Museum called Finding Home: Personal Journeys and Visual Narratives is attracting much deserved attention for giving voice to the experiences and ideas of young people adjusting to life in Canada. The project is a partnership between the museum, artist-curators Vanessa Barnett and Elena Soní, and students, teachers, and administrators from Greenwood Secondary School and Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute 

Finding Home is a moving, collaborative project that reflects how Canadian students of immigrant parents, newly arrived refugee students, and immigrant youth interpret the concept of home. Guided by the artist-curators, who have themselves experienced loss, separation, longing and memories of family and home, students expressed their journeys of adjustment to Canada through art.

Kim McLaren, Principal of Greenwood SS said that the project served as an introspective exercise for students who often find themselves dealing with a variety of pressures and stresses. “For many of our students, when they come to Canada they are confronting all kinds of settlement issues [and] they are really trying to find themselves in their new country,” she said. “We’re fortunate to have these visiting artists willing to work with [students] and helping them use different media to express themselves.” 

Marc Garneau CI Principal Ricky Goldenberg agreed and added that the artists genuinely understood students’ perspectives because of their own journeys. “Art was important for them in adjusting to life in Canada and that experience showed students how it could be beneficial for them as well in creating ‘home’ here.” 

Authentic voice in finding home is one of the most important aspects of this project. The students, all between the ages of 14 and 20, were able to express their dreams, fears, conflicts and hopes through their work. They created small, individual structures to serve as personal metaphors for their ideas. One student said her piece “represents things that are integral to me in my life and things that make me who I am.” Another student focussed his work on dance. “I grew up dancing,” he said. “I love it so much…this feels home for me.”

The exhibit opened December 12, 2016 and runs until January 14, 2017 at the Aga Khan Museum, 77 Wynford Drive.

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