The opening of our digital exhibition, Expressions 46: Through a New Lens, is cause to celebrate the perseverence of young artists all across Waterloo Region. Despite the challenges of the pandemic, their creative energy has ensured that our annual tradition of exhibiting student talent in our community has continued uninterrupted.
Even as we applaud their accomplishments, we deeply miss the in-person festivities that would mark the opening of Expressions in past years. This annual exhibition regularly drew our largest opening reception crowds and flooded the Main Gallery with hundreds of proud parents and friends in attendance to see the works of our many young artists and receive the congratulations of our community partners and leaders - a large-scale gathering that is simply impossible in today's circumstances.
In lieu of that celebration, we have gathered these words of welcome and congratulations from our Director of Public Programs as well as our community supporters.
Karen Redman, Regional Chair of the Waterloo Region, extends her congratulations to our exhibiting artists:
Loretta Notten, Director of Education at the Waterloo Catholic District School Board, offers her greetings and reflects on the importance of the arts in addressing these challenging times:
John Bryant, Director of Education at the Waterloo Region District School Board, has chosen to share his greetings in the form of a letter that appears below:
Thank you for affording me the opportunity to express our appreciation for all your efforts. What a remarkable collection of creativity and expression! On behalf of the WRDSB, I would like to extend my gratitude to the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery for their continued support of arts education, our students, and the arts community more broadly. It is always inspiring to see the artistic skills of our students on display and a great opportunity for their work to be recognized and celebrated!
None of us could have imagined a year ago that we would be facing the realities of a global pandemic. Our students and their families, and our community more broadly, have overcome so many challenges and for some, the opportunity to express this experience through art gives voice to the challenges and the stories that are set to the backdrop of COVID-19. The artwork that has resulted, created by our students, offers us a rare chance to view the community of Waterloo Region through the eyes of our children and youth and perhaps by doing so we can learn something more about how we can continue to support each other, with hope, as we make our way towards a post-pandemic world.
I would be remiss if I did not take this time to thank our educators who, every day, nurture this creative community in their classrooms, cultivating the curiosity and critical thinking of our students – each and every one. And to our families who have continued to nurture creativity in your children – your encouragement and pride is vital.
Thank you to our students – I am so inspired by your talents. And finally, thanks once again to KWAG for their community partnership and commitment to arts education. Such living proof of a creative resilient community in action!
Expressions 46: Through a New Lens remains on view online until 23 May 2021.