Over the past 27 years of his artistic career, Jacques Baril has travelled around the world. A self-taught sculptor, he has participated in numerous exhibitions and symposia in Canada and abroad (Japan, Switzerland, Italy, etc.) He has received many prizes and grants for his work (over 30 snow sculpture prizes, 5 Hydro-Québec awards, the CALQ prize for artists in the Abitibi-Temiscamingue region, several creation grants, etc.) He has been a member of several art juries at the regional, national and international levels in addition to having carried out several art/architectural integration projects. For the last 10 years, he has successfully given many snow sculpture workshops in school settings, as well as during various winter festivals attended by the general public. Over a 15-year period, Jacques Baril has had the opportunity to give more than 1,700 workshops in schools and to share his passion for the ephemeral in art with more than 40,000 students throughout Québec.
Since the beginning of his career, he has been fascinated by the notion of the ephemeral in art, associating this theme with living things and with the earth in which we live, creating a symbiosis between them. That is why snow sculpture and installations designed using natural elements are so dear to him.
The workshops can be given outdoors (snow or ice sculptures) or indoors (models, sculptures using recycled objects, alder branches, etc.). Participants become Landscape Keepers and make sculptures or installations centering on this theme. For a short period of time, they will become masters of a landscape and it will be their responsibility to keep and protect it. On a fictional or real landscape, students will be asked to create an environmental space inhabited by characters, animals and constructions. They will all have the same duty of protecting a particular landscape. The beauty of the landscape is a visual concept; it can take many forms. It is even possible to not give a real aspect to the landscape; it could be solely a pretext for an artistic action.
Examples of activities
Workshop 1: Outdoor version. The snow sculpture will be the artistic activity either in the school's backyard, its front yard or in a nearby park, all places that are well adapted for this kind of activity. The students will erect cylindrical shaped snow blocks and then carve them into the characters, the animals or the constructions (pillar, etc.) that they wish. The artist will provide all the tools, moulds, and buckets for everyone.
Workshop 2: Indoor version. The whole class will build a model of a real or fictional landscape that they want to protect. This will be the basis for the integration of the sculptures of characters, animals and constructions. All of the students are landscape keepers. The project will incorporate all kinds of salvaged materials whether in the form of wood, branches, metal, etc. as decided upon by the teacher and the school.
Should the snow or weather conditions be unsuitable for snow sculptures, the artist proposes a sculpture workshop using ice or spring branches, or an installation workshop using fall leaves and that can be held in the classroom.
The artist must travel with his truck to carry all the tools for the workshops. The workshop requires specialized material, at a cost of $75 per day.
The school must provide an area where the snow has not been trampled down. If the snow conditions are unfavourable, the snow sculpture workshop can be replaced with an ice sculpture workshop or other ephemeral art or recycle art activities.
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