After studying visual arts at Université Laval, Yves Gonthier has held numerous exhibitions of paintings and sculptures, both here and in different countries. Many of his projects integrating art with architecture can be seen in public areas. He created the famous sculpture entitled "Le cadre naturel" (7 m. by 11 m.) which depicts the countryside of the Gaspé Peninsula. Since 1998, the Birth of the seasons workshop, presented under the Artists at School program, has offered students a rich artistic experience. In 2003, Yves Gonthier received the Prize for Artistic Creation from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.
What is artistic creation? How does an artist create and innovate starting from a subject? How does art evolve? To help contribute to this reflection on what creation is, especially in the visual arts field, the artist presents a painting workshop centering on a universal theme known to all: nature. This subject has interested and inspired creators throughout history. The artist meets with students during an hour of class, which is divided into three parts. His approach is adapted to students of all ages, from kindergarten to secondary 5. It ranges from presenting colours to kindergarten kids to showing secondary students the most surprising expressions in art.
The artist begins by situating the project in the context of art history. Why are there so many different expressions of art today? To answer this question, participants will create a piece of contemporary painting in which many current approaches including paint, performance, sound and touch, are related. Moreover, to give more meaning to what they are doing, participants will use a few symbols. Students are divided into three groups and placed around a round canvas (symbolizing the cycles and the planet), placed on the ground. A bowl of water is passed around the circle from hand to hand. Students dip their fingers in the bowl and sprinkle drops of water (symbolizing life) onto the canvas. Students then take turns choosing a paint colour in a plastic bottle. Using droppers placed around the circle, the students drip paint onto the canvas. They make spontaneous personal choices, well aware that they are participating in a collective work. After several turns, flowered fields and multicoloured continents emerge. A new season is born.
Next follows an exchange of comments about the artworks, and the artist presents some of his own achievements. The workshop demonstrates how art is an integral part of the culture of an era by employing a universal theme: Nature.
Other examples of activities
The workshop requires specialized material at an approximate cost of $100 per day of hosted activities. The artist is available from October to June and would like to use the same room to meet all of the groups.
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In every regions