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Artists at school


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Judith Berry

Visual arts


Judith Berry

Judith Berry has had solo shows acrossCanada. She has also participated in numerous group exhibitions, notably at the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec and the Canada Science andTechnologyMuseum. She has received grants from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec and the Canada Council for the Arts, and has served on artists' juries. Her work is in a number of collections, including the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec’s and the Canada Council Art Bank. In her paintings, she aims to define new ways of looking at landscape that combine personal perception, a concern for moderm land use and the evolution of contemporary painting. She also has a fast-developing interest in public art and is exploring new media in that field.

Proposed approach and type of activities

Judith Berry considers her paintings to be landscapes. In them, semi-aerial views of cities, rural areas and industrial structures collide with more abstract shapes reminiscent of industrial production. Ambiguity of scale is important in these works. She attempts to create a layered sense of history in which new, emerging structures compete with those that seem to be on the verge of obsolescence. ForBerry, paint provides a way to process thoughts about landscape use and contemporary art. Her paintings combine a concern for elements of composition, texture and colour, with an interest in our perception of the world. This artist also has a passion for public art and is accumulating experience with printed glass, ceramic glazes, water jet-cut granite and porcelain.

Other examples of activities

Workshop 1

Paint your personal landscape

In this workshop, students paint and develop their personal iconography. Using large sheets of Kraft paper and gouache paint, students deploy semi-aerial perspective to paint items of biographical importance. Sessions can be modified for ages ten and up.Berry thinks about how the passage of time affects landscape. She employs ambiguity of scale so that the landscape’s features can be seen as monumental or as manipulable smaller things, such as objects on a rug. Students envision personal landscapes in which objects of importance to them are placed on a painted ground. They can think of this ground as a field or as a rug, real or imagined. The perimeters of their rugs consume the entire foreground of their paper, and the distant edges are apparent near the top. The students paint their grounds as detailed or simple as they like. Then, on this ground, they paint objects that are roughly the same size, despite differences in actual size. The objects are items of importance to them in the past, present or future. They could be prized possessions, fictional or real characters, buildings or features of a landscape. The completed works acknowledge the students' personal landscapes.

Workshop 2

Self portrait
Secondary (Secondary III, IV, V)

In this workshop,Berryaims to blur the lines of portraiture and landscape by making the small monumental. She seeks to remove notions of the outlines of facial features, undoing the distinction between figure and ground. To prepare, the students take photographs of their heads in which the face and head take up almost the entire frame. These photos are printed in 8" x 10" format and drawn over with a grid of one-inch squares. Students also each prepare a sheet of 4' x 5' Kraft paper on which they have drawn a grid of 6 " x 6 " squares. Each one-inch section on the photo will be painted as a six-inch section on the larger sheet. The students use gouache in a complete tonal range of whatever colour they choose: red, ochre, blue, black, etc. Students simply observe shade and shape, rendering each six-inch square as if it were an abstract painting. Stepping back, the newly monumental heads fall into comprehensible form. Students learn to develop observation, putting aside preconceptions of reality. This exercise takes concentration and persistence. It is suitable for students in Secondary III, IV, and V.


Workshops are given during three one-hour classes or during two classes lasting two hours each, depending on the group's availabilities.

Special conditions

Many schools will already have gouache paint. Big rolls of thick brown paper (Kraft paper), $100 per day. We will need sufficient space for each student to attach a piece of four-foot-wide paper to the wall. The gym might be the most suitable room.

For information

Phone : 514 743-4921
Other phone : 514 274-3670
Email :

Subject to taxes (GST, PST)



Primary 5, Primary 6, Secondary 1, Secondary 2, Secondary 3, Secondary 4, Secondary 5

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In every regions

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