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Canadian Youths’ Artworks Selected for European Exhibition

September 22, 2011 — 

Drs. Joanna Black and Miriam Cooley bring student art to Eksperimenta!

Works of art created by Canadian high school students have been selected for Eksperimenta!, a first of its kind international conference and Triennial Art Exhibition that will celebrate secondary school visual art and contemporary art education. It is estimated that 100,000 people will attend the events occurring from April through June 2011 in Europe.

Eksperimenta! will be held in Tallinn, Estonia—the “Culture Capital of Europe.” It is modelled after the Venice Biennale, arguably the most prestigious contemporary art exhibition in the world. Canada’s participation in this event is made possible by Drs. Joanna Black (University of Manitoba, Faculty of Education) and Miriam Cooley (University of Alberta) who are co-curating Canadian student digital artworks.

The unique art show is slated to showcase contemporary student art from Canada, Portugal, Germany, Slovenia, Turkey, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Finland, Russia, South Korea, Iceland and Ireland. Notably, Canada is the only country from the Americas that is participating in this prestigious event, demonstrating the significance of Canada’s art educators with regard to art and art education.

Eksperimenta! will offer many opportunities for students, educators and administrators to network with other schools and art centres through a variety of programming including the IDEAlaboratory. This will be an international conference open to art educators, art students and professional artists during which speakers will discuss best practices in contemporary art education and foster an understanding of issues of new media, digital technologies, multimodal art, and contemporary art and educational practices on an international level. Both Black and Cooley will be presenting at the IDEAlaboratory.

Eksperimenta! will help to  make students more aware about contemporary art issues,” explains Black, “and having their artworks selected for Eksperimenta! will boost youths’ self esteem.”

She adds: “Being a part of a show on an international level is phenomenal for them—it’s a real honour to represent Canada. Also, it will give the students exposure, and if they pursue art in the future, this experience will provide them with a platform from which to proceed.”

At the exhibition, Canadian students from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario will present contemporary digital artworks using the concept of “space” as the theme for the exhibition. The students handle the idea of “space” in diverse ways. From the humorous to the serious, the student artworks relate the multifarious concepts of how students perceive space from the personal, sociological to the political and psychological.

These will include rotoscoping animations on cityspace in Toronto by CyberARTS students in Ontario to the work of a Winnipeg student who has created an experimental video dealing with the meaning of space in relation to objects, time and change. In addition, digitalized multimedia photographs from Manitoba will be shown to present multiculturalism and immigration as seen through the settling of peoples here from around the world. In student works from youths attending schools in the Louis Riel School Division and Balmoral Hall can be seen the influence of the artist, Shirin Neshat. And, from Saskatchewan, students have created digitalized paintings of the vast North American prairie landscapes in direct contrast to Europe where population is dense in comparison. Overall, 52 students, ten art educators and three professional artists from Canada are involved in the Triennial Exhibition.

Celebrating Canadian High School Art in Europe at Eksperimenta! (YouTube video)

Participation in Eksperimenta! has been made possible through the support of the Canadian Society for Education through Art (CSEA), the University of Manitoba, The University of Alberta, George Brown College, The Manitoba Arts Council, The Lab Works, Powerland Computers, and the Estonian Community in Canada.

To learn more about Eksperimenta! visit

Or, for information on Canadian participation, go to:

To see the art created for this prestigious event visit the Canada Eksperimenta Tumblr blog:

For more information, contact: Joanna Black, Faculty of Education, University of Manitoba, at: 204-474-9028 or e-mail: blackj [at] cc [dot] umanitoba [dot] ca or Miriam Cooley, department of elementary education, University of Alberta, at e-mail: gcooley [at] ualberta [dot] ca

One comment on “Canadian Youths’ Artworks Selected for European Exhibition

  1. Pingback: Faculty of Education » Celebrating Exceptional Teachers and Welcoming the New Dean of Education at Homecoming 2011 » Faculty of Education

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