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Blog: Thursday, June 16th, 2022

Art Activism on display @ The Reach

Each year in second semester Abbotsford Senior Secondary teacher Nikita Griffioen and her Art Activism students combine their passions for making art and for making the world a better place. Art Activism is a truly collaborative course - the students decide in collaboration with each other and with Ms. Griffioen what particular social issue to explore deeply, develop a collaborative relationship with a community partner, then engage their peers and their community through an art show chronicling their discoveries at the Reach Gallery.

This year the overarching theme of Abby Senior's Art Activism course was pursuing truth and reconciliation, with a specific focus on learning about and raising awareness of the disproportionately high rate of incarceration of Indigenous peoples in both British Columbia's and Canada's prisons. The class partnered with Dr. Helen Brown and Kelsey Timler of the University of British Columbia's (UBC) Art Justice Program and with Kwikwexwelhp Healing Village.

Ms. Griffioen is a passionate supporter of both her students and the contribution that art makes to a more just society. "I believe strongly that education is a powerful tool, and that teenagers especially have some of the strongest voices - they only need a platform. Art is a powerful platform. This semester I have had the privilege of watching my students grow in knowledge on this topic and come up with passionate ideas for large-scale paintings for this art show. It is our collective intention to present these to the public to help not only share our knowledge but facilitate discussion around this topic."

Please take the opportunity to explore the work of these fine young artists from Abbotsford Senior Secondary. Their work is on display at the Reach Gallery and Museum until June 22nd.

The Reach Gallery and Museum is located at 32388 Veterans Way in Abbotsford. It is open Tuesday through Friday from 10:00am - 5:00pm and on Saturday from 12:00pm - 5:00pm.

PHIL COOKSON
Principal, Abbotsford Senior Secondary