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  • Writer's pictureFrances

Inspired and Uplifted Artist

An uplifting experience

I had the opportunity to be a guest artist at the Landing Trail School art fundraising event this past Thursday. I was not prepared for the overwhelming gratitude and energy of the students and teachers at this school. In all honesty, I though that it would be a good, charitable event that would net me very little. I was going to demonstrate, display, and possibly sell a few small items to the public. I could not have been more wrong.

The invite

As president of the St Albert Painters Guild, I was approached by the grade 4 teacher/art rep for Landing Trail School in Gibbons. Tina was looking for artists outside of the school, to come to the event on May 11th. Here are a few sections from the letter she sent out.

I sent out the invite within the Guild, but I myself, responded to Tina. I wanted to be there, as an artist and also as the president of the Painters Guild. She welcomed me and laid out the schedule for the day.

The schedule

Set up for the visiting artists began at 8:30 am.

Just after 9:00 am, the children started rolling in. First came the Kindergarten students.

As the morning progressed, each class came through the gymnasium, able to spend ample time admiring each others art and also interacting with us visiting artists.

I was situated between two other artists and all three of us were "live painting".

We broke for lunch and it was a well needed break!

At 1:00 pm the kids started coming through again.

The oldest group was in grade 4, and I'm not sure, but believe that there was a group of grade 4 art club members who spent a little more time in the gymnasium.

At 3:00 pm, blessed halleluiah, the kids were dismissed from school. Phew, a short time to recover before, you guessed it, the parents of all those kids and all the kids, again, along with the general public came back at 4:00 to meander through the gymnasium.

This lasted until 7:00 pm when the event finally closed.

What organization!

This Tina lady is amazing! As soon as I walked into the gymnasium that morning, I knew this was not just an event thrown together in a matter of a day. Tina, herself, said she had been thinking about the event for weeks, even months prior. Although Tina probably had lots of help setting up and running it, I felt that this was her "baby"!

As visiting artists, we were treated like gold. As we were setting up, we were offered coffee, donuts, muffins, and fresh fruit. Lunch was a quiet visiting time between artists (and Tina) and we feasted on Subway sandwiches, potato salad and cookies. For supper, each artist was given a ticket that, when traded in, gave us a hot dog, chips, and a pop. We barely had time to eat!

Some of the things I noticed:

  • A balloon archway to walk through as you entered the gym.

  • Lots of room between the art displays (for the students)

  • Grid wall spaced nicely and filled with art projects of all the classes in the school.

  • A silent auction set up on the perimeter.

  • Collaborative art projects from each class also set up on the perimeter.

  • A photo opportunity location.

This, taken when I was still fresh, in the morning!


I cannot stress enough, how enthusiastic the students were. They were respectful and interested and very appreciative of our art. Some of the comments I got were "wow, amazing, how did you paint that?, did you paint all of these? what are you painting? how long does it take to do this piece, this piece, this piece? you are such a good artist, she's a real artist, are these for sale? will they be for sale tonight? how long have you been painting? how can you be done so fast? these are so cute, I want one of these, I want to buy this for my mom, dad, myself, thank you for being here"

Before it got too busy, I asked a few students to show me their art on display. They eagerly took me around to see not only what they created, but their class project and the art of a few friends. I was impressed at the art and at the enthusiasm of each little artist.

When 3:00 came, and the students were dismissed, I sighed heavily. I'd forgotten how much energy is required to attend to children and be encouraging and enthusiastic. Those teachers and parent helpers did a fantastic job of keeping order in the chaos!

Real chaos

Well, the real chaos started at 4:00 pm. Unbelievable, is all I can say. The support of the community was overwhelming. Adults and children filled the gym. I was thanked countless times for taking the time to be there. Appreciation for my art was encouraging. People bought bookmarks, stickers, cards, mini 4x4 paintings on an easel, 4x4 magnets, and one patron purchased a large painting (24 x 36). It all kept me busy, chatting, answering questions, selling these small items, there were no breaks to be had!


Just when I needed it, I have been inspired! Inspired by the dedication shown by one art teacher. Inspired by the enthusiasm of children for art and creating art. Inspired by the supporting community of Gibbons and surrounding area. Knowing that my work may have inspired a child to create more art, lifts my spirits.


I am so thankful for the opportunity to be overwhelmed, encouraged, overwhelmed, thanked, overwhelmed and satisfied. Thank you Tina, and the Landing Trail School for hosting the event and inviting me to it! I hope it was a great success in your own eyes.


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