Students plan Nuit Blanche art night to showcase talent

November 25, 2022   ·   0 Comments

By Brian Lockhart

They are creative, innovative, and ready to show their artistic endeavours to the public.

Grade 7 and 8 students at Parkinson Centennial Public School in Orangeville will be hosting a Nuit Blanche art night and transforming their entire school into an art gallery for one evening. 

Nuit Blanche is a festival celebrated in many cities around the world, including Paris and Toronto, where a city hosts an art night at museums and public galleries, which has inspired the Orangeville students.

They have been working hard on artwork and 3D installations for the special evening.

Parkinson Centennial Public School has embraced Nuit Blanche as an opportunity to showcase their talent and interests, with the theme focusing on mindfulness. They have created over 50 works of art that encompass the importance of being mindful.

The art pieces that will be on display are thought-provoking, insightful, and extraordinary. As visitors walk through the school they will have the opportunity to talk to each student artist about their artwork.

Some of the art installations are immersive, requiring audience participation.

The idea of having a Nuit Blanche night was conceived by teachers, Dayna Hoekstra and Harwant Dhaliwal.

“The phrase Nuit Blanche, translates to ‘white night’, and the Parisian spin on it is ‘sleepless night’ and it goes back to a medieval time,” explained Ms. Hoekstra.

Ms. Dhaliwal, said she was inspired after visiting the event in Toronto.

“Every year we go to the Nuit Blanche event in Toronto,” Ms. Dhaliwal explained. “It hasn’t happened for around three years. It didn’t really come to me until later, and I got on the phone with my teaching partner, Dayna, [and] said, ‘what if we were to take this inspiration where they shut down the streets of Toronto, and take that and make it into a school night?’”

Ms. Dhaliwal continued, “We will do the same concept here where we shut down the school and we have a walk-through where the community comes out and they enjoy the massive art installation pieces the students are coming up with. Everything is made by the students and we are fortunate enough to have the support of our parent council. We’re trying to do it so it’s not just paintings but there are installations – 3D installations – and lot of students have a lot of great ideas.”

Some of the students were less than inspired at the start and considered it just another school project, but once they understood the concept and started working on their art, the enthusiasm began to grow until they were very proud about putting a good effort into it and excited that it was going to be on display.

“The connection and enthusiasm for this project has just kind of exploded,” Ms. Hoekstra explained. “I don’t think they understood it at first, but once they saw what people were building and their ability to work with the concept and just the range of what they have been able to come up with – it is inspiring to just step back and see what they are capable of when you give them the opportunity. The only stipulation was the artwork should connect back to the concept of mindfulness. How they connect to that theme depended on their analysis and justification, so as long as they could justify the ‘why’ or the reason behind their creativity. It is quite phenomenal what they were able to pull off.”

The Nuit Blanche art night will take place on Friday, Dec. 16, between 6:00 p.m and 8:00 p.m. at Parkinson Centennial Public School, 120 Lawrence Avenue in Orangeville.

There will be a $2 admission which will go towards Grade 8 graduation as well as year-end field trips at the school.

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