Red Deer elementary school students have created an “under the sea” blacklight art display.
A room at Don Campbell Elementary School now has coral and seaweed lining the walls, and fishes hanging from the ceiling after the completion of the art project.
“We’ve done blacklight musical performances before and this year we did a big one – we actually purchased some high-quality blacklights,” said Kati Ramsden, music teacher at Don Campbell and fine arts co-ordinator with Red Deer Public Schools.
“Before COVID we had planned some big school-wide art activities. We were going to have an artist in residence – we had a whole thing planned. But COVID hit and that didn’t get to happen.”
This year, Ramsden and her principal discussed the possibility of doing a school-wide art gallery.
“I saw another teacher who I follow (on social media) had an idea to create an art display that glows under a blacklight. We just took it from there and ran with it,” she said.
A committee was then created to spearhead the project.
“Every teacher teaches their own art at this school, so you really need full buy-in from everybody. Even though we had a committee of about five of us, everyone was part of it. Every student from kindergarten to Grade 5 created this,” said Ramsden.
“We had an art club of Grade 5 students do the backdrops and some of the corals. Our teachers really got on board and everyone’s been really supportive to make this come together.”
Ramsden described this art display as a collaborative and community-oriented project.
“Don Campbell is really about community,” she said.
“We like to do all kinds of these community projects.”
Students were blown away when they first walked into the display, Ramsden added.
“We had lots of parents in here too and they’ve just been raving about it. … We’ve had visits from our trustees and senior administration at the district-level have come to see it too,” she said.
“This just goes to show what a group can do when you work together. It’s been fun too – we had a few late nights putting it all together, but so many people came to help. Even people who weren’t on the committee would drop in and say, ‘I’ve got an hour, what can I do?’ It was really great.”