Competition open to young artists; art graduates need more than ever

Students in grades 6-8 are invited to submit their work by June 9 for the June 14 SMC Art Show; prices available

Art students in grades 6, 7 and 8 are invited to submit samples of their work to be included in a separate exhibition and competition as part of the annual St. Mary’s College Art Exhibition to be held at the Second Line East High School starting at 7 p.m. Tuesday. , June 14.

Students have until 3 p.m. on Thursday, June 9 to submit their drawings, paintings, or digital artwork with identification and contact information in person at SMC’s main office.

While the SMC Art Show is an annual event – showcasing works by artists in grades 9-12 and including not only visual arts but also one-night music and dance performances – this year marks the first show and competition for students in grades 6-8. .

The competition is the brainchild of Adriano DiCerbo, an MSC art professor, and Samantha Lance, an MSC graduate who is now pursuing a career as a curator of art exhibitions in Toronto.

“Adriano approached me with this idea. He wanted to shake things up and try to get the kids’ attention on it. We came up with the title back to life, to get students thinking about what inspires you for this new season? Lance said.


  • Which images of spring best represent your personal connection to this season?
  • What spring moments do you cherish?
  • Are there certain aspects of spring (flowers, plants, landscapes, animals) that hold a special place in your heart?

The contest poster has been designed and will soon be sent to parents and teachers in the H-SCDSB system.

DiCerbo hopes the news will be passed on to art students in grades 6-8 at other school boards.

Students and parents can contact DiCerbo by email

Lance will be judging the art exhibit for grades 6-8.

“I first got immersed in visual arts in grade 10 with Mr. DiCerbo’s class, then I started helping with arts festivals in grades 10-12 and realized, curating the work, that art was what I wanted to do as a career,” Lance said.

Lance graduated from MSc in 2017 and then studied art for four years at the Ontario College of Art & Design at OCAD University in Toronto.

There she completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts, specializing in curatorial criticism and practice, learning how to organize art exhibitions in galleries, museums, art exhibitions and festivals.

She plans to attend the University of Toronto in September to begin a master’s program in conservation studies.

At OCAD, she was inspired by the work of many artists including Vincent Van Gogh, American photographer Nicolas Bruno and Christian painter Akiane Kramarik.

“After graduating from high school, I came back to help organize the arts festival at SMC. Every year it was great to see the work and talent of the students brought to the table,” said Lance .

“I enjoy art history and love observing the different types of media people bring to their art. When I go to do my masters in Toronto, I want to support local, national and international artists by showcasing their art,” said Lance, adding that she would always like to stay in touch with the art scene in Sault.

Admission to the June 14 SMC Art Exhibit is free for children, $10 for adults.

Admission proceeds go to Tumaini Afrika, a Sault Ste. Unregistered volunteer group based in Marie dedicated to working with children and women in Kenya in areas such as education and nutrition.

“After COVID, everyone needs this art exhibit,” Lance said.

Lance and his high school art mentor DiCerbo spoke about the importance of art and arts education for children despite the emphasis on science, technology, engineering and math in schools.

“Art speaks when words can’t,” Lance said.

“Art gives everyone – students, young and old – the opportunity to talk about their past, their culture and their reaction to everything that happens in the world in their own way, it gives them the freedom to do so. It’s so essential to express yourself and to have that confidence.

As for exposing young students to art at an early age, Lance smiled “if we cultivate that early in young students, we might foster the next Monet or Van Gogh.”

“I believe in having a well-rounded upbringing. Yes, science and math, but also the arts,” DiCerbo said.

“It allows students to have creative skills, critical thinking skills and they need those opportunities to express themselves. It’s an incredibly valuable skill for the 21st century, more so than we realize. It helps us connect with nature and with each other. An arts festival is a celebration of when we come together and celebrate creativity. »

“There are jobs for creative people,” DiCerbo said.

“They’re just not as visible as the teacher, the doctor, the dentist. There are so many creative people behind the scenes working in traditional and digital media, architectural studies, that the business world needs creative thinkers. They are necessary.

“Imagine Paris without the Eiffel Tower. And if the mona-lisa faded away? It is priceless. They are iconic works of art that help define who we are. The Group of Seven helps define who we are. Filmmakers, musicians give us a sense of identity and belonging. How can we eliminate this from our world? We need more of that, especially in these times more than ever before,” DiCerbo said.

“Hopefully we get a lot of submissions,” Lance said.

“We don’t expect students to donate a huge painting or drawing, but it will be exciting to see what happens.”

Lance said she hopes it will be an encouragement for the kids to start building a portfolio and considering a career in art.

It’s late in the school year, but kids can submit work they did earlier in the current school year.

Prizes of $100, $75 and $50 will be awarded to the first, second and third place winners of the contest and exhibition in grades 6-8.