Art show for high school students captures original works and a taste of history

Ethan Waldner, a Grade 12 student at Carlton Comprehensive Public High School, submitted this coloured pencil piece called 'Geometric Portrait.' In his artist's statement, Waldner said he was inspired to do portraits from attending Christina's Art School. This piece is up for sale. (Mann Art Gallery/Submitted)

Danielle Castle wants the public to recognize and be proud of the artistic talents of Prince Albert and area high school students.

With diverse media reflecting a variety of different themes, Castle—the Mann Art Gallery’s acting educator and the show’s curator—is confident the ninth annual Prince Albert High School Juried Art Show will do just that.

The show was forced to take an online approach this year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Students submitted over 80 artworks, with the show displaying 76 of them by 64 artists.

The art show goes live on the Mann Art Gallery’s website on Friday.

“It’s a really good time right now for the students to be able to express themselves because normalcy has been taken away from them,” said Castle.

“I was really pleased to see a lot of the different creativity and craftsmanship in the artwork. There’s some really phenomenal pieces.”

This acrylic painting, titled ‘Cherry,’ is by Kieran Lanoie in Grade 11 at Carlton Comprehensive Public High School. (Mann Art Gallery/Submitted)

Castle split the show into six different galleries: Sculptures, A Word From The Students, Boundless Beauty, A Walk In Nature, Reflections and A Dale Auger Study.

The Sculptures category features several 3D works made out of clay, needle felting, cardboard and fabric, to name a few. In A Word From The Students, the artists describe what inspires them or how their piece makes them feel. A Walk In Nature is centred around the earth’s beauty, and includes pastel, acrylic, mixed media and photography. The next category, Boundless Beauty, showcases a variety of different techniques the students have achieved.

According to Castle’s curator’s statement, while she wanted to encourage original art, she felt it was important to also highlight art history.

That’s where A Dale Auger Study comes in, which are recreations of pieces by the Sakaw Cree artist from Bigstone Cree Nation in northern Alberta.

“I am excited to show the interpretations of Dale Auger’s paintings that were submitted by Ms. Charlene Roy, art teacher at PACI (Prince Albert Collegiate Institute). In this section, the eight students did great work that showed a lot of joy in their oil pastels,” said Castle in the statement.

She also had submissions from St. Mary High School, Carlton Comprehensive Public High School, Regent Academy and one from Lloydminster Comprehensive High School.

“Curating this show brought me so much happiness, inspiration and pride in our students’ hard work.”

The winners of six awards will be announced at an online reception on May 21 at 7 p.m.

These awards are for Best in Show (in honour of On the Avenue Artisan’s Gallery), Artistic Achievement, Juror’s Choice (John V. Hicks award fund), Juicy Colour (in honour of Cheryl Ring), Creative Clay (in honour of Cheryl Ring) and Artistic Innovation (in honour of the Prince Albert Council for the Arts).

There’s also a People’s Choice Award. Each person can vote for one artwork by emailing, stating the artist’s name and the title of the piece. Voting is open until June 20 and the winner be announced on June 22.

Local artist LJ Tyson will also be performing at the online reception, which will be available on the Mann Art Gallery’s YouTube channel and Facebook page. Tyson recently released his album, Skeleton.

For the first time, students were able to put their artwork up for sale. To purchase, contact