By ANNA SMITH Local Journalism Initiative on February 8, 2024.
Medicine Hat College is celebrating the talent of potential future students with the annual high school art show.
The display features work from Crescent Heights, Eagle Butte, Medicine Hat and Monsignor McCoy high schools, selected by their own art teachers as their best works and now professionally curated by MHC art and design instructor and program co-ordinator Yulin Wang.
“The total number of works this year is 80 pieces, from four different schools,” said Wang. “Last year, we only had 60, so it’s good to see a few more.”
Alongside simply showcasing the creativity and skill of these young artists, it’s a wonderful opportunity to start to bridge the gap between high school and post-secondary art education, said Wang.
“High school students, especially local high school students, become part of our programs,” said Wang. “It’s about making connections, having these kinds of shows, to their local community, to the MHC students and to their future instructors.”
Roughly 50 per cent the students who attend the MHC art program come from the local high schools, said Wang, which makes the relationship with these schools and their students very important to the college. It’s also an important opportunity for these students – some for the first time – to have their work featured in a curated professional setting.
Wang and his team are hard at work trying to select the best works for awards.
“It’s a little challenging, honestly, because our budget is limited, but I really want to give more students prizes,” said Wang. “They’re all so well done, it’s hard to compare the works. But that’s a good problem to have, really.”
A public reception will be held Feb. 15 at 7 p.m. Best works will be chosen and awarded by faculty at the reception with first-, second- and third-place winners and two honourable mentions, each receiving a gift certificate to the MHC Bookstore. However, the gallery is already open to the public for those who wish to view the works outside the reception, at the One on One Gallery on campus.
The gallery is open Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m through Feb. 22, though Wang stresses there will be faculty and current students available at the reception to answer questions for prospective students.
“We’ll also have an open studio, to see what the program is like,” said Wang. “We’re hoping the artists come out and get a picture for what attending would be like, as well as get celebrated by their friends, family and teachers.”