Local Art Club Brings Pottery to the Classroom

Today, local partner in education Community Arts & Heritage Education Project (CAHEP) provided the Grade 4 and 5 students at Algonquin Avenue Public School with hands-on experience in pottery. Local artist Mallory Gresch led the art activity and taught the traditional hand building techniques of pinch and slab and the process of bisque firing the creations.

CAHEP began delivering their specialized art programming in 2020 to Lakehead Public Schools students through virtual learning. Since March of 2022, however, the expert artists have been engaging students in person from junior to intermediate grades on a bi-weekly basis at four schools: Algonquin Avenue Public School, St. James Public School, Sherbrooke Public School, and Kingsway Park Public School.

Jason Felix, Program Coordinator at CAHEP, said the artists visit the schools through scheduled sessions and gear the art lesson according to the age of the group. The main goal is to inspire students artistically, provide unique creative opportunities, and teach how to take art from an idea or conception to a composed, finished piece.

“We’ve introduced the kids to a number of different painting mediums, so water colour pencils, crayons, liquid paint, and acrylic paint. We’ve introduced the kids to illustration artists, comic illustrations, inking, and composition. It’s about giving the kids the opportunity to explore and grow confidence through art,” said Felix.

Jayden Jacomb, Grade 5 student at Algonquin Avenue Public School, decided to shape a gravy boat and a robin’s nest for the day’s pottery activity. “I like the creativity and the opportunities. You get the opportunity to actually mold stuff,” said Jacomb. The proud pottery novice plans on placing his keepsakes in his family camper.

The delivery of CAHEP’s exceptional art programming in elementary schools is made possible by funding provided by Ontario Trillium Foundation. CAHEP’s specialized programming complements the elementary Arts curriculum by enhancing the opportunity for hands-on experience with an array of both traditional and new artforms.