Young Kimberley artists exhibit in Vancouver.

Artist in Kimberley Alternate School guides students on oil painting.

Kimberley artist Caprice with Alternate School students.

Kimberley artist Caprice with Alternate School students.

Students from Kimberley’s Alternate School had an opportunity to work with local artist Caprice last year and learn how to work with oil paint through a Connecting with Creativity program.

“It was a fantastic experience and the kids were awesome,” Caprice said.

The funding for the artist in residence program came through Art Starts and the paintings will be exhibited in the Sense of Place Exhibit at Art Starts Gallery in Vancouver beginning on September 25, 2012. Those who do not live in Vancouver can view the exhibit online at http://artstarts.com/current-exhibition and also a behind the scenes look at the program on FaceBook.

Sixteen schools from across B.C. are part of the exhibit. Through a wide variety of visual and performing art forms—including felting, painting, printmaking, traditional cedar bark weaving, photography, filmmaking, music, poetry and storytelling—students explored how their heritage and environment contribute their personal identities, or “sense of place”.

Grade 8 to 10 students at the Kimberley Alternate School used the medium of oil painting as a means to build connection and an appreciation of the natural surroundings.

“These opportunities for vulnerable students are invaluable and help students to connect to their school community as well as the city and region where we live,” said Kimberley Alternate School teacher Dan Clark.

“I am so excited for the kids,” Caprice said. “They put a lot of work into this project.”

The Kimberley Alternate School offers Kimberley students social and emotional support in a small school setting. There is a full-time program with enrichment activities and field trips, and a transitional academic program. The full-time program offers healthy snacks, daily cardio workouts, regular field trips, career prep and work experience opportunities to students. One of the key elements of the close-knit community of full-time students is the expectation that students participate fully in all activities.