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Speaking from our Art - Alternate and Alternative Programs

Speaking from our art

Students in Vancouver Alternate and Alternative Secondary Schools (VASS) prefer to learn in a smaller, more intimate setting. However every spring for about a week the curtains between the diverse programs gets lifted and students from all 15 programs come together to share a little about themselves through art.

The callout for art happens months prior to the event. While many are comfortable in showcasing their artwork in the gallery, some students need to warm up to the idea of performing in front of a crowd. Bella from West Alternative program, who exhibits a series of paintings to the gallery, appears hesitant as she explains why she’s nervous to perform. “I’m not sure what I’m going sing. I want to rap but I’m terrible…” she laughs.

Watch the video to see what song Bella decides to sing, as well as what other VASS students are bringing to the event. Hear students talk about their relationship with art and their school experience in general.

Many types of art were on display from VASS programs including painting, sculpture, animation, paintings, art installations, spoken poetry, music performances and a one of a kind drag performance from Twigs. Twig’s mom talks about the transformative effects art education has had on her son. “These art programs have been incredible in the creative son that I have.  I’m really proud of what they are performing. They have a drag performance and they have been going to SOM (Sarah McLachlan School of Music) and practicing music very regularly and passionately with their peers”.

The staff and teachers at the VSB would like to thank VSB partners, Sarah McLaughlin School of Music and the Roundhouse Centre for the many years of consistent support.  As well thanks to Hope Forstenzer for leading the Learning Fire program, where students learned the art of glassblowing, and were able to proudly display their work at the art fair. Lastly a big thank you to all the staff and volunteers that work tirelessly to make the Speaking from Art an annual tradition for more than 50 years.

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