The SKSS Visual Arts Department believes that the quality of a student’s life is uniquely enriched in essential ways by the development of skills and values learned in the creation of artworks. Visual arts encourage the students to function on multiple intellectual, analytical, thoughtful and expressive levels.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

The Art of Biology Investigation & Artistic Interpretations of the Human Body

Why do we have different fingerprints? 

The Art of Biology 
presents a unique collaboration between the SKSS Biology 12 and Sculpture 10-12 students by exploring the wonders of science through the eyes of artists. 

Beginning with an invitation to create artwork based on questions posed in small groups of biology students, art students designed whimsical celebrations of both science and art. Our exhibition, alongside scientific explanations of the working systems of the human body, presents project work centered on inquiry-based questions. These informative and visual collaborations attempt to impart an understanding of the wonders of the human body.  In addition, students share connections between often separate areas of study in our upcoming presentation of learning:  The Art of Biology.

Please join us for our opening reception:
The Art of Biology
Investigation & Artistic Interpretations of the Human Body

A Collection of Original Student Artworks & Inquiry Research by

SKSS Sculpture & Ceramic 10-12 & Biology 12 Students
Please join us for our Community Presentation
SKSS Cafeteria
Wednesday, January 18th, 2017 

Friday, December 16, 2016

Warm Wishes & Thank You Kamloops!

Photo Credits: Mary Putman, Tourism Kamloops

On behalf of the Art Department at SKSS, please accept our gratitude and thanks for your generosity. Our program is enhanced in material, tangible ways by the generosity of the Kamloops Community.   It is always amazing to see how support from local media and organizations impacts art students.  In fact, I believe students begin to understand the true impact of visual arts through our exhibition and calendar publication.

By supporting the arts, students are given an opportunity to have a well-rounded education. It has been proven that art students succeed in school at a higher level and elsewhere in life. They learn patience, dedication, respect and that there are many different ways to see and interpret the world. Again, thank-you so much for supporting the South Kamloops Secondary Visual Arts program.

Monday, October 31, 2016


Art By Camryn M, grade 12
SKSS Kamloops Calendar Exhibition & Fundraiser 2017 

     Explore-Discover-Experience, Kamloops 2017 exhibition and fundraiser celebrates the 11th year of this unique opportunity for youth to represent our community through artistic vision.

     Beginning with a class presentation from Monica Dickinson and Ken Levin of Tourism Kamloops, South Kamloops Secondary art students consider the importance of promoting aspects of Kamloops by discussing attractions, activities and things to do in our City.  With this in mind, each student painted an individual interpretation of discovering, exploring, and experiencing tourism in Kamloops and surrounding area.  After the acrylic paintings were completed, images for the printed calendar and cards were selected from a special community jury:  Anyssa Gill, Kamloops Art Gallery, Art Instructor; Tara Look and Rachel Lewis, Tourism Kamloops; and Mr. Blake Buemann, SKSS Vice Principal. 

Over 40 student paintings are on view at the 

Sagebrush Lobby Gallery until December 16, 2016.  

Please consider joining our community reception on Wednesday, December 7th, 2016 at 6:30 pm.

Art By Celia F, grade11
In addition, printed calendars and cards will be available for sale at the Kamloops Art Gallery Store, The Art We Are, Tourism Kamloops and South Kamloops Secondary School Main office.  This year, students will be selling calendars at the December 3rd Blazers Hockey game.   Proceeds from the sales of the calendar and card fundraiser will support a donation to the BC Interior Community Foundation and future SKSS Visual Arts student initiatives.
Art by Miranda M, grade 12
Art by Lyle L, grade 12

Art by Jessica L, grade 11

Art by Katie H, grade 12

Friday, May 27, 2016

Lessons in Art History

Collaborative Art History Gridding Investigations, Studio Art 11/12, SKSS
The Great Wave, by Hokusai (original colour woodblock, 1829)
The Old Guitarist, by Pablo Picasso, 1904, oil painting
Collaborative Gridding Acrylic Painting, SKSS
SKSS Art Students assemble the finished work!

Recently, I had the pleasure of connecting with a former SKSS art student who is currently studying design.  As an art educator I am always interested in art and design university studies; however, our conversation quickly turned from the content of university assignments to the importance of art history. Evidently, this vibrant alumnus argued a personal passion for why young students need to study and investigate aspects of art history. 


Painting Inspired Sculpture, grade 10-12

Dali, The Melting Clock                                     Edvard Munch                                                       Edvard Munch, Madonna

Art teachers have always looked to the masters for inspiration in the field of art education.  Further, keeping art history exciting and meaningful to current students tends to be the challenge or we risk the classroom quickly turning into an ‘art in the dark’ slideshow lecture.  In this sense, my brief conversation questioning the need for more art history lessons personally inspired and influenced our art making process and artistic investigation this year at South Kam. Specifically, we learned more about symbols in visual language and aspects of gathering clues through images to reveal what was important to people from the past.

In fact, I encourage you to join Ellen, my former student, online sharing her passions for art history through her growingly popular Instagram feed: @arthistorylesson.  Thank so much for the lesson, Ellen!

Personal Images Inspired by the paintings of Edward Hopper, 
Drawing & Painting 11/12

Plaster Frescos, Grade 9/10 

Investigating Portraits, Studio Art 11/12

Monday, February 29, 2016

Interpreting Sounds of the Symphony

The Catacombs by Krista Buder, Grade 12
Mussorgsky by Nicole Hanna

Classical music has a remarkable capacity to inspire.  With hopes of making connections through the arts, the Kamloops Symphony Orchestra approached the art department at South Kamloops Secondary with a unique opportunity to visually interpret a famous symphony.  Pictures at an Exhibition, a musical work in 10 movements by Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky (1839-1881) was originally inspired by the artwork of his talented friend, Vicktor Hartmann (1834-1873). Investigating the six of the 10 remaining images, SKSS students embarked on a process of listening to the recorded 10 movements of the symphony and researching specific aspects for a personal art image.

 Camyrn Morris, grade 11                                                            Cynthia James, grade 12 
In a final presentation of student learning, SKSS art students framed their work, provided artist statements and installed 22 artworks for display at the Kamloops Symphony's performance on February 13, 2016.  Many of the secondary students were in attendance the night of the symphony performance.  Unexpectedly, alongside the original Hartmann images the student work was projected during the live performance.  For many reasons this experience had a profound and positive impact on the art students who were sitting in the audience listening to the live performance!  

The symphony was fantastic. It was so much more interesting to listen to the music live. The coolest part was probably seeing how the student artists interpreted the sounds of the symphony while the professional musicians were playing. Evidently, it was inspiring to see how the music can give people such different imagery. -Kayla S., grade 12
The collaboration between the symphony music and visual art was a fantastic learning experience. During intermission we shared with audience members who approached art students with questions as well as many compliments.  This process of sharing with the community was a whole new experience itself, but such a great feeling as a developing artist! With this being said, sitting in the audience along with your classmates, listening to the live music while your own art was being projected in the performance was phenomenal! I specifically enjoyed the quiet whispers in the audience complementing the student art images.  –Alma S., grade 11
Free Range Eggs by Lyle Loveday, grade 11

City of Storms by Miranda McGhee
   A special thank-you to Krystal Kehoe of the KSO for arranging this unique opportunity and collaboration with SKSS art students.  We are truly grateful to make meaningful community connections through visual arts.  Also, thanks to Vice Principal Blake Buemann for attending and supporting students at this event!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Just Colour: Inspiring Community through Illustrations

In a world that's increasingly fast-paced and virtual, people are discovering the meditative calm and visual pleasure offered by the new generation of coloring books for adults. Adult colouring books are a great way for people to relax, be creative, and go back to their childhood.  

Coloring is accessible.
It unleashes the creativity we all have in a way that is safe.

For these reasons, SKSS grade 9 & 10 art students decided to create their own sophisticated colouring book.  Illustrating images for a collective purpose became a way to show individual creativity, share artwork outside of the classroom, and an opportunity to invite others to be a part of their art making. 

Students participated in multiple colouring parties hosted at the school that were fantastic community events with teachers, counselors, principals, friends, grandparents and parents in attendance, taking time to connect with art students through the simple act of colouring.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

More than just Clay: Sharing Friendship & Peace

Providing students with an active clay and sculpture program builds many opportunities for learning.  Clay is a unique art material that is highly responsive to touch and very forgiving.  In this sense, allowing for mistakes and playful art making gives students a sense of control, builds personal confidence and opens the mind to a greater sense of self-expression and imagination.

Applying sculpture skills, SKSS students shared a connection with our neighbouring elementary school (Lloyd George) by teaching clay techniques to Mme Girard’s grade 2 class.  We decided on a theme of Friendship & Peace. Just incase we could save the world, one grade two student at a time!  Students worked with clay slabs to cut their hand shape from both high school and elementary students to create a collaborative bowl.  To finish the designs, students added french or english words and symbols that represented our peace and friendship theme. 

Excited young artists chattered and worked hard over two sessions of classes creating common ground through their clay work and glazing.  Perhaps most importantly, SKSS students spoke about the valuable outcome of our collaboration, which was more than our colourful hand-bowls.  In fact, they expressed that teaching and working with young students reminded them of the importance of helping others and the significance of art making at any age.