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Love art, will travel
Art Travel Club raising money for San Francisco trip

Stewart Burnett
Northern News Services
Thursday, December 8, 2016

Part of what East Three Secondary School visual arts instructor Alexandra Winchester tries to get through to students is art isn't just paintings and sculptures - it's everything.

NNSL photo/graphic

Cheyenne Gully, right, paints Jolena Jacobson's face during the budding artists activity day. - Stewart Burnett/NNSL photo

"Up here, art is a big part of culture," said Winchester during a budding artists fundraiser activity at the school on Dec. 3.

"Carvings, prints - it's a large part of what (students) see up here, but what I don't think people necessarily understand is how embedded art is in every day society. Everything around us has been created by an artist or an architect."

That goes from chairs to everything else we see.

Winchester hopes to drive that point through to students, seven of whom make up the Art Travel Club she plans to take to San Francisco next spring. 

Every two years, Winchester takes the travel club to a place well-known for its art. In 2015, the club also went to San Francisco, while in 2013 the club went to London, England.

The high cost of travel from Inuvik limits the program from taking students every year, and Winchester and her class have already been hard at work fundraising for their upcoming trip.

She plans to take the students to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and visit galleries, museums, fine arts shops. But she also wants them to get a feel for the culture in these art destinations and will be taking the class to Sausalito, California, to visit some of the smaller, artisan-run boutiques.

"They get to see the smaller side of it, not just 'this is the big museum and the big pieces of art,' but the small craftsmen, which is something they would see up here at the craft fairs but taken out of context and look at it in a worldview," she said.

And it's not just about visual art. Winchester always tries to bring the students to some sort of performance, such as when she took her class to a Broadway presentation of The Lion King in England.

"Art is all encompassing - music, drama, fine art -  I like to expose them to (all of) those kind of things," she said.

Past trips have ignited the travel bug and an interest in new post-secondary pursuits in a lot of her students, she added.

"The kids who have been in this group and gone on these trips and had a wonderful time, they seem to have gained something, whether it's confidence in their own ability to travel the world or to see things that are not necessarily close to home," said Winchester.

However, it's hard to raise money for the trips. The club is about to hold a large raffle event and smaller fundraisers will keep taking place in the new year.

"We're certainly doing our best and I would love for this trip to become a reality," said Winchester.

Grade 11 student Chrissy Hvatum, who looks forward to seeing the Golden Gate Bridge and a potential sailboat ride, hopes so too.

"It's going to be fun to see San Francisco," she said. "I can't wait for that."

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