Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS                                Students in Gianna Holmes’ Grade 4/5 class at Harry Hooge elementary, including (clockwise from left) Louie Park, Emberlyn Williams and Nevaeh Chickloski, work on their banner art on Monday.

Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS Students in Gianna Holmes’ Grade 4/5 class at Harry Hooge elementary, including (clockwise from left) Louie Park, Emberlyn Williams and Nevaeh Chickloski, work on their banner art on Monday.

School children vie for spots on Maple Ridge street banners

Maple Ridge school children are competing to have their designs chosen for Canada 150 banners

Every great artist wants a high profile canvas, and some budding young ones in Maple Ridge schools are vying for some great exposure.

As part of the celebration for Canada’s 150th anniversary, the city is designing a new set of banners, and four of the new designs will be chosen from the work of six classes of Grade 4-6 children at Harry Hooge, Glenwood and Blue Mountain elementary schools.

“They’ve done just great work,” said Kat Wahamaa, an artist in residence with the city. “The kids really got it.”

She and fellow artist Robi Smith have gone over some of the essential elements of graphic design with the students, such as sacrificing detail for big and bold designs, and working within a colour palate taken from the city’s coat of arms.

Each of the students did their own design, for about 150 in total, and four will be chosen for the banners by a jury that will include the two artists and city officials.

“They were totally excited about creating those banners,” said Wahamaa, who also talked with the students about Canadian history. “Going into classrooms and working with kids is what I love to do.”

The theme was exploring nature, and there were various depictions of the Golden Ears mountains, maple leaves, and wildlife – ranging from stick bugs to bobcats.

“They did everything from ladybugs to snails and there’s some real whimsical and beautiful designs,” said Wahamaa. “The kids did a great job.

Although only four will be chosen for banners, Wahamaa is planning to display all of the designs on Canada Day, and is exploring a way to project them onto the side of The ACT.

Two more artists with the Katzie and Kwantlen First Nations will offer another pair of banners, for six in total.

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