Danforth Collegiate students set to host XHIBITART19 show at Papermill Gallery

Works by students, alumni and staff of Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute's arts program will be on display at the XHIBITART19 show from April 24 to May 5 at the Papermill Gallery in Todmorden Mills.

Students, alumni and staff from Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute’s visual arts department will present their annual art show in the Papermill Gallery at Todmorden Mills from April 24 to May 5.

This year’s show is titled XHIBITART19, and will feature a wide variety of student-created artwork on display and available for sale.

This is the 12th year that Danforth students will hold the show at the Papermill Gallery, and the opening reception is set for the evening of Wednesday, April 24 from 5 to 8 p.m. The gallery is located at 67 Pottery Rd.

Danforth visual arts teacher Carol Jokinen explained that is rare for a school to be able to host a show in a space as prestigious as the Papermill Gallery, and she credits the support of gallery curator Ulana Baluk with helping to make it happen.

“Some secondary schools will hold year-end shows but it is difficult to find venues outside the school, especially professional galleries that will showcase student work,” said Jokinen in a press release.

“Long ago I happened to be in a group show at the Papermill Gallery and was so impressed with the space I contacted the curator Ulana Baluk to enquire about the possibility of holding a student show there.  That year, 2008, there happened to be a cancellation in March, she stuck us in, and we’ve been able to hold our year-end show there ever since.”

Jokinen said that for the Danforth students, the show is about more than creating art. Senior students also about the business of art.
“Not only do they make the art, they are charged with helping to mat and frame (we teach seniors how to use the mat-cutter) and, as part of their ‘culminating exhibition mark’ and ‘creating and presenting’ expectation they stay after school often until 9 p.m. (we get a permit each year) ensuring all work is gallery ready and packed,” said Jokinen.

“We then transport the work to the gallery, (students are on a field trip for this), and they assist the gallery staff in installing the show.”
Other Danforth students help with advertising, typing labels, and reception duties which also include the involvement of students from the hospitality and music departments.

Visual arts students are also responsible for taking care of sales at the opening and a few more may have the official event photographer duty.  Admission to the show is free and many people do buy student artwork that is for sale, said Jokinen.

“This is a major event for the school with anywhere from 100 to 200 people attending the opening reception. Many of our (trained) graduates return to help prepare and exhibit their work alongside current students. These alumni may currently be taking post-secondary art at OCAD or Sheridan for example, or have graduated from post-secondary and are pursuing a career in the arts,” she said.

“Students do come away with a greater understanding of the appropriate standards and conventions for presenting work in a professional gallery. And they get to feel like a famous artist for a night.”

Papermill Gallery hours are Wednesday to Friday, noon to 4 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 4:30 p.m. For more info, call Danforth Collegiate at 416-393-0620.

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