Hugo Alvarado Community Art Project - Saskatoon Public Schools Foundation
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Hugo Alvarado Community Art Project

The art project began in 2017 with a gift of 3 acrylic art kits to King George Community School from Hugo and his wife Julie. They subsequently raised funds for 20 additional art kits for students in grades 5-8, and staff soon set up an art room with professional supplies. Drawing on his 20+ years of experience teaching adult learners, Hugo and other local artists led art classes in collaboration with several engaged teachers. Students learned art basics and were encouraged to become more confident in their creative skills.   

“I love the art club because it’s relaxing. One of the reasons why I joined is because I think anyone and everyone can be good at art. Sometimes it’s good to try new things. I’m thankful for my art teachers this year. This has been one of my favorite years so far.”

King George Student
Hugo Alvarado and Student

Intent

The 8-week art project provides a grant through the Saskatoon Public Schools Foundation to cover the cost of professional art supplies and instruction from local artists for one class of approximately 25 students. Every student receives a personal art kit and the classroom receives a larger set of materials. Three local artists are offered an honorarium to provide instruction and mentorship.

  • Week 1 – Introduction – session overview, students receive orientation to art kits and basics
  • Week 2-3 – Artist 1
  • Week 4-5 – Artist 2
  • Week 6-7 – Artist 3
  • Week 8 – Wrap-up with participating artists, students each frame one of their works

Eligibility

  • Open to grades 5-8 in Saskatoon Community Schools
  • Grants are limited to one classroom per school
  • Schools will have a dedicated space suitable for hosting an art project, where instruction occurs and materials can be safely stored when not in use
  • One or more teachers will commit to working in collaboration with the grant leads and artists to deliver the project

Funding

  • Grant funds are deposited into a specified SPSF account. Schools draw on the grant to cover art project costs.
  • Following the suggested list of materials, schools use project funds to:
    • Purchase a personal art kit for each student for use at home (acrylic paint set, paper, tape, spray)
    • Purchase a larger set of classroom materials for use during the 8-week session. All materials remain the property of the school.
    • Offer 3 local artists honoraria to instruct and work with the students, focusing on basic techniques and developing confidence. The grant leads will connect schools with artists, or schools may involve artists of their choosing.

Reporting

  • Schools are asked to report on the use of grant funds and provide a short evaluation upon completing the project.

I never thought that my work was very good or better than anyone else. That was not the point. For me it was to do it, to play with colours and shapes, to play with the sand beside the ocean and do 3 dimensional drawings and shapes when others prefer to swim and run. I don’t ever want to do perfect work (not that I could) because that day will be the end of my career as an artist. Nothing to work for, to search for. So, I don’t want that but also, I don’t believe that. I believe that anyone can do it. Any one or all of us have something mysterious almost inside that makes us use our hands and brain to create where there was nothing, to remember and bring from that past memories that translate in paintings and sculpture, poems, etc. I believe that any one can put his or her eyes in the horizon and draw memories now from the future, and hopefully a better future for all of us.

Hugo Alvarado