Artist Emily Rose Michaud travelled from the Gatineau to the easternmost point in the Côte-Nord region of Quebec, to work with students at Kegaska School.  She and the students worked with a variety of materials and mediums to create socially and environmentally engaging works of art.  The goal was to help instill a sense of pride in both their community and in themselves, and the artwork produced contained images from the Kegaska region and their personal history. 

Students drew pictures of their favourite places in Kegaska, which led them to share stories of what their village means to them as young residents of a coastal village.   Activities included making a simple, homemade batch of window paint using dish soap and white clay – the vehicle to translate their memories onto the classroom windows, through which can be seen the gorgeous vistas across the village bay. 

Students  also created lino block prints, carved on rubber tiles which Emily brought in from the Outaouais region.  She taught them that they could continue creating lino block prints using whatever materials are available to them – whether it be kitchen floor linoleum or soft wood tiles. Overall, in two short days, each student carved their own lino block and produced two impressive prints. As Emily said of the experience, “the pride in the room was palpable”.

Emily Rose Michaud is an interdisciplinary artist and educator.  She states her purpose is to “explore environmentally and socially engaged art, cultivate agency on ecological issues, foster creative confidence, independent thought, deepen artistic skills.”   In her own words, her work “highlights the social importance of marginal landscapes, engages with land as a living entity, and maintains a practice in ephemeral media”.

Kegaska School’s ArtistsInspire Grant was made possible by an ELAN Quebec/LEARN partnership for students from Quebec’s English-speaking communities to participate in arts and culture experiences, thanks in part to funding from the Government of Canada.

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Students at Kegaska School sharing the art work created with the help of artist Emily Rose Michaud. (Photo by Elisa Martin)

Students at Kegaska School enjoying their first experience ever with lino-cutting. (Photo by Elisa Martin)