Mi’kmaw artist raises nearly $10K to bring art program into Shubenacadie classrooms

A Mi’kmaw artist from the Sipekne’katik First Nation has raised nearly $10,000 to purchase art supplies that will eventually be used in classrooms across the province, all in an effort to teach children about art and the meaning it can hold.

Quentin Syliboy was asked to volunteer his time and expertise at Shubenacadie District Primary School, where he attended as a child, after staff bought one of his paintings to display in the school’s entrance.

Syliboy had been invited to the school to discuss his painting when he was also asked to return and teach the students some art techniques.

“I’ve always loved working with children and it’s kind of selfish in the same way because it reminds me why I have fun painting: watching them create… whatever their little minds are thinking,” Syliboy told CBC Radio. Main Street on Friday.

Quentin Syliboy’s artwork is seen on display at the entrance of Shubenacadie District Primary School. (Colleen Jones/CBC)

As soon as he was asked to return, Syliboy began raising money for art supplies.

He said he turned to local businesses for financial support, and after nearly 50 rejections, he took to social media and quickly raised $7,000.

He said that after that, members of the Sipekne’katik First Nation donated an additional $1,800.

“It definitely made me proud of my community,” he said.

NS Main Street9:36Mi’kmaw artist brings a new art program to Shubenacadie School

It was an exciting morning at Shubenacadie District Elementary School. Artist Quentin Syliboy was there, bringing bins and bins of art supplies with him. He spent the morning talking to third graders about his own journey to become an artist and gently guiding them as they made their own creations. Emma Smith from Mainstreet was there.

Syliboy held his first painting session at Shubenacadie School on Friday. Over the next few weeks, she will help 219 students find his artist interns.

“He’s created a program that brings indigenous art to our school and we’re thrilled with the opportunity to learn,” Jen Clark, the school’s principal, said Friday.

Clark said she’s also grateful that Syliboy is taking over the fundraising for the show.

“It was absolutely amazing for him to take his personal time to go out and look for donations and I think he raffled off a painting,” she said. “[We’re] just incredibly grateful that you donated your time and effort.”

Kohen Sack is seen painting a sun at Shubenacadie District Primary School. (Emma Smith/CBC)

Syliboy said he wanted to contribute his time as a way to give back to the community.

“Growing up, I never had cultural influences or anything like that or means of expression and this is a way for them to get that at a young age, which I wish they had,” he said.

Syilboy said the purpose of the workshop is to give kids a chance to have fun, try something new, and be vulnerable.

“A lot of times kids are so structured in their lives. They’re told what to do from the second they get up to the second they go to bed,” she said.

“So to give them a little bit of freedom and to see them run with it, and to see them blossom, is something that really inspires them and they need it.”

Third grade students are seen painting artwork at Shubenacadie District Elementary School. (Emma Smith/CBC)

Syliboy said he has received additional donations from the Indian Brook band, the Kiwanis Club and the provincial SchoolsPlus program since the program began, totaling nearly $10,000 in funds raised. It means that she can expand to other places in the province.

He said the program will also be delivered at L’nu Sipuk Kina’muokuom School, which is located on the reserve, and at schools within the East Hants, West Hants and Colchester education hubs.

“It’s definitely something I love. I especially love going around and talking to each one of them… hearing them talk about their paintings or getting so emotionally involved in what they’re doing really reminds me why I paint.”

Mi’kmaw artist raises nearly $10K to bring art program into Shubenacadie classrooms

Quentin Syliboy, a Mi’kmaw artist from the Sipekne’katik First Nation, has raised more than $10,000 to purchase art supplies that will eventually be used in classrooms across the province, all in an effort to teach children about art and meaning it can have. .

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