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Raymond has new program for artists

Posted on February 23, 2017 by Westwind Weekly

Stephanie Labbe
Southern Alberta Newspapers

A new art program has been created in Raymond to showcase the cultural offerings of residents.

The Heart of Raymond Art Club began classes in February 2016, so they’ve only run one semester in Raymond so far.

“Raymond traditionally is very well known for their athletics, not so much for their cultural offerings,” says Jarom Scott, an instructor of the club. “So it is important to have a program like this in Raymond, because it helps round out the activity-based offerings in the community. On a social level, the classes provide opportunities for folks to get together and share, create (and) learn in a creative environment,”

On one level, this art club teaches students to expand their technical skills as artists.

Scott says they offer different classes that help students sample a variety of different media.

He says on another level, this program teaches students the value of actively exploring, creating and producing as opposed to just consuming.

“The program also helps students expand their knowledge of art and culture of the past,” he adds.

Registration has closed for this semester of classes. Classes began Jan. 26.

A large part of the decision making on which classes to offer is based on the training of each instructor.

“In my case, I’ve spent a lot of time on the receiving end of art instruction whether it be community art classes in Medicine Hat as a kid, art classes in public school or my post-secondary training during my Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Design degrees in Edmonton,” adds Scott.

As well, they try to get feedback from the community through their online survey, which helps them to create and customize classes.

There are art classes held in Cardston as well, so they take what they learn in Cardston and apply it in the Raymond classes. The Raymond art club ran four out of five offered classes last year. The class for adults was cancelled due to low enrollment.

Scott enjoys being a part of the art club for several reasons. He enjoys the creative energy of the students. As well, he enjoys seeing students develop, not only in their technical skills, but also in their confidence to be creative.

“I love seeing a student push past their perceived boundaries and expand their abilities. I do from time to time get students, that when faced with a new creative challenge, simply say, ‘I can’t do it’. Usually at that point all it takes is some encouraging words and possibly a demonstration of how I may tackle the assignment to help get them to venture forward.”

These art classes teach so much more than just technical ways of doing different artwork.

It’s important to Scott students learn more than that.

“No matter what a student ends up doing later in life, instilling confidence that he or she can be creative in tackling life’s challenges is important,” he adds.

Scott also really enjoys looking at the art created by the students.

“Art is incredibly important as a nonverbal language. Each artist expresses themselves in a unique way, which to me is a beautiful thing. There is just something about an original piece of art (that) captures the imagination and invites us into the artist’s inner world.”

The classes available this semester included a portrait painting class, art journaling and a creative writing class.

For more information about the art club, visit

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