Magazine article Arts & Activities

"Sens-Ational" Art

Magazine article Arts & Activities

"Sens-Ational" Art

Article excerpt

After reaching the Stanley Cup final in 2007 and many successful seasons, 2011-12 was a rebuilding year for our NHL team, the Ottawa Senators. They asked for patience and continued support while management evaluated its younger, less experienced players.

Watching the Olympics' opening ceremonies and seeing how event planners were able to mobilize the crowd, it occurred to me that it might be possible to stage an interactive presentation at Scotia Bank Place with our students. It would be a way Merivale High School could do our part to help the team.

It was crucial for us to secure a seat configuration in the arena of four consecutive rows, with six seats in each. My idea was for students to each hold a segment of a large artwork that when held together on cue, would form the whole image. With this in mind, I contacted the Ottawa Senators office, where Kirk Manson and Jade Fair made the necessary arrangements.

Several senior graphic-design students agreed to take a leadership role with the project. We knew the features on these artworks had to be bold to be seen across an NHL arena. We decided to focus on the head and shoulders, and use the Senators' team colors, all in a strong horizontal orientation.

The students were keen to participate, as much of what they create in school does not reach a wide audience and is confined to in-house displays and art shows visited by family and friends. This was a unique opportunity to see how one's artwork would interact with the world in a very public way.


* Nine-ply bristol board

* Acrylic paint and paintbrushes

* Transparency for projecting artwork

* Overhead projector


High-school students will ...

* recognize the elements of shape and color that contribute to creating a successful large work of art.

* participate in an art event involving their community.

* understand the importance of teamwork when creating and assembling a large-scale project.

THE DESIGNS Isaak Skinner chose to create a portrait of Ottawa's senior statesman and captain, Daniel Alfredsson ("Alfie"), a crowd favorite. Paisley Laurenzio offered to help with the design for all-star center and assistant captain, Jason Spezza. And, Margaret Hotte jumped at the chance to render her favorite player, Erik Karlsson.

With the initial cartoons completed, linear transparencies for overhead projection were created for each image. The Alfie, Erik and Spezza images were projected and carefully traced onto 24 pieces of heavy-gauge nine-ply Bristol board, which had been arranged on a wall. A team of students helped paint all of the images.

PERFORMANCE ART Although we knew the paintings would have an enormous impact, we had to have a dry run with people holding the artwork pieces to see if they would work in an arena set ting. The bleachers in our school gymnasium proved to be a perfect spot to field test our project.

On game night, our School's Dixieland Band warmed up the crowd by playing at the front entrance of the arena. …

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