Art created from a range of disciplines is putting wings on Orange Shirt Day at Mount Royal Collegiate and bringing a unique awareness to the day's message.
"We participate in Orange Shirt Day to commemorate the residential school experience, to witness and honour the healing journey of the survivors and their families, and to share our collective resilience as Indigenous people — especially the amazing youth we have the privilege of teaching," said teacher Jody Lerat.
Students in Visual Art 10 have collaborated with students in Arts Ed 9, Photography 30, Clothing 10, and Construction 10 courses to provide the school's Orange Shirt Day activities with a multi-layered art installation inspired by the work of local Indigenous artist Loch Willy.
Willy, the artist behind @WingsofYXE on Instagram, creates life-size wing sets offering powerful messages that speak to social justice issues and offer a meaningful way for him to connect and engage with the community.
During the first weeks of the new school year, Willy provided valuable mentorship with students as part of the collaborative process, by participating in a virtual artist talk with Art 10 and Construction 10 classes. Students have painted their own mini-wing sets, cut by Construction 10 students, while students in Art 10 and Arts Ed 9 collaborated in the painting of a wing mural displayed in the front foyer alongside Clothing 10's orange shirt project.
A set of wings gifted to Mount Royal by Willy were painted and on display in front of the school for Orange Shirt Day. Classes were able to sign up for a limited number of socially distanced opportunities to have their pictures taken with the wings by students in the Photography 30 class.