Meet: Nazy Sakhavarz, Educator at Earl Haig-Claude Watson

What inspires Earl Haig-Claude Watson to put this group exhibition together?

This exhibit is motivated by the many extremely tenacious and talented young artists attending Earl Haig and the Claude Watson Arts Program. We have a large student body and those that are studying and pursuing visual arts need a venue to show their work while gaining exhibiting experience in a professional, gallery setting.

The Pieces in the exhibit vary from piece to piece. How much artistic freedom has been given to the students to create their own vision?

The senior level work in the show is very much student directed. For many of their projects, the artists are provided with prompts to interpret individually and create works using their own visual language, personally imagery and stylistic choices.

What is the teaching process like for Nazy or any of the art teachers and what is her/their personal goal as an art teacher?

Our program hinges on a technical foundation in grades 9-10, which then evolves into more conceptual and applied forms of art making. Students are instructed to not only master techniques but then to apply and build on this in their own works.

In terms at the gallery exhibit, we integrate curation, hanging and artists talks/critiques as an integral part of our curriculum. Our graduating class is involved with curating the show on the first day of hanging while the grade 11 class comes in the following day to finish , catalogue and post images for our social media outlets. We want our students to learn from and embrace the entire process of making and showing their art.

What makes Twist such an ideal space for the annual show?

Twist is a large, open space that accommodates the variety of works our students produce. The layout allows for clear, unobstructed views of art and we are able to host our students, their families and staff for great openings.

Do you think its important to give students exposure early on in their art journey?

Absolutely. The experience of showing outside of the school setting and engaging with the arts community is an invaluable one for our students.

Where do these students go after Earl Haig? Which fields?

Many of our students pursue post-secondary pathways related to the arts.

Some of these include: Fine arts, architecture, illustration, animation, design and fashion.

In addition to arts related fields, some of our students go on to a variety of science, business and engineering programs for which some supplement their applications with their visual arts portfolios!