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AIRS Exhibit 2024: Imprints of Belonging

| Categories: Arts
AIRS 2024

It doesn’t matter if this is good art or bad art, it’s about what the art is saying. What students have to share with us.”

This was the tone set by Maggie Milne Martens of the Artist in Residence Studio (AIRS) Program to open the 2024 exhibition. Earlier this month, students, families and artists gathered to show off different art projects and installations created by VSB students. 

At 15 different elementary schools, 19 local professional artists mentored classes to facilitate the creation of unique art projects. These projects were led in collaboration with teachers and the AIRS program, a Vancouver non-profit that provides equitable access to consistent, high quality and socially relevant visual arts education for children.


These art-making experiences unpack big ideas and encourage quality thinking. The theme for this year’s projects was ‘Imprints of Belonging,’ an examination of art as a transformation students can touch and feel to express their emotions. 

The AIRS mentors encouraged students to think about how touch and feel relates to art, not just as an activity but as an encounter. As stated by founder, Maggie Milne Martens, “Art is a process where the artist and materials are in a conversation.”


The exhibition ran from May 13 until May 27 with art displayed at VSB’s Education Centre. 

At the exhibition’s opening, Maggie shared the importance of art in schools as a space for self-expression, “[A] transformation that allows students to be open.”

Thank you to all the artists who took time to mentor students and run workshops with this important opportunity for self-expression and experiential learning. And thank you to AIRS for our continued partnership with schools in the District.


Artist Mentors

Monica Cheema, Laura Cisneros, Tami Cline, Aibhlin Fowlie, Nellie Gossen, Rebecca Heyl, Reed Jackson, Fanny Kearse, Fiana Kawane, Christine Mackenzie, Sholeh Mahlouji, Maggie Milne Martens, Yasaman Moussavi, Julie McIntyre, Shamina Senaratne, Yunuen Perez Vertti, Kathryn Wadel, Nova Weipert, and Grace Yin


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