BCATA Journal

Editors’ Message

We are very pleased with articles contributed to ‘Art and Reflections’, one of two issues that have expanded our ideas and notions about where we’ve been and where we’re headed.  The opportunity to link with a joint national and provincial conference at the University of Victoria enabled us to establish relationships with professional organizations and encouraged writing from a large pool of authors. Casting our nets beyond the province resulted in articles that went beyond the art classroom and provincial school districts. The current issue ‘Reflections and Imaginings 2’ has resulted in a range of vibrant ideas including outdoor art education programs and land based art ecology projects. This continues to reflect our accomplishments and imagine future directions in art education.

You will notice that recent copies of the Journal carry articles dealing with Indigenous issues. The Review section has been diligent in presenting art ideas concurrent with the ideas of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in Canada.  We hope to continue these themes in upcoming issues as a way of encouraging awareness, understanding and appreciation of First Nations language and culture. Please give attention to the current Review section emphasizing contemporary fiber arts and how ‘fiber’ has crossed into magnificent wall art creations, incredibly diverse sculptures, and outstanding examples of wearable adornment. The current reviews indicate the maturity of the fiber arts from traditional loom practices to aerial productions in large outdoor spaces.

There are many ways to contribute to the Journal.  One way is to look closely at the Call for Articles in the next issue dealing with art and technology where we would like to examine the way technology is changing the face of art education.  What are your views regarding technology entering the art classrooms with 3D printers, advanced camera systems and virtual reality accessories? How does this affect current programs? How does one balance the old with the new?  We welcome your views.

Our editorial assistance has resulted in write-ups and images from Art in Public Places projects at the BCTF building in Vancouver directed by Colleen Kennedy and the Ministry of Education in Victoria curated by Bill Zuk. We are always looking for projects accompanied with images.  In this connection, Jay Larson our layout and design editor is particularly adept at creating exceptional combinations of text and image for your pleasure and enjoyment.




Art and Ecology

What are some ways of making stronger connections between art and the natural world?   How can these ideas be translated into action plans that improve the way we live and the way we do things? Climate change has been identified as a culprit and we are sometimes labeled as disturbers of the Anthropocene because we pollute the air we breathe, the oceans that give us life, and we waste resources by overharvesting fisheries and forests. A result of these circumstances is that we have a planet under siege. It is up to us to take action.  Consider the following ideas in exploring the topic of ‘art and eco’ – environmental activism for creating a better world.

  1. Pick a news item related to climate change and its impacts on the environment, perhaps specifically calling attention to declining wildlife populations or dilemmas about saving some animal species through culling others. Show how art can highlight these concerns using posters and placards for a march. Alternatively show how these pressing issues can be addressed through large scale artworks,  such as the design of murals for a public space.
  2. Use the idea of opposites or polarities to dramatize an issue that deals with polluting, for example. This might be achieved showing before and after images of a pristine environment and a polluted one (or reversing the order, a polluted one and a pristine one).
  3. Working to counter the rising pessimism that we’ve reached or even passed the so-called “tipping point,” create a photo sequence of artworks showing a local initiative, an environmental restoration project. Arguing that change begins at home, use visual persuasion to show that a better world is possible. 
  4. Using the idea of Gaia as a metaphor, create a ‘Mother Earth’ figure as a plea for a kinder, more loving and gentle way to treat others and our surroundings. Refer to master artists who have portrayed the human subject with a kind or gentle countenance.
  5. Pick a topic that is fundamental to our existence such as air, water, food, and fuel.  Relate one of these determinants to pollution, over harvesting, destabilizing the climate or wiping out a species. Use photographs or videos to capture a series of events and  prepare a script to accompany the presentation for entry into a ‘Change the World’ festival.
  6. Pick a day to clean up a beach strewn with plastics and other garbage, or restore a mine or excavation site filled with scattered materials. Use the collection to make constructions and sculptures. Refer to master artists who have collected found materials and made statements about cleaning up the environment while turning ugliness into beauty.
  7. Calling upon the power of language, develop concise poetic slogans to be directly superimposed upon (painted or printed) or electronically projected upon, or spoken over or against a backdrop of collaged imagery, images that speak to the urgent necessity to change our ways. The ground image may even be a self-portrait. 

Submission Dates:  September 30, 2019 and April 30, 2020.


Contact the editors Dr. Bob Dalton (rdalton@uvic.ca) or Dr. Bill Zuk (wzuk@uvic.ca) for contributions to the BC Art Teachers’ Journal.