Sunday, May 31, 2009

My van Gogh Girl

“You can't be at the pole and the equator at the same time. You must choose your own line, as I hope to do, and it will probably be color. Vincent van Gogh

I remember 2 years ago when my daughter indicated that she wanted to apply to The Integrated Arts Program at Eastwood C.I. I emphatically said “no”. I didn’t relish the idea of her travelling across 2 cities for school. Reluctantly I agreed to attend the information night with the intention of making an “informed no” decision. As it went I was awestruck by the incredible talent of the art students and the dedication and passion of the teachers. As I observed Hilary, I was intrigued by how she was inhaling their enthusiasm and by her desire to “find her art”. I knew that night, that she belonged there. She applied, auditioned, was accepted and started the program last fall.

Something about “finding her art”, has given her wings to soar. She has had her poetry published, won English awards, been “Rebel of the week” 5 times and she can’t stop herself. Last week she was awarded the best “Overall Visual Artist Award" for the entire Arts Program grades 9-12. That is impressive when you’re just a shiner niner. While she is confident and determined, she is humble and often I learn about her achievements after the fact and in passing like the time when my sister-in-law emailed to inform me that Hilary’s art and poetry had been published.

That happened again yesterday. Hilary indicated that she had to attend the opening of the GEEE! In Genomes Art Exhibit at the Waterloo Regional Children’s Museum. Fifty-four Eastwood artists created 58 works which are currently on display alongside the Natural History Museums interactive displays based on the concept of Genome which runs until September. She hadn’t bothered to tell us that she was chosen as the Student Art Director or that her “Genome Teapot” is on exhibit. Furthermore she had to give an opening address. As her teacher introduced Hilary to the crowd she stated that Hilary is the most passionate art student she has taught in her 20 years of teaching. Usually when she performs, my mother instinct comes out and I feel that umbilical pain of watching her, knowing that with each performance there is a certain level of anxiety. I didn’t feel that anxiety yesterday. As she started her speech, it flowed, perfectly crafted and delivered. She was outstanding. It was my proudest moment.

Talk about Genomes...While she is a perfectionist and driven like me, she did not get her art talent from me. She got her talent from my dad, who she never knew. Yesterday as she delivered her speech like a perfect 3-point sermon I saw him living in her. It’s all in the DNA. Keep colouring the world girl!