Paw-fect Portraits

March 9 to 31, 2019

Artwork by high school students in the Canines in the Classroom COPE Service Dogs programme, Barrie

Paw-fect Portraits
March 9 to 31, 2019
Rotary Education Centre
Outcomes from a MacLaren VanGo Access workshop
Presented in Partnership with COPE Service Dogs, Barrie

The MacLaren Art Centre is pleased to present Paw-fect Portraits, an exhibition of paintings created by high school students as part of Canines in the Classroom, a programme of COPE Service Dogs, Barrie. This series of artworks are portraits of active service dogs that have been trained by these students.

As part of VanGo Access, MacLaren staff led a complimentary half-day workshop in mid-February to a group of eleven students and their teacher Ms. Jane Boake at Nantyr Shores Secondary School. Working from a visual reference, each student explored collage and a variety of acrylic painting techniques to create a personal interpretation of the service dog they had a special connection with.

COPE provides “Service Dogs” for people living with disabilities and “Facility Dogs” to help the therapeutic practices of such organizations as Hospice Simcoe and Child Advocacy Center. Part of the dogs’ training takes place in Canines in the Classroom—a high school programme in which students facing challenges earn credits by learning to train the COPE dogs. This deep learning experience prepares students for work in the 21st century and positively impacts mental health. An important aspect of the training, for both student and dog, is Reading Buddy, a program in which the student/dog teams visit elementary schools so the children can read to the dogs.

Special thanks to Jane Boake, Founder, COPE Service Dogs and Canines in the Classroom for making the workshop possible. Appreciation is also extended to the youth who participated in this special project.

VanGo Access is an extension of VanGo, the MacLaren signature education programme in the schools. Through this outreach programme, practicing visual artists lead hands-on visual arts workshops to community groups that otherwise would not have these opportunities.

Photos from the workshop at Nantyr Shores: