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'Extraordinary' art goes online
SFU students painstakingly piece together virtual gallery

Some students from Simon Fraser University's school of interactive arts and technology program, including Nicola Sznajder, above, are building an online virtual art gallery that will showcase youth art from around the province. [Photograph by Amy Reid]

Written by Marisa Babic
Led by teacher March Pelech, a group of SFU Surrey students are creating on online gallery of youth art.

The students from the university's School of Interactive Arts and Technology are spending the summer at Sullivan Heights Secondary school helping to adapt nearly 1,000 pieces of art by students onto a website.

The Canada Youth Visions website, featuring youth artists from all around British Columbia, will be the first of its type in Canada.

Pelech says the gallery will showcase "extraordinary art" created by high school students over the past 20 years.

The SFU students spend several hours a day at the high school carrying out their painstaking work.

After taking a picture of a piece of work, a student tweaks the image with the aid of Photoshop to create the sharpest possible image, and then loads the image onto the website.

Each entry is careful documented with important details, such as the student name and age, date created, the school and teacher and a description of the work.

Though the website will have a strong Surrey presence, the virtual gallery will feature art by students from 80 B.C. high schools. The provincial launch of the website is slated for January.

"I think it will be just an extraordinary moment," Pelech said.

His ultimate goal is to expand the website and include youth art from all across Canada.

He expects to complete that ambitious project by 2017, in time for Canada's 150th birthday, and he's hoping to secure some federal funding that will no doubt be sprinkled to groups across the country for various celebratory projects.

Pelech started archiving youth art in back in 1994. The project has been a lengthy one, due to the sheer volume of images and the fact that it's a volunteer effort. He figures he's devoted 20,000 hours of his time over his career to guiding youth art projects. He counts the website as a key accomplishment of his teaching career.

"It means everything," he said. "I'm getting a chance to do something that's valued by the community at large, that is valued by the youth that contributed in terms of their work. That means a lot."

Curator's Note: The Canada Youth Visions' website development team consists of SFU students, Flory Huang, Paulina Lam, Jonathan Morrissey, Kyla del Rosario and Nicola Sznajder.

Publication: Surrey Now Newspaper, August 16, 2011; Pg. A17
Author/Reporter: Marisa Babic
Photographer(s): Amy Reid
Theme: Website Development
Featured Artist(s): Nicola Sznajder
Gallery Link(s):
Not Applicable

Meet the Youth Visions' IT Team: Jonathan Morrissey (Aug 16, 2011)

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Meet the Youth Visions' IT Team: Flory Huang (Aug 16, 2011)

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Meet the Youth Visions' IT Team: Nicola Sznajder (Aug 16, 2011)

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Meet the Youth Visions' Team IT: Paulina Lam (Aug 16, 2011)

Paulina Lam is a developing graphic designer and educator. Through her work Paulina strives to create projects that allow people to in tu ... (Read more)

Meet the Youth Visions' IT Team: Kyla del Rosario (Aug 16, 2011)

A talented illustrator, Kyla del Rosario first emigrated from the Philippines three years ago. Living in a foreign country continues to ... (Read more)

Meet the Youth Visions' IT Team: Thomas Nelles (Aug 16, 2011)

Thomas Nelles is a grade 12 student enrolled at Sullivan Heights Secondary School in Surrey. Thomas' aptitude and interest in the visual ... (Read more)

Summer Update (Aug 31, 2005)

The YouthVisions website has received a major tune-up this summer. We started by updating and re-editing the Overview directory. The Collection was remastered for improved image quality by Nick Castoro and Jennifer Griffiths. The Collection and ... (Read more)

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