Art to Express, Not to Impress


A universal truth in life  is the need to express ourselves, but how do we do that? For one KSS student in particular the answer is simple—through art.

Grade 12 Student Hanna Turner-Gervais is a girl who lives to express herself through colour and story. She feeds her desire to express through her growing interest in painting. Hanna has been passionate about this for quite sometime. In fact, it all started when her parents bought her an easel and a small drawing board when she was still learning to walk. During Hanna’s primary school years she attended a private school with a strong focus on arts and creativity. At this school she was working mostly with watercolour paint and trying to pick up the basics. In Grade 5, Hanna transferred to public school. Entering this new environment forced Hanna to keep up with her art in a more independent way. She was painting and taking classes outside of her schooling.

By Grade 6 Hanna had already taken an advanced level art class.  But that’s not where she stopped. She’s still taking extra classes today. Just last year Hanna was enrolled in a program at Kelowna’s Art Gallery called “Art Insights”. Every few weekends Hanna dedicates her Sunday mornings to hanging out at Opus art supplies and attending free classes just for fun.

Hanna was a bit torn over what to choose as her favourite pieces. In an interview with Censor This! Hanna shared, “I think all artists, kind of once they start doing their own art, they look at it for so long that they kind of end up hating it.” However, one of her more recent pieces she seems to be quite fond of. It’s a huge acrylic piece featuring maps, wood, and a unique colour scheme. This masterpiece took an entire semester to complete, and portrays a unique story of the contrast between two separate people.   It currently hangs in the KSS library. But this isn’t the first time Hanna’s had her art displayed to the public. Over the past three years 11 pieces have been displayed at the Kelowna Art Gallery for public viewing.

It’s evident that much of Hanna’s life has been dedicated to creativity and expression through a paintbrush, however surprisingly it’s not her career path of choice. She is hoping to maintain high marks and go into sciences  after graduation. She was quick to assure Censor This! that just because art will no longer be her primary focus it doesn’t mean her passion will die out.  She has plans to keep up with her art in the future and continue to express through that medium. Hanna looks forward to growing her knowledge in art and states that, “It’s unlimited. You have unlimited opportunities with art because there’s so many colours and you can do whatever you want.”

We may well take something from Hanna’s example: there is value in continuing the journey of artistic expression no matter what path life takes us down, and let it be limitless.