Sylvain Rivard In Our Classroom

(Article transferred from ExpressionArts St-Lawrence)

On January 19th, 2010, a special guest came in our class. His name is Sylvain Rivard and he works for ArtsSmarts. He is an Amerindian (Native American). He taught us about art and he surprised me by all the new stuff he taught us.

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I will remember how the Natives were painting by crushing red ochre, black, yellow ochre and white rocks that make power and then they used bear fat and mixed it. | I didn’t know that we could actually make paint so easily. I thought that we had to buy it at the store. | What I remember from today is that we learned how to draw in Native American art … We actually got to paint the way people did a thousand years ago. It’s super cool. First we take coal that’s black. We crush the coal and make a colour black. So we crack the egg. We take the white water inside and put it on the coal. So after it’s a black liquid paint. | … it made paint and it was very smudgy and yucky and it was real paint. | Then we painted with our fingers and had to make a story with signs | My story was about a man who was hunting and he had caught a buffalo and cooked it on top of a fire and then he went to sleep and then the moon rose. | They used those colours because it symbolizes all the different coloured people in the world and they were the easiest rocks to find near them. | We learned how to do paint in ancient times with rocks. We learend symbols and how to read art. | Language – Something that surprised me is that there are only about 25 people in the world that speak his language which is Abenaki. | Sylvain Riard is a professional artist. | Sylvain showed us a lot of cool things. First he told us about cliffs with painting and engravings.

Then he sang a song at the end with a beautiful drum. | What would I remember 20 years from now of what Sylvain Rivard showed us? The drum and how in back it symbolizes the four elements. The drum itself symbolizes the world etc. | ….. after that he (Sylvain Rivard) played us a song on his drum. That was my favourite part. Here is a story that connects to my life. Last summer I went to Mexico and heard the same drum that the artist played for my class. I love the sound it made. Thanks a lot Sylvain. I hope to see you soon. | Another part that was so cool was when he was singing a song with his drums. | I learned that to be good at art you need a lot of practice but to be an Artist it’s not only art it’s a job. | It was so fun.

Visual Arts To appreciate works of art, traditional artistic objects, media images, personal productions and those of classmates
English Language Arts To write self-expressive, narrative and information-based texts
CCC Personal and Social To construct his/her identity

One response to “Sylvain Rivard In Our Classroom

  1. Very cool article. I wish native culture was recognized and given more importance within out own.

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