Gray Academy of Jewish Education, Gray Academy Grade 5 students and the Jewish Heritage Centre have joined forces to create an exhibit of drawings that capture more than a century of Jewish history and culture in Manitoba.
The students have drawn upon a range of themes, such as commercial activities, sports, religious practice and performing arts. Each one of them has invested their respective drawings with creativity, passion and an intellectual and emotional commitment to bringing to the fore their Jewish and Manitoban identities. Their work shows how this sense of identity has been stimulated, nurtured and nourished in their family, school and community environments.
These students should be very proud of their efforts. Their participation in this exhibit confirms the vitality of Jewish culture in Manitoba today, along with children’s own sense of responsibility for keeping their culture alive, having it continue to shape and enrich Manitoba’s vibrant multicultural mosaic.
ON BEHALF OF THE JEWISH HERITAGE CENTRE OF WESTERN CANADA
The Gray Academy/Jewish Heritage Centre student art exhibit has become an annual tradition. Over the years, Gray Academy students have created powerful drawings, based on archival photographs from the Jewish Heritage Centre of Western Canada, that reflect the historical, social and cultural life of Manitoba Jews. The exhibit gives students a unique opportunity to apply their creative skills and artistic sensibilities, while gaining an understanding of how the merging of art and history can play a vital role in developing a sense of identity that incorporates Jewish and Canadian values.
With the restrictions imposed by the global pandemic, the traditional in-house exhibit has been transformed into a virtual display. We believe this format will not compromise the quality, depth and intellectual and emotional vitality of the visitor experience. In their depictions of the richness and diversity of Jewish culture and heritage, these drawings can transcend the virtual medium and convey the students’ historical knowledge, artistry and pride in their background.