Wildland Wonders started with a grant application to ArtStarts in Schools.
“The students each chose a wetland bird species and then they spent the year researching and learning about their bird,” Johnson said at the art show opening on Friday evening.
With the guidance of local artist Tina Lindegaard, the students explored various styles of art and experimented with different mediums including painting, paper mache and felting.
The students sewed their own artist bags to carry their sketchbooks and paints when they went out on field trips and compiled their research and sketches into accordion style books which are also on display at the gallery.
“We would both like to acknowledge the hard work and perseverance that our students have put into this project,” said Gadboise. “They have been absolutely amazing through the entire thing.”
With over 200 people through the door on opening night, the students were excited to display their projects.
Gadboise and Johnson read quotes from some students who enjoyed both the scientific and artist sides to the year long project.
“I enjoyed making and painting the paper mache bird,” one student said. “It was fun making the shape with recycled objects. My favourite thing was felting the background with all the different colours of felt then felting our bird onto that background.”
“I really like how it got me to notice more species of birds I enjoyed the trips down to the flats,” said another.
Also on display at the gallery are collections from Fierce Art Group called “The Columbia Valley, Our View” as well as “Souls Summits” by Valerie Speer and “The Strange Places I find Beauty” by Karen Millard.
Speer is based in Rosebud Alta. but paints mostly mountain scenes that have inspired her.
“For me being in the mountains is that place where your thoughts settle,” she said.
It is a place without distractions, where you can see the bigger picture but at the same time it is hard for our brains to grasp the sheer size and beauty of the surroundings, she added.
“My hope when I paint is to get some of that experience on canvas.”
Millard is a teacher with the Revelstoke Visual Arts Centre and has a variety of watercolour works featuring everything from birch trees to roosters on display in the show.
The exhibition will be on display until May 25.