Artist in Residence: Casey Wilson ’08

Casey Wilson with SK girls and their Treasure Stones
Casey Wilson with SK girls and their Treasure Stones

When you’re getting kicked out of the school art room by a security guard that’s demanding to see your I.D., you know you’ve found your true calling.

It was in that art room that Casey Wilson ’08 discovered her love for art. That led her back to York House this month, to share her talent with the Junior and Senior Kindergarten students at the little school.

Casey, a second year Queen’s University student, is the little school’s first Artist in Residence. The York House Artist in Residence program brings in an artist to work on a special project with the students and teachers – such as drawing comics, dance or sculpture. The “expert” spends four to six weeks at the school demonstrating different types of media and technique.

Casey, who is on summer break from her Fine Arts program, was brought on board by little school head teacher, Shelley Lammie. Casey and the teachers collaborated on the project idea: personalize and beautify the environment that the children play in every day – the new playground and garden.

In addition to making beaded mobiles, each class is completing an individual project. The Junior Kindergarten class (JK) is making glazed ceramic tiles, while the Senior Kindergarten class (SK) is making concrete mosaic stepping stones called “Treasure Stones.”

This project has special significance for the SK’s as they are leaving the little school next month. Each girl has brought in a special treasure to put into the stepping stone that they are leaving behind for the other students.

“The girls love having Casey here,” says Shelley Lammie. “They are having a great time with her – they really respond to her energy.”

Treasure Stones: Artist in Residence Project
Treasure Stones: Artist in Residence Project

“I thought I was bad at art when I was little. I didn’t figure out I was any good until Grade 9,” says Casey. When she was at York House she practically lived in Art Teacher Clint Robertson’s art room. “That’s where I discovered my passion for art – where I felt that I could do whatever I wanted creatively.”

“There is something that Mr. Robertson said that has always stuck with me: ‘there are no wrong answers in art’. I think that is so important for kids – that they feel that there are no wrong ideas.”

As part of her extra-curricular activities at Queen’s, Casey has been teaching an after school art program in Kingston. Through this she has come to strongly believe in fostering creativity in children.

“Computers have sorted out the numbers and the stats. It’s the creative mind that will come up with new alternatives for global warming and find ways to run our cities more efficiently,” says Casey, who has plans to be come a full-fledged artist and art teacher after graduation. “Creativity will ultimately solve the world’s problems – and for me, that boils down to art and schools.”

The Artist in Residence program is supported by the YHS Parents’ Association. Thank you for your continued commitment to our programs.