Katherine Fullerton took on a Canadian challenge – and won.
The Grade 12 student at Cedars Christian School has been named the senior division winner in the Passages Canada Write and Make Art Challenge.
“I was surprised,” Fullerton admits. “I submitted my piece hoping it would win, of course. It was the only piece I did for the challenge.”
Her charcoal portrait, Break Down the Walls, was an idea that didn’t take long to find, but took some time to put on paper.
“I was looking through some sample pictures,” she says, “and I found one of children standing on the other side of a wall, looking through it.
“I thought, ‘That’s what racism is about. Building walls.’”
Fullerton says it took her close to two months to finish the portrait.
“There were multiple layers I put on. I was trying to get the proportions right, and I was trying to balance this with school too.”
Anthony Wilson-Smith, president of Historica Canada, the parent group for Passages Canada, said in a press release that Fullerton and the other winners showed what young Canadians could do.
“Through this work,” he said, “we see a new generation of Canadian artists and storytellers defining crucial questions of citizenship and identity. The results are impressive not only in creative terms, but in broadening the discussion of how we as Canadians define ourselves.”
Fullerton has always enjoyed the arts, and hopes to continue her studies in it after graduation this year.
“My plans for where I’m going to go keep changing,” she says with a laugh. “I was looking at the University of Manitoba. There’s some family living there, so it wouldn’t be a complete break from home.
“But now I’m also looking at the fine arts and graphic design program at CNC. We had the chance to see what they do on a tour, and I started thinking that might be the way to go.”
The challenge asked Grade 1 to 12 students across Canada to explore issues of immigration, identity and racism through writing and art. The works were juried by a panel from Passages Canada, the Canadian Encyclopedia, and Citizenship and Immigration Canada.