Meadowridge News

Grade 12 Art Exhibition: Alisha G. Paints for Change
Alisha G. standing next to her art exhibit with a 3D barn

Alisha has always had a deep love for animals and the environment. She spent countless hours with her pets, observing other animals, and wildlife. As time went on, she became increasingly aware of the pressing issues of animal cruelty and environmental concerns. Driven by her passion for these issues, Alisha turned to art as a tool to push for change.  

“People often ignore these very real issues as it is easier to disregard problems than face them. I want to shine some light on these cruelties so people will try and make some changes in their lifestyles. Even small changes such as buying cruelty-free cosmetics would be a win for the messages within my art,” explains Alisha.  

Artists like Alisha provide a unique presentation of issues in our world.  

“Knowledge in the form of visual arts is equally if not much more moving and creative than more traditional methods.”  

Using watercolour paintings as a compelling medium for advocacy, Alisha’s work evokes emotions and sparks conversations.  

The Truth Hurts 

Alisha’s latest artwork was presented at the Grade 12 Art Exhibition. In her powerful piece, The Truth Hurts, spectators are met with beautifully coloured portraits, but upon looking closer, they learn about the harsh reality of human-induced harm to animals. 

“The horrors of factory farming are an often-forgotten part of animal welfare and animal cruelty which is riddled with misconceptions. This piece is intended to draw attention to three industries within factory farming: meat, dairy, and eggs. The presentation of the red barn was meant to speak to what we believe farming to be. However, this display then opens revealing three paintings, all of which showcase the truth of what really happens and evokes feelings of sadness and sympathy.”

Alisha’s art is a reminder that our actions as consumers have a detrimental impact on animals and our environment.  

Can you tell me about your journey as an artist? When did you get into art? How did you find your preferred medium(s)? Were there any challenges along the way and throughout your journey as a student artist?  

 I did not do much art before entering the DP art program, besides the occasional personal art project. I found I really enjoyed working with watercolor pretty quickly into DP as I experimented a lot with it in class. There were many challenges along the way specifically with lack of technique compromising the message I wanted to explain  

What is the theme of your exhibit? What themes do you often pursue or explore?  

 My theme was based around animal welfare and the environment in order to showcase the horrible issues within this theme  

Where do you draw your inspiration for your artwork? What motivates you to create?  

 I drew inspiration from all of the issues that surround animal cruelty and the environment, for example animal testing, factory farming, circus animals and sheer public ignorance.  

What lessons do you want people to take away from your work?  

 I pursued this because people often ignore these very real issues as it is easier to ignore problems then face them. I hoped my exhibition would shine light on the cruelties and that people would try to make some changes around them. Even as much as buying cruelty free cosmetics would be a win for my message.  

What role do you think student artists (and artists in general) play at the school and in society?  

 I think artists provide a unique outlook on presentation of knowledge. Knowledge in the form of visual arts is equally if not much more moving and creative then more traditional methods.  

Will you be pursuing art at university? If not, will you continue to express yourself through the arts? If you are pursuing a different study path at university, what is it and where will you be studying/will art still be a part of your life?  

 I will not be pursuing art in university, but the ability to express myself visually, and make the ideas in my head a reality will be very beneficial for me in the future. I will either be studying in the faculty of arts or science at UBC and I hope I will still keep doing art in my spare time and continue to build my skills.  

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