photo: Heidi and Robert Paul with their dog Baxter.

Who wants a Public Art Gallery in the Cowichan Valley?

I do!

Hi, my name is Robert Paul. I support the building of a public art gallery for many reasons, but mostly for its positive influence for young people.

My family and I just moved to Duncan from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan.  On my first visit to the Saturday Farmers’ Market in Duncan I met Jock Hildebrand.   Jock told me about the Art Gallery project and I volunteered to help on the spot.  As a retired school Principal, I have had an interest in art and arts education for many years.

I have seen firsthand how the arts can make a real difference in a student’s school experience.

I recall taking school groups to the Public Art Gallery in Saskatoon Saskatchewan.  The Mendel Gallery exposed people to all kinds of art, from traditional to modern from local to international and sculpture to wax crayons.  It was a wonderful place to visit, see the exhibits, participate in gallery activities and relax in the botanical garden attached to the gallery.   We would use the relaxed atmosphere to talk about the artistry and the experience.  Consider that people tend to remember more specific lessons from art related classes than from any other classes in their school experience.

I have run into ex-students who ask if I remember the time we painted hallways murals or made sculptures from re-cycled paper, or traveled for a gallery visit.

I believe that is because art speaks to us on so many cognitive and emotional levels.  I know that access to the arts can keep many students in school.

Therefore, I support this awesome endeavour.  As the new Media Relations person for the project, I look forward to engaging with all of our members and the public in general as we build a gallery and meeting place for young and old in our community.

Thank you.

Robert Paul
CPAG Media Liason