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Black Reflections Art Gallery 2021 features Sydney Academy graduate for virtual show

This abstract painting of a man by Serena Delaney is among the 11 paintings she's exhibiting at the 2021 Black Reflections Art Gallery show, which is being held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CONTRIBUTED
This abstract painting of a man by Serena Delaney is among the 11 paintings she's exhibiting at the 2021 Black Reflections Art Gallery show, which is being held virtually this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. CONTRIBUTED
SYDNEY, N.S. —

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the Black Reflections Art Gallery to move to an online format this year.

The virtual event hasn't stopped the many talented students within the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Centre for Education from creating beautiful artwork for the annual show which marks African Heritage Month.

"The students really enjoy doing it and the students are really proud of themselves and the art they exhibit," said school support worker Dionne Romard, who has been overseeing the art gallery for four years.

"We don't want the students to miss a year. They really love doing it."

Launched on Feb. 24, the virtual gallery features the artwork of dozens of students from across the centre for education in a video slide underneath the 11 pieces done by this year's featured artist Serena Delaney.

Serena Delaney, 17, with her painting which is on display at the Black Reflections Art Gallery's virtual show. The Grade 12 Sydney Academy student is the featured artist this year and is displaying 11 pieces of her work. CONTRIBUTED
Serena Delaney, 17, with her painting which is on display at the Black Reflections Art Gallery's virtual show. The Grade 12 Sydney Academy student is the featured artist this year and is displaying 11 pieces of her work. CONTRIBUTED

 

ART'S FOR EVERYONE

A Grade 12 student at Sydney Academy, Delaney took an interest in drawing in elementary school. It was the first time the Whitney Pier teenager took art classes and the piece she created specifically for the Black Reflections Art Gallery was the first time Delaney had painted on canvas.

"I felt like I didn't want to go too big or crazy," Delaney said about her painting of a silhouette of a woman carrying a basket on her head with the blazing sun as a backdrop.

"I felt it fit the bill pretty good (for the Black Reflections Art Gallery) ... I looked on Google for inspiration. There were a lot of images like that, with the sun and the bright colours. I wanted warm tones for my painting."

The other 10 pieces Delaney is exhibiting are done in pencil crayons or watercolours and were completed throughout the school year in her art class.

"I was really happy (when I was chosen as featured artist). I was surprised. I felt honoured," said Delaney, who graduates in the spring and eventually hopes to have a career in social services.

"My mom was really happy. She said she was proud."

Delaney hopes other people will look at her art and be inspired to create their own.

"Anyone can do art," she said. "I know my friends and I do art a lot and not all of us are really good at it but we are still enjoying ourselves ... That's the most important part."

Nicole Sullivan is an immigration/diversity and education reporter for the Cape Breton Post. 

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