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Students learning art, history from East St. Paul artist

Posted: January 30, 2019

Students learning art, history from East St. Paul artist

Ben Wasylyshen welcomed 175 Kindergarten to Grade 7 students into his East St. Paul home studio and garden this fall, and says he was more than happy to showcase not just his work space, but the community as a whole.
"It was just before it turned cold so we had beautiful, lovely weather in the fall garden and it worked out really well," said Wasylyshen, an artist and interior designer who is working with students in the River East Transcona School Division this year.
"They came to East St. Paul and they really enjoyed what they saw.  It's really a feather in the cap of East St. Paul."
Wasylyshen is a well known artist and designer whose work is featured throughout the City of Winnipeg.  His stained glass can be found in numerous churches and his design company recently finished restoration work at the Holy Trinity Ukrainian Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral on Winnipeg's Main Street.
The church sustained damage at the hands of arsonists just over two years ago.
Wasylyshen said the school division approached him to work with students, in large part due to his stained glass work, and teach them about art and history.  Besides visiting Wasylyshen's home studio the students toured the church.
"They got to see 10 of my windows there," he said.
The students also toured some of the late Leo Mol's stained glass works as well.
He felt it was important to accept the offer to work with children, because art has over time, become less prevalent in schools.
"What has happened in our school system, a lot of art education does not exist at all, or it exists in a very small way, so they have to find assisted funding and create special programs where the kids would be enlightened and enriched," Wasylyshen said.
Teaching to this extent is new to the artist as well, who said he's lectured to children before, "but never to this extent".
"Who knows, maybe we will inspire some of these children that they become artists or designers, or enter the architecture program or fine arts, and that's what it's all about."
Wasylyshen will work with the students throughout the entire school year.

Picture:  Young students from River East Transcona School Division board the bus after touring Wasylyshen's East St. Paul home, garden and studio as part of a year-long art lesson with the local artist and designer.


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