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Blog: Tuesday, February 9th, 2021

Saying Thank You Through the Arts



Saying Thank You Through the Arts 


Front line workers have always played a vital role in our communities.  Their hard work and dedication to their jobs is what keeps our city connected, functioning, and safe.  Now more than ever, our society is depending on front line workers and their daily willingness to put themselves in danger to help others.  Although we cannot express enough the gratitude we owe our front-line workers, they say a picture paints a thousand words and that seems as good a place as any to start.   

Recently, the Abbotsford School of Integrated Arts Sumas Mountain Campus was invited to participate in a wonderful collaborative project with the Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Research Center.  The aim of our role was simple:   to take middle and high school art, utilize it for its ability to communicate meaning even without words, and seed it around the Hospital site so that messages of appreciation can be seen by the staff working there.   

The students were challenged to utilize their artwork to convey a message of gratitude for our front line workers' commitment to our community.  Some students carefully chose images that were symbolic where others were more literal in their approach.  Regardless, each was encouraged to make purposeful artistic choices to enhance the depth and meaning of their work by focusing on the big picture of thankfulness, happiness, peace, and hope for tomorrow.   

The students explored their messages using a variety of mediums ranging from watercolor and pen and ink to torn paper.  They needed to stick to a prescribed shape and size so that their work could be digitally rendered, but the aesthetic and imagery were theirs to explore.  When the students were finished, their work was reproduced into larger weatherproof signs that could be displayed on outdoor walls and in the parking stalls of the nurses, doctors, and other health care professionals arriving for work.   The students’ artwork will also be used to create thank-you card stationery for use within the hospital.

The project could not have been driven forward without the collaboration of various members of the Abbotsford Community.  We would like to acknowledge the support of Tina Vanderpol and Gerri Charles whose partnership and original desire to honor our front line workers lead to our involvement, Brickhouse signs, and Liz Harris, Executive Director of FVHCF, for permitting our student’s work to be shared on the site of the Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Research Center.

The students of ASIA Sumas Mountain are proud to have been able to work with the Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Research Center and given the opportunity to use their artistic skills in a positive way.  The students proudly acknowledge the dedication and commitment of our frontline workers and simply hope that their artwork will help bring a smile to the faces of such a hard-working and vital part of our community.

-Tyler Horner

EDIT:  This project was featured by the Abbotsford News!  You can read the article and watch a video that beautifully features the students' artwork here:  ( )