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Opportunities & Directions 406
Opportunities & Directions

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 credits and curriculum design arranged in meaningful, relevant courses outlines and related activities
 aligned with Ministry of Education, YRDSB, MMHS directions with differentiation and connection
                                                                                                                            (see our COURSES page for details)

 VISUAL ARTS DISCOVERY (formerly Art Club)
a mindful, sustainable creative activity & space  ... Tuesdays at lunch.  Join the creative adventure.  It's good for you.
See the Bulletin Board Schedule and listen for announcements.  Offerings are typically held in our art rooms, and in the atrium as part of Arts Mind, in May.  Sometimes,  our activity takes place outside or to Maker Space. We have also offered Visual Arts Discovery mindful creative activities for Staff Professional Development, Equity Week, Wellness Day and Grade 8 & 9 Night Transitions Days. 

Activities and workshop leadership are open to students and staff.  Do you have an idea and an desire to explore creative leadership? Drop by the Art Department.  

...why the name change?  Visual Arts DISCOVERY is a mindful activity​ and an open, safe space.  Anyone may participate in any of our offerings in an ongoing or sporadic manner.   The word 'club' can historically be associated with mandatory attendance, commitments, fees, hierarchy and exclusivity/exclusion and it can be an impediment to new experience and a sense welcome. The  door to DISCOVER is always open... Tuesdays... drop by.  Listen to announcements and visit the message board for weekly details.

Note: this offering focuses on art for personal exploration and wellness 
(see Visual Arts Ventures Network for other varied directions and opportunities)

  Linking Visual Art with Individual and Community Needs 
A large part of what we do does not fit into a schedule.  It's about awareness and fluid connection, recognizing the ways creative work can support personal and community goals and  how the department can foster a harmony between the two.   Like other venture groups, we use our strengths to support others' worthy efforts, but our capital is not monetary, it is CREATIVITY.  To Venture means to actively engage in a new defined outward direction.  We use Creative Process to guide our Ventures, toward meaningful manifestation.

VENTURES matches students' work and interests with naturally aligned initiatives (school, board, community, post-secondary and professional).   These real world connections expand student resumes, portfolios, skills-sets and future opportunity.  Involvement in meaningful work and connection is a major aspect of satisfaction and life design (see a link to Adam Lepzig's TED Talk on this topic on our Creative Careers page).   Visual Arts Ventures are also an opportunity to gauge priorities and set limits, building personal balance,  life balance, and self- governance, all aspects of resilience.  Show us what you are working on, tell us what interests you... potential connection awaits.
Visit​ our NEWS/BLOG page and see below, for some of our Visual Arts Ventures Network connections:

One of our major aims is to support students in their current personal and independent creative work.   We also support students to prepare for post-secondary study in the Visual Arts and other fields, through comprehensive course-work, individual skills-building and​ personalized instruction.  Individual admissions portfolio consultations and practice interviews are an important part of this process.  

To insure success, it is best to streamline and refine personal art portfolios in keeping with the varied programmes of interest ane requirements.  Students may need to strategize and sequence different portfolios/collections for different admission applications.   Admission portfolios are viewed from February into the early spring; so, it is suggested that consultations are arranged before our winter break.  Just recently, additional post-secondary institutions have switched to on-line submissions, which adds another layer of tasks and refinements.  See Ms Middleton to inquire about portfolio consultation. 

TIP:  Begin to digitally record your art and art-making process and organize your images early. It helps to progressively build a personal image library and filing system to be prepared for any upcoming opportunities. ​ Some institutions allow links to a web gallery/website, which can be the most efficient way to present work, but requires attention to arrange and unify a format in harmony with your work.


VOLUNTEERING - USE YOUR SKILLS for GOOD & to Document Experience
Art is useful and students often use their creativity to support initiatives within the school and community.
Our students are leaders in the creative direction of their work, receive volunteer hours, real-world experience and resume and portfolio growth from their volunteer experiences.  Our teachers help to match students with creative volunteer opportunities.
We view students as autonomous artists/designers.   Students are encouraged to choose the volunteer opportunities which best suit them and choose whether their work is offered to an initiative. We recognize the manner in which creative work and artists  have been, in many scenarios, historically undervalued and appropriated, (along with other cultural riches).  We honour the energy, individuality and cultural connections within creative work.  We foster an awareness of personal advocacy and art advocacyvaluing art and self, when offering creative work for use by others .  

Do you have a flair for design or need to 'tidy'?  If so, and you work independently, with minimal instruction, you might volunteer with the Visual Arts Department to manage room spaces and materials or document images for digital files and arrange the showcase, valid workspace skills, suitable for your resume.  

Are your interested in a type of art, specific organization or art career?  Contact the organization for potential opportunities.  Film festivals and other initiatives are often looking for youth volunteers and this makes a great addition to personal resumes, connecting you to your area of interest.  

Creative engagement leads to connection.  

Arts Knight is our signature, ongoing annual MMHS Arts collaboration with Dance, Drama, Music and Technology Departments. This year we are following a community collaboration forged by the Drama Department, with an extended LANDSCAPES theme.

Arts Mind was developed in the spring of 2018, as an all Arts week in support of Canadian Mental Health Awareness week.  See our dedicated ARTS MIND department page for details.

Some of our recent collaborations include: Green Inc. promotional, and educational materials, D.D. project consultation and facilitation, Co-op project work and varied  classroom support for creative activities in different departments ... plus some unexpected fundraising for Best Buddies, which might just become a tradition.  We have offered activities, workshops and developed resources for Wellness Day, Gr. 8 and Gr. 9 Transitions Days and Equity Week.   Our students designed the brand signage series, in Milliken Mills HS Library Learning commons and we have collaborated to offer a range of Discovery experiences through Maker Space, including an open collaborative installation.  We annually show work at GTA galleries in addition to ongoing MMHS displays, often linked to community interests.

Creativity is about problem-solving and Art is a hot commodity, with creativity and visual communication as integral aspects of most all endeavours.  The role of Visual Arts in wellness and communication is becoming further recognized.  We have two commissioned permanent murals on display in the Milliken Mills Community Centre and Milliken​ Mills Community Centre Library, one as a promotion for healthy activity and wellness and the other related to the joys of reading.   .  Other department and thematic murals, are located throughout the school.  We get it done, creatively.

Many galleries, organizations and publications hold annual entry events.  Many of our students are involved in community gallery and YRDSB related exhibits every year.  Several of our students have been awarded distinctions in both the annual OSSTF Student Achievement Awards,  Ontario Provincial Photo Contest held by Henry's and CameraLinks.  Others have been honoured in the Law Day and Aim Sustainability contests.   We have been invited to show and participate in the Quest conference and Skills Challenge. Contests & Exhibits challenge students to apply your skills and can add to your resume and profile.  Some Arts organizations​ have student leadership groups, membership groups or take volunteers.  Visit our Department Bulletin Board for a range of creative possibilities.  There are always multiple inquiries and adventures on offer.

Be proactive, do your own searches for local, national and international contests, exhibits and festivals.   (Be aware that some organizations ask considerable fees for entries; whereas most established organizations process entrees without cost or a minimal administrative cost.) Research and awareness build opportunity.

Life drawing of the human figure is an excellent way to prepare for post-secondary study and enhance personal portfolios.  Many programmes require this skill and understanding.  We do some life drawing and photo portraiture in class, with clothed models. Local life drawing sessions and classes are available through Winged Canvas and the Varley Gallery.  There are several other GTA offerings.  Some welcome students and may require a signed permission form.  Always consult to make sure that classes that interest you are in an approved venue and that you have parental/guardian permissions.

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VISUAL  ARTS IS OVERFLOWING                                                                                        
                    for more OPPORTUNITIES & CHALLENGES, VISIT OUR MESSAGE BOARD           

​​​​                                                              The art of teaching is the art of assisting Discovery. - Mark Van Doren 

                                                                                                                            K.Middleton, Subject Head, Visual Arts, MMHS, YRDSB

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