Header Image: "The Last Statement" Ben Lizon, 2021

About Us

Welcome to the WCI Visual Arts Department homepage.  Our department is proud to offer a variety of fine arts, digital photography, and media arts courses to engage different types of creative learners.  Fine Art will teach students both traditional and emerging artistic practices.  Digital Photography will teach students technical camera skills, Adobe CC editing, and aesthetics.  Media Arts will teach students a variety of graphic design, audio, video, and post-production techniques.  The teachers in our department offer an impressive range of multi-disciplinary arts-based education, professional experience, and passion that will support academic excellence and well being.

Our department is committed to fostering a safe, caring, and inclusive classroom that values equity and inclusion for all students, which includes combatting anti-Black racism, learning Indigenous culture and histories, and cultivating safe, supportive spaces for LGBTQ+ and ELL students.  We are dedicated in our professional learning, reflection, and growth alongside our students to engage learners of all abilities in unique ways that fosters self-expression, critical thinking, and life-long skills.

“Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.” – Edgar Degas

WCI Art Wins $1000 Equity Grant!

Watch this video & check out OTIP’s announcement here!


Mr. K. Bishop (SHSM Arts & Culture Coordinator)

Mr. S. Gartshore

Ms. M. Kalaba (Department Head)

Mrs. S. McGonegal 

Department Locations

Fine Art Studio – 124 & 129 (basement)

Media Arts Studio – 240

Photography Studio – 216

Art Department Office – Room 126 (basement)


Course Enhancement Fees – distributed by classroom teacher via School Day/Paper

Equipment Loan Contract – distributed by classroom teacher via School Day/Paper

*NOTE: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are not charging course enhancement fees for 2020/2021. 

SHSM Visual Arts Photography Media Arts
Grade 9

Grade 9 Visual Arts (open)


Grade 10

Grade 10 Visual Arts (open)


Grade 11


Grade 11 Visual Arts (open) AVI3O

Grade 11 Visual Arts (university/college preparation)


Grade 11 Photography (open)




Grade 11 Media Arts (university/college preparation)



Grade 12


Grade 12 Visual Arts (university/college preparation)



Grade 12 Photography (university/college preparation)




Grade 12 Media Arts (university/college preparation)



Specialist High Skills Major – Arts & Culture

Student can enroll in our Specialist High Skills Major – Arts & Culture to:

  • Experience customized sector-specific training
  • Connect their learning to the local community
  • Explore future pathway opportunities

SHSM graduates receive:

  • OSSD with embossed red seal
  • SHSM report card
  • SHSM completion recorded on their transcript

Click HERE to view more information.

SHSM Guidance Counselor: Ms. L. Cresswell

Extra-Curricular Art

Club/Activity Staff Location
Art & Photo Club Mrs. McGonegal 124
Set Design Painting Mrs. McGonegal & Ms. Kalaba 124
Arts & Crafts Club Ms. Harris  124
Arts & Culture Festival – Visual Arts Various Arts Teachers 124
Special Events/Productions Art Department at Large Link


Social Media

van-nederland-elgie-gaat-haar-ontwikkeling-posten-op-twitter-24  @WCIart  new-insta @WCI_Art

WCI Artist Accomplishments

The Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack Fund Legacy Schools Poster Contest Provincial Winner 2019

“To me, reconciliation means educating and empowering youth to unite with the indigenous community and to grow together in the future. 

This piece is rich in symbolism, conveying my interpretation of reconciliation. At first glance, the centre appears to be a dreamcatcher. The feathers represent the important role of education in reconciliation; to move forward we must educate youth about the abominable treatment of the indigenous peoples by European settlers, the long history of marginalization and eliminate the stigma surrounding the indigenous identity. The seven feathers in this piece represent the 7 Grandfather Teachings – Humility, Courage, Honesty, Wisdom, Truth, Respect, and Love – that are commonly held by Indigenous groups across North America. These teachings are essential to the indigenous culture: they are principals held highly by Indigenous peoples. 

The centre of a dreamcatcher usually features an open circle. Although there are many interpretations, I took the significance of the opening to be where good dreams pass through. In the middle of the dreamcatcher in my piece, two hands come together. Our hope for the future, or our “dream”, is to empower and work together with indigenous communities to recognize their difficult past and advocate for the removal of the stigma around the indigenous identity for the betterment of our society as a whole. 

The circle inside the dreamcatcher is the circle of life or the Medicine Wheel. The wheel is divided into four quarters each representing a direction, White for North, Black for West, Red for South, and Yellow for East. One aspect of reconciliation is working to heal the communities that have felt the impact of residential schools for generations. In aboriginal culture, Medicine Wheels are used for self-examination and employed as a tool to aid in the insight based healing process. In this piece, the medicine wheel is used to symbolize the healing process of the indigenous community, and the responsibility to all non indigenous peoples to join them in this journey and ensure this never happens again. 

The final motif in this piece is the tree, specifically a cedar tree. Cedar is native to North America and one of the most important ceremonial plants used by many bands as incense and a purifying herb. The land our society is built on is significant to both the indigenous and non indigenous peoples. Rather than focusing on our differences and isolating ourselves, we need to be united to grow like a cedar tree.” -K.L.

Katherine Liu (acrylic on canvas)

For more information about, click here.


YMCA Newcomer Welcome Centre Mural

A WCI Visual Arts, ELL &  YMCA Collaboration 2019

“Global Journey” and “Canadian Nature” are the themes for the murals permanently installed at the YMCA’s Newcomer Welcome Centre.  These murals were painted by both mainstream and ELL students at WCI in consultation with immigration services at the YMCAs of Waterloo Region.  Depicting the journey to Canada, artists visually represented their personal and learned experiences on these large-scale collaborative artworks that are viewed daily by newcomers to Waterloo Region.


Indigenous Peoples Day Exhibition & Pow Wow

A WCI Photography & Pow Wow Collaboration 2019

Photography students attended the 2019 Pow Wow hosted at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium to honour our Indigenous community’s singing, dancing, gathering, and cultural celebration.  This was a shared learning opportunity focused on learning traditions and stories of our Indigenous community while using advanced portrait photography and editing techniques to document the event.  With participants’ permission, photographs were printed for an exhibition honouring Indigenous Peoples Day.


Pride Month Exhibition

A WCI Photography, Science, WRPS & G.S.A. Collaboration 2019

Focusing on equity and inclusion, photography classes learned the anonymous stories of our LGBTQ+ students and community in order to understand their experience and act as allies.  Photography students used a variety of advanced camera and lighting techniques in conjunction with the science of crystal prism refraction and optics in order to create colourful, rainbow photographs depicting the stories shared by our G.S.A. students.  The photographs were exhibited in the main foyer and office hallways – for the month of June – alongside G.S.A. posters, activity tables, the raising of our pride flag, and the support of our WRPS.



A WCI Visual Arts Department Collaboration 2018/2019

A shared learning experience and visual message between all visual arts, photography, and media arts classes at WCI.  By working together in large, collaborative groups, students investigated how to overcome challenges and were explicitly taught the importance of resiliency as student and citizens.  Students created art that demonstrated grit and resilience either through the subject matter or conquering a challenging technique or medium.  Artwork was displayed at WCI in the main foyer, main hallway, library, and art department hallways in February/March (semester 1 GRIT) and June/September (semester 2 GRIT).  #GRIT


Royal Canadian Legion Remembrance Day Poster Contest 2018/2019



Passion United

May 11, 2018

A Visual Art Exhibit featuring WRDSB secondary visual arts students in collaboration with Conestoga College School of Media & Design.  Featuring WCI Strings and SJAM Jazz Ensemble.  Sponsored by SHSM and SpeakUp.  Throughout 2017/2018, Visual Arts department heads and teachers collaborated to support student achievement and graduation rates by encouraging choice and voice.  Coined “The Passion Project,” visual arts, photography, and media arts courses worked together to explore autonomous art practices to produce independent, self-directed projects.  All projects were included in an all-inclusive digital exhibition and a jury of art staff selected the pieces to be in exhibition.  #unitedpassion18



Arts & Culture Festival March 2018 – WCI Brush Off (Speed Painting)

OSSTF “Marion Drysdale Student Achievement Award ” Visual Arts B-1 Intermediate 2018

Anna  (grade 10), “Diptych: Multiplicity Photography & Oil Painting,” digital photography & oil paint on canvas (District 24 Winner)


Royal Canadian Legion Remembrance Day Poster Contest 2017/2018


Cambridge Fall Fair 2017

Anna & Katherine


Mental Health & Well Being Department-Wide Collaboration 2016/2017:

(well) Art Exhibit


OSSTF “Marion Drysdale Student Achievement Award ” Visual Arts B-1 Intermediate 2017


Janet T (grade 9), “Painful Beauty,” graphite on stonehenge (District 24 Winner)


Royal Canadian Legion Remembrance Day Poster Contest 2016


Annika O-H – grade 10 (1st place, Black & White Artwork)


Jeonghyeon L – grade 11 (1st place, Colour Artwork)


Janet T – grade 9 (2nd place, Colour Artwork)


Menatallah T – grade 11 (3rd place, Black & White Artwork)

Wanlin F – grade 11 (4th place, Black & White Artwork)


Ethan g – grade 9 (4th place, Colour Artwork)

November 11, 2016 Remembrance Day Digital Art Exhibition video link