April 5, 2012: Cookie Cutter Art Doesn’t Cut It With Tim Thibeault!
Cookie Cutter Art Doesn’t Cut It With Tim Thibeault!
By Lorrie Marlow, Hintonburg Recreation Association.
Hintonburg Community Center (HCC) offers a free art program on Saturday mornings for children in Hintonburg. This program has struggled with funding for years and parents wait with baited breath every fall hoping the class would continue. The program originated in 2009, when the Ottawa School of Art provided instructors, some United Way funding and art supplies but withdrew last year.
The HCC found alternate funding this year! The Hintonburg Community Association Arts Committee pays for the art supplies from funds raised through ArtsPark and the Hintonburg Craft Fair. The City of Ottawa pays for the instructor and Giant Tiger donates the nutritious snacks. The final challenge was finding a qualified instructor who could teach at the level of the Ottawa School of Art and to the satisfaction of the local, vocal parents who fought so hard to continue this class.
Well, look at the intriguing man behind the camera at our local festivals and charity events. His name is Tim Thibeault and he has been capturing events in our evolving community since 1999. Tim’s photos often appear in Newswest and other local papers and websites. Tim is also most generous with his photos: many local residents have found stunning photos of themselves or their children in their mailbox after a festival in Hintonburg.
As a child, Tim used mud and materials he found by the creek near his home to create art. He moved onto pottery at Carleton University and a skydiving friend introduced him to sculpture. From 1973 to 1993, he was involved with the Crossroads Fine Crafts store, formerly located at the Collected Works location. Many of Tim’s art pieces were purchased as embassy gifts and now sit in homes and offices around the world. His employment at the Museum of Civilization had him building displays and exhibits and honed his skills as an artifact handler. He also taught for years at the Ottawa Board of Education, Ottawa Technical HS and the City of Ottawa. Tim is a resident of Hintonburg who takes an active interest in his community and is involved with the Hintonburg Economic Development Committee.
As an art teacher, Tim doesn’t believe in cookie-cutter art where each student produces the same piece of art. Tim encourages each child to develop their own ideas and figure out how to create what they want to see. Each class he teaches them a different technique and tools, introduces different art supplies and the science of mixing colors. In this class they also learn to work as a team and develop social skills to help each other out. Tim is eagerly awaiting his next Saturday morning class to see what his students will contribute to the time machine the class is building together. Tim revels in the fact that he finds most of the art supplies for cheap at his favourite local store: St. Vincent de Paul (SVP).
Sitting with Tim recently on one of the comfortable sofas in SVP, I asked if he thought his class was a success. He replied “I must be doing something right, the class has lots of children who return faithfully every week to create brilliant masterpieces and the room is full of laughter!”
The Hintonburg Recreation Association and those local, vocal parents are very pleased with the HCC for finding the funding to continue this class and to have a local artist who inspires their children. This class currently has 17 students and a waiting list to get on the waiting list! We want more classes like this!
I’m hoping Tim will teach photography classes in the evening soon. Its best to drop in at the HCC to see what classes are available at the Hintonburg Community Center as the schedule can change. For your ideas of classes, email the HCC at: Hintonburg@ottawa. ca. The scheduling of classes depends on the number of requests, budget and room availability. The HRA and the HCC wants to see all the newly renovated rooms in the HCC filled with interesting classes and lots of laughter!
Photo Caption: Many of Tim Thibeault’s photographs appear on the pages of Newswest. Photo by Lorrie Marlow.