The Foyer at STAHS is under construction for Catholic Education Week

Foyer DisplayThe foyer at St. Thoresized - DSC01589.jpgresized - DSC01600.jpgmas Aquinas High School is under construction.  A crew of forest animals wearing safety equipment are busy at work on the Saint's Construction Site.  There is an otter welder, a raccoon bricklayer, a bear surveyor, a coyote project manager, a rabbit electrician, a moose crane operator and many other trades animals.

For the ninth year, the art department has created a foyer display inspired from the annual Catholic Education Week theme.  This year the theme is Renewing the Promise. 

Nancy Prouty talks about the inspiration behind this year's display.  "Each year we base the display on inspiration from the Catholic Education Week theme.  This year we turned the foyer into the 'Saint's Construction Site'.  Northern Ontario forest animals have become the construction workers representing the many trades.  They are working hard to construct and build relationships using the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Peace, Faithfulness, Goodness, Charity, Patience, Kindness and Gentleness).  God is the focal point of the display and is represented by the central pillar of love. "

The "love" pillar was designed to be the biggest, strongest and heaviest of the pillars in the display.  The pillar is being positioned into place by a crane operated by "Thomas the Moose" of St. Thomas Aquinas High School.  

"Love is the foundation of our work," explains Prouty.  "That is why we chose cement to represent that pillar.  If you have love you will have peace, patience and all the fruits of the Holy Spirit are possible."

The planning for the display starts as soon as the Ontario Catholic School Trustees' Association announces the new provincial Catholic Education Week theme.  "Mr. Burnton and I bounce ideas off one another until something really stands out and we can make connections with the theme," explains Prouty.  "Once we have a few ideas in place we bring them to the students who are given creative choice on how they would like to represent the display through papier-mâché sculptures."

Over 130 students worked on the Saint's Construction Site display, which included Grade 2 and 3 student models from Pope John Paul II School and École Ste-Marguerite Bourgeoys.

Grade 11 students Dorothea Assin and Rebekah Ficek teamed up to work on the cougar.  "Each animal was created based on a child model," says Dorothea.  "It's really neat that every single animal was a real child.   A bunch of Grade 3 students came over and we taped them all up and used that as the base to create the animals."

 "My favorite part was painting the animals and making the panels look like real wood," says Rebekah.  "It's amazing to see it displayed and it helps us remember the Catholic Education Week Theme all year long."

 "The display would not be nearly as spectacular without the hard work of Gerard Dufresne and his maintenance team, says Prouty.  "We start working with Gerard in early September to begin brainstorming and discussing installation of the display in early September.  Gerard is a genius at making our grand ideas a reality."

The display is unveiled during Catholic Education Week and stays up for the entire school year as a visual representation of the annual theme. 

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Dorothea and Rebekah were part of the 130 students who worked on the foyer display to get it ready for Catholic Education Week 2018.  They said having the dispaly up all year helps them keep the theme in mind.The theme for Catholic Education Week 2018 is Renewing the Promise. 
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It took a few months of planning, papier-mâché  and painting to get each animal ready for the display.
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Grade 2 and 3 students from École Ste-Marguerite Bourgeoys and Pope John Paul II School worked with students from St. Thomas Aquinas High SChool to be the models for each animal in the display.
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The 'love' pillar was designed to be a focal point, anchoring the display.