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MHC student adds art to local Armoury

Student sculpture for Southern Alberta Light Horse regiment
August 13, 2020

While COVID-19 has undoubtedly changed many plans in recent weeks, the pandemic created an opportunity for Paige Cooper, an Art and Design student at Medicine Hat College (MHC), to spend the summer living her passion.

Last spring, the college was forced to change the way in which Art and Design students would complete their 450 hour work term placements, a requirement of the program to earn their Bachelor of Applied Arts credential. To meet this need, program coordinators created the Creative CoLab initiative which saw students providing creative services to MHC staff, faculty and non-profits in our community free of charge to earn their hours during the summer months.

Services provided by the students included illustrating, graphic design, photography, videography, 3D design work, sculpting, interactive design, painting and much more.

Cooper, along with two other students, was fortunate to be placed with The South Alberta Light Horse (SALH), an Army Reserve Regiment where she was given the opportunity to choose a project of her liking to complete.

“The SALH gave us a list of projects they may want done, but also gave us the opportunity to present our own ideas where we could best utilize our skills and talents to visually improve the organization in some way,” explains Cooper.

Cooper chose to pursue her passion of sculpting and create a large, plastic casting of the SALH Regimental cap badge with a life-like representation of the pronghorn that is the centre of the badge. The first completed badge will hang in its new home at Lt-Col M.E. Patterson Armoury on Cuyler Road SE.

“When the soldiers come in, they form up for the first parade facing the cap badge hung up at the centre of the West side of the drill hall. Currently, they have a small, painted version on a wooden board, so I wanted to upgrade the presentation of the emblem as it is the central symbol of pride for the Regiment.”

Impressed with her work, the Commanding Officer, Lieutenant-Colonel Shawn Thirlwell, asked Cooper to create two additional sculptures for the Regiment’s armouries in Lethbridge and Edmonton, and soon all soldiers in The Regiment will proudly parade under the watchful eyes of Cooper’s creations.

Cooper admits her work term placement couldn’t have worked out better for her.

“I’m really happy with how things turned out. I have always leaned towards fine arts, especially since coming to the college where we learned sculpting and 3D art, so I am very grateful to have been able to work on a project of that nature this summer.”

She credits her sculpting instructor Koi Neng Liew for inspiring her love for the art, and praises the Art and Design faculty as one of the highlights of her experience at MHC.

“I am so happy with the instructors in my program. They are all very talented people and it is an honour to be taught by them because they’re all experts in what they do. We can be confident in what we’re learning because the instructors are true professionals.”

Learn more about MHC’s Art and Design program.