A digital platform to teach Riopelle in schools across Canada

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A digital platform to teach Riopelle in schools across Canada

Yseult Riopelle in front of the painting “Point de Rencontre”, created by her father, Jean Paul Riopelle, in 1963.

On the sidelines of the centenary celebrations of Jean Paul Riopelle, which will begin in October , the Riopelle Foundation officially launches Studio Riopelle on Wednesday, a free online educational platform for faculty, students and the general public. Video capsules, archival photos, plastic arts workshops, online games… Everything is there to make it easier to dive into the vast universe of Riopelle.

Studio Riopelle, which is already offered in a bilingual version across Canada, stands out from several educational tools that have emerged in recent years, in particular thanks to its sleek design.

On the site, the cursor of Internet users takes the form of a can of paint, a pencil or a trowel which allows them to smear the text of the pages if the they feel like it; a somewhat innocuous attention to detail, which nevertheless sets the playful tone of the platform.

It certainly pays homage to Jean Paul Riopelle, but it also becomes a universal tool for teachers, explains Michelle Rhéaume, artist, high school visual arts teacher and liaison and cultural mediation officer for the Studio Riopelle educational platform.

Designed for the 5 million elementary and secondary students in Canada, the platform provides access to around a hundred works by Riopelle, videos and photos retracing his life and career, in addition to offering several educational resources organized under five themes that were dear to the artist: play, nature, freedom, land and journey.

In particular, there are five plastic arts workshops for young people and five others for teenagers, as well as for those who must hold their attention for several hours a week. For example, students can be asked to create a sculpture inspired by Riopelle's gestures and approach.

Explanatory sheets and video clips provide the concepts that the students will need to overcome their challenge.

We relied on various educational tools that had been developed at the time by Yseult Riopelle [daughter of Riopelle and co-founder of the Riopelle Foundation], our muse, explains Manon Gauthier, Executive Director of the Riopelle Foundation.

“We came back to the fact that little Jean Paul himself experienced his artistic awakening in elementary school, when he was studying at École Saint-Louis-de-Gonzague, on the Plateau-Mont-Royal. »

— Manon Gauthier, Executive Director of the Riopelle Foundation

Studio Riopelle has also thought of the general public, with interactive online games that require much less preparation than the workshops intended for students: rebus, exquisite corpses, collages…

In the next weeks and over the next few months, Studio Riopelle will be exhibiting works created by students from across Canada online in a section called Galerie Rio. Some works are already presented there and the quality of some of them demonstrates the validity of the approach.

I had the opportunity to experiment with Studio Riopelle and it is fascinating for young and old alike. To see the works exhibited in this gallery, there is a feeling of pride, but also a feeling of sharing, explains Manon Gauthier.

The official start of Riopelle's centenary celebrations is scheduled for next October 7.

This text was written at based oninterviews conducted by Catherine Richer, cultural columnist on the show Le 15-18. The remarks may have been edited for clarity or conciseness.

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