Dr. Peter Vietgen

Associate Professor (PhD), Department of Educational Studies

Dr. Peter Vietgen, Faculty of Education, Brock University

St. Catharines, ON
905 688 5550 x5116
Fax 905 641 5229

Dr. Peter Vietgen is an Associate Professor of Visual Arts Education in the Teacher Education Program in the Department of Educational Studies.  He holds a PhD in Art Education from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Concordia University, Montreal. Prior to joining Brock University in 2004, Peter served in the role as Visual Arts Consultant/Curriculum Advisor for the Toronto District School Board. Peter is the current President of CSEA, the Canadian Society for Education through Art, the national subject association for Art Education in Canada.

PARTicipation 2022:A Celebration of Sports & Art through the Eyes of Niagara’s Young Artists – A Community Art Project

The Canada Summer Games are coming to Niagara and it is time to celebrate!! Welcome to a community art project that engaged elementary and secondary students from eight school sites from across the greater Niagara Region. Working with the theme of “Art & Sports”, students from both the District School Board of Niagara and the Niagara Catholic District School Board had the opportunity to engage in visual arts workshops, during May and June of 2022, that were coordinated and delivered by Brock Concurrent and Consecutive Teacher Education candidates from the Faculty of Education. The results of these workshops are being showcased in art exhibitions during July and August at the St. Catharines Public Library, the Niagara Falls Public Library, the Welland Public Library, the Grimsby Public Art Gallery, the Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre and the Niagara Regional Native Centre.  Thank you to all of these exhibition venues for enthusiastically embracing these student art exhibitions!

This project has been coordinated by Dr. Peter Vietgen from Brock University’s Faculty of Education. Funding has been generously provided through a VPR Canada Games Grant at Brock University.

Congratulations to the participating student artists, their teachers and the Brock Education Workshop Leaders from the following eight schools from across the greater Niagara Region:

  • A.N. Myer SS (Gr. 11/12 Visual Arts), Niagara Falls – DSBN
  • Blessed Trinity Catholic SS (Gr. 11 Visual Arts), Grimsby – NCDSB
  • Connaught PS (Gr. 4), St. Catharines – DSBN
  • Courage to Soar Program (Gr. 9-12) (In partnership with the Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre) – DSBN
  • Eden HS (Gr. 11/12 Visual Arts), St. Catharines – DSBN
  • Simcoe Street PS (Gr. 7/8), Niagara Falls – DSBN
  • Soaring Eagles Secondary, Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Site (Gr. 9-12) (In partnership with the Niagara Regional Native Centre) – NCDSB
  • St. Mary’s Catholic Elementary School (Gr. 4/5), Welland – NCDSB

Connaught Public Schoo (District School Board of Niagara)

Grade 4 Class. Teacher – Mr. Keith French, Brock Education Art Workshop Leader – Sabriyya Harvey

Our Canada Games Community Art Project at Connaught Public School embodies themes of teamwork and movement. Students were encouraged to embrace collaboration by exploring the many movements, tools, and actions involved in the sports of the Canada Games. We used pastels to create warm and cool contrasting courts combined with the symbols that represent each game to explore how colour is used in sports. Combining backgrounds with moveable pieces, students then embraced technology and animation to create their own GIFs that highlight the action of the Canada Games. Our next process borrowed printmaking techniques, where students created their own relief plates that when rolled with paint reveal a beautiful image. Our culminating task was the creation of a work where students embraced their membership on our Connaught art-making team to design and paint a large collaborative piece.

Eden High School (District School Board of Niagara)

Grade 11/12 Visual Arts Class. Teacher – Mr. Steve Azzopardi, Brock Education Art Workshop Leader – Marley McLean

Working in small groups, the Senior Visual Arts class at Eden high school took an inquiry-based approach to the Canada Games Community Art project.

Through a series of collaborative brainstorm discussions, the students generated project ideas using criteria that they felt captured the spirit of the Canada Games.  Many of these initial discussions evolved into some of the artworks created for this exhibition.

The students brought forth their skills though collaboration, creative problem solving and technical skill building.  We hope you enjoy these works that celebrate the spirit of the Niagara 2022 Canada Games.

Simcoe Street Public School (District School Board of Niagara)

Grade 7/8 Class. Teacher – Mr. Scott Thompson, Brock Education Art Workshop Leader – Victoria McNaughton

The students at Simcoe Street PS were provided with the concept of recreating the outline of a turtle shell from the Niagara Canada Games mascot and adding sport themed images in each section of the shell. We also shared with the students that they could embrace whatever creative and artistic freedom they wanted for this art project, and they were invited to come up with their own ideas. Students took to brainstorming, creative collaboration, and plenty of research on the Canada Games to develop their project designs. Some of the students worked individually, in pairs, or in small groups, to create these amazing art pieces. We were there to support the students and guide them with their techniques in pastels, paint, modelling, drawing, and 3D construction with enthusiasm.

AN Myer Secondary School (District School Board of Niagara)

Grade 11/12 Visual Arts Class. Teacher – Mr. Joe Fernandez, Brock Education Art Workshop Leader – Rachel Stangl

At AN Myer Secondary School, students were given the prompt to visually describe what sport meant to themselves and the community around them. As well, this coincided with how a singular word can allow for artistic expression to flourish. Through various group discussions and collaborations, students chose the words that meant most to them about sport and created work based on it. The challenge students were given was to create a piece of work on a long piece of unstretched canvas. Thus, students manipulated and altered the pieces of fabric which are associated with the texture, ambition and devotion that the action and idea of sport communicates. By placing all the pieces together, one artwork can unfold, emphasizing the theme the students focused on – Art and Sport!

Soaring Eagles Secondary Program

Soaring Eagles Secondary Program located on the Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Site is delivered by the Niagara Catholic District School Board in partnership with the Niagara Regional Native Centre and the Niagara Peninsula Conservation Authority.

Teacher – Kelsey Huxley; Educational Assistant – Alejandro Cadavid; Indigenous In-School Support Worker – Sara Cotter; Brock Education Art Workshop Leader – Genevieve Broadley

Soaring Eagles Secondary students present, Canada Summer Games Art Exhibit “Honouring Indigenous Athletes”. The secondary students at Soaring Eagles (St. Kateri Tekakwitha Centre, N.C.D.S.B) have each created a unique piece of art that was inspired by the stories of Indigenous athletes. Students learned about First Nations, Métis and Inuit athletes and channeled their inspiration in creative ways that represented themselves and the sport. The students were given the choice of their materials and style, and each student chose a slightly different approach to share their vision, based on their own interests. The purpose of this art project was to share the story of Indigenous athletes, through the lens of youth. Through this art project, Soaring Eagles students discovered incredible stories of strength, commitment, and perseverance. June is Indigenous Peoples History Month, and the student art creations in this exhibit highlight the significant contribution Indigenous athletes have had, and continue to have, today, within their communities and within the world of sports.

St. Mary’s Catholic Elementary School (Niagara Catholic District School Board)

Grade 4/5 class. Teacher – Christine Mazzolino, Brock Education Art Workshop Leader – Mara Castelli

Our Canada Games Community Art Project embodies community as the students from St. Mary’s Catholic Elementary School worked together to create this pictorial representation of a turtle shell. The turtle is inspired by the mascot for the games, Shelly, and all that the turtle represents in relation to the Canada Games. The turtle graphic that inspired this artwork has a shell that is made up of 13 large pieces in the center which represent the 13 provinces and territories of Canada, as well as the 13 municipalities that make up the Niagara Region. The surrounding 28 smaller pieces represent the 28 years the Canada Games have taken place. As a whole, the turtle is reflective of the Indigenous Creation Story in which our earth is known as Turtle Island and the turtle is representative of healing, wisdom, protection, perseverance and longevity. Each student commissioned a piece of the turtle shell inspired by its intended representation. The mascot of the 2022 Canada Summer Games is the embodiment of all of Canada’s communities coming together and it is this message our Canada Games Community Art Project wished to convey as the students came together with their unique artistic styles to create this collaborative work of art.

Blessed Trinity Catholic Secondary School (Niagara Catholic District School Board)

Teacher – Ms. Lisa Lavigne, Brock Education Art Workshop Leader – Lydia Santia

Blessed Trinity C.S.S. & PARTicipation Niagara: Using Teamwork to Bridge the gap Between Sports and Art

Students in Ms. Lavigne’s grade 11 Visual Arts class worked together over a period of two weeks to create a series of storyboards and tableau sculptures that illustrate their interpretation of the theme “teamwork.”

Often, sports and artmaking are seen as discrete activities with very little overlap. Sportsmanship is often hinged on effective teambuilding and co-operation, but throughout the project, students found that there are many opportunities to draw connections with the experience of collaborative artmaking. Students in Ms. Lavigne’s class spent the duration of the project considering how they might bridge the gap between sports and the arts through the lens of working together as a team to achieve a common goal.

In groups of 2-4, students were asked to brainstorm and create storyboards for a tableau that illustrates the concept of teamwork, whether through team sports or symbolic gestures. From those storyboards, students selected one panel that they felt best exemplified team mentality and turned it into a three-dimensional sculpture.

Courage to Soar Alternative Secondary Program (District School Board of Niagara & Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre)

Teacher – Mr. Tyler Marr; Educational Liaison Officer – Dianna Sowden, Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre; Brock Education Art Workshop Leader – Lydia Santia

Courage to Soar & PARTicipation Niagara: Expressing Group Identity Through Sport and Art

The Courage to Soar program operates jointly through the Niagara District School Board and Fort Erie Native Friendship Centre in Fort Erie, Ontario. Students in the program of a variety of ages and backgrounds worked together over the course of one week to create a “Team Courage to Soar” lacrosse jersey in commemoration of their class identity and as a celebration of the traditional sport of Lacrosse. Each student contributed to the jersey, whether through graphic design, sewing, painting, or embellishing the fabric of the jersey. Lacrosse is not only represented in the 2022 Canada Games, it is also a traditional sport invented by the Haudenosaunee peoples of the Six Nations long before European contact. In addition to the team jersey, each student also had the opportunity to create their choice of either a paper lacrosse jersey or helmet adorned with signs, symbols, or text that they feel expresses who they are as a person.

Throughout the project, students were encouraged to reflect on the idea of creating identity. Lacrosse, along with many other sports represented in the Canada Games, is a team sport. As many people know, team sports are a common and effective way to help people of all walks of life formulate a group or team identity. Similar to team sports, collaborative art making is also often an opportunity to express one’s identity. Participating CTS students were asked to consider how sports and art might intersect in their abilities to formulate one’s identity as part of a larger whole.

  • Teacher Education and the Arts
  • Museum/Gallery Education and School Partnerships
  • Social Justice and Equity Issues and the Arts
  • Indigenous Education and the Arts
  • Literacy and the Arts
  • Art Education and Makerspaces
  • Art Education in schools and non-­school environments
  • OCT (Ontario College of Teachers)
  • InSEA (International Society for Education through Art)
  • NAEA (National Art Education Association)
  • CSEA (Canadian Society for Education through Art)
  • OAEA (Ontario Society for Education through Art)
  • CSSE (Canadian Society for the Study of Education)

Vietgen, P. (2014) Curator/Developer of: Being Cindy Sherman- Identity Mediation in the Visual Arts Classroom. An Exhibition of Artworks created by secondary Visual Arts students from A.N. Meyer SS and St. Catharines Collegiate Institute, District School Board of Niagara (June 2014).

Vietgen, P. (2014) National Co-Curator for Canada: Experimenta! 2014, Tallinn, Estonia. An International Youth Art Exhibition –Triennial Art Exhibition held in Tallinn, Estonia. Oct. 2014.

Vietgen, P. (2014) Group Exhibition – 8 x 8 Show – 337 Sketch Gallery, Hamilton, ON. 3 Photographic Prints – Sydney Opera House Series

Vietgen, P. (2015) Group Exhibition – 8 x 8 Show – 337 Sketch Gallery, Hamilton, ON. 3 Photographic Prints – Sculpture Series –Santa Maria Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery, Old San Juan.

Vietgen, P. (2015) Co-Curator/Developer of: A Journey to Healing and Empowerment. An Exhibition of Secondary Student Art in Partnership with Niagara Assault Centre, Rodman Hall Art Centre and the District School Board of Niagara. Rodman Hall Art Centre, March 2015.

Vietgen, P. (2016) Photographic Works included in Mount Carmel Fine Art & Music Festival, Juried Exhibition – September 2016.

Vietgen, P. (2016) Developer/Curator of: Words Given to the Unspoken (An Exhibition of Photographic Works by Senior Photography Students from Holy Cross SS). Rodman Hall Art Centre, Brock University. April 2016.

Vietgen, P. (2017) Developer/Curator of: Voices of Eagles– An Exhibition of Artwork created by students in the Soaring Eagles Alternative Indigenous Secondary Program, Niagara Catholic District School Board.

Vietgen, P. (Ongoing) Photography & Cover Design for Brock Education Journal – 2011 until present. Volumes 21 (No. 1 & 2), 22 (No. 1 & 2), 23 (No. 1 & 2), 24 (No. 1 & 2), 25 (No. 1 & 2), 26 (No. 1 & 2) & 27 (No. 1 & 2)

Vietgen, P. (2017) Curator – Soaring Eagles: Indigenous Youth Speak Out! An exhibition of artworks created by students from the Soaring Eagles Alternative Secondary School, Niagara Catholic District School Board, showcased as part of the SJRI Thematic Symposium – Child and Youth Engagement, Civic Literacies, and Digital Ecologies. Rodman Hall Art Centre, October 2017.

Vietgen, P. (2018) Developer/Curator of: We Are All Vessels – An Exhibition of Artwork created by students in the Soaring Eagles Alternative Indigenous Secondary Program, Niagara Catholic District School Board. Rodman Hall Art Centre, Brock University, March 2018.

Griffin, S., McLauchlan, D., McQueen-Fuentes, G., Rowsell, J., Vietgen, P. & Winters, KL.(2017) A Reason to Respond: Finding Agency through the Arts. International Journal of Education and the Arts.

Rowsell, J. & Vietgen, P. (2017) Embracing the unknown in community arts zone    visual arts. Pedagogies: An International Journal. Special Issue – The Art and Craft of Literacy Pedagogy: Profiling Community Arts Zone. Vol. 12. Nov. 1. January-March 2017. Pg. 90 – 107.

  • EDUC 8P23 – Education in and through the Arts (J/I) – Visual Arts
  • EDUC 8P33 – Education in and through the Arts (P/J) – Visual Arts
  • EDBE 8P12 – The Arts in and Across the Curriculum (P/J) – Visual Arts
  • EDBE 8P14 – The Arts in and Across the Curriculum (J/I) – Visual Arts
  • EDBE 8P85 – Intermediate/Senior Year 2 Visual Arts