Richard Comparey's painting Nostalgia interprets his vision of this year's theme, ChildSight, at the Paper Mills gallery.

Art from a child’s perspective

Exhibit uses kids to judge work about kids

Curious to see art through a child’s eyes?

An exhibition organized by Scarborough Arts, a non-profit organization serving the art community over the last three decades, is trying to do just that with ChildSight.

As part of its annual juried show, ChildSight is an array of visual art works displaying artists’ interpretations of how children might see the world. Celebrating its 28th year, Scarborough Arts is doing what it does best: getting local children involved.

Grade 3 and Grade 8 students from Warden Avenue and Military Trail public schools in Scarborough were invited to critique selected works.

Cindy Rozeboom, Scarborough Arts program director, is ecstatic about the exhibit and the attention it is receiving.

“It was a bit of an experiment,” Rozeboom said. “It was a great experience for the kids involved, to be validated and that they too, could have an opinion about art.”

Artist Richard Comparey had his work critiqued by some of the young students.

“I was fascinated by the idea of ChildSight,” Comparey said. “Being able to show my work to kids and getting their feedback on it. Children have a more intuitive perspective on life and it’s like getting the pure instincts of an image without the biases.”

Comparey got the idea of his painting from a photograph he came across during an art class, he said. A part of the challenge of ChildSight was trying to remember what it was like to be a kid again.

“The exhibit is also about having the artist look back and think about how they saw things as a child—it’s nostalgia,” Comparey said.

The artists have yet to hear the critiques, but some responses were more meaningful than the kids might have realized.

“The kids were spontaneous but some of the younger kids came up with some assessments that were really profound,” Rozeboom said.

The exhibit is on now until March 24 at Paper Mills Gallery at Todmorden Mills. The opening reception is on March 21.

You can hear the kids’ reactions to Comparey’s work along with other artists here at ChildSight’s feedback.