WINGED CANVAS IN THE NEWS
From our humble beginnings as Markham's Art Hub to our transformation to an online art school, here's what others have written about us.
Winged Canvas’ Online Art Camp Nurtures Creative Kids
Do your kids love art? Join Winged Canvas Summer Art Camp for engaging and interactive virtual art lessons from home, led by professional artists in small groups! Their unique teaching method combines live instruction with step-by-step demonstrations and personalized guidance. Also, teachers give their students individual online feedback, even in between classes.
Through the online summer camp, young artists get to explore all forms of art for an unforgettable learning experience. Winged Canvas is on a mission to make art education accessible to everyone, combining endless creativity and innovative projects by instructors who are also professional artists. As a result, students are more confident, happy and creative!
Winged Canvas instructor Arruniya teaching the magic of water colour painting online.
Winged Canvas Online School & Summer Art Camp
Sign up for Virtual Summer Art Camp!
This summer, students can sign up for Summer art camps at Winged Canvas. These programs are meant to delight, inspire, and grow imaginations! Campers meet virtually with their instructor to discuss the creative process, learn new techniques, support each other and share artwork.
Kids are taught art fundamentals the fun and memorable way ― through popular culture, illustration, and self expression. Students often love to draw their own original characters with unique programs like Cartooning & Anime, Digital Art, Drawing Foundations, Acrylic Painting, Watercolour and more!
Summer sessions are limited to 10 students for a better learning experience, and to make it possible for the teacher to give individual guidance and feedback.
Teens wanting to explore art during the school break can also sign up for Summer Intensives. These camps specialize in different mediums and creative disciplines such as figure drawing, character design, comics & manga, digital painting, animation, illustration, landscape painting and portraiture.
Markham art school offers help to teachers
Posted by York Region | 2021 | Arts & Entertainment
“I've heard teachers that said: ‘you know what? I just give up ... we're not going to do art; it's just it's too much.’ They were really, really struggling,” Lu said.
Winged Canvas has launched a web portal for teachers so they can create art lessons in their physical or virtual classrooms, according to school curriculum standards.
“Bite-sized lessons are taught step by step by professional art educators and award-winning artists,” Lu said.
The portal for teachers is based on a subscription system. Founding members are able to shape the contents of the program.
“We wanted to make it really easy so that teachers can enjoy the creative process with their students, and not feel like they have to be teachers, but they can be participants, and in that way, they can build stronger connections with their students, and be able to have fun with them and create something unique with their students.”
Winged Canvas wanted to give teachers the tools to teach great quality art lessons with without the teacher having to raid Pinterest or use YouTube videos, Lu said.
“Now that we don't have a physical location, our costs have come down, so we're able to pay our teachers more,” she said. They were also able to hire 25 people.
Going online has had another benefit. “We have been able to reach our students who are more shy; we've noticed that some students in class are super shy, they don't interact at all, or they don't share their work at all. But online, they're totally different people ... They just come out, they're very talkative very chatty. They are so much more comfortable online. So, there are some kids that actually learned online better as we would have never known.”
Winged Canvas opened on Feb. 15, 2014, founded by Lu and Aaron Fruman in Markham.
For seven years, Lu’s art school/gallery Winged Canvas had classes, camps, and events at multiple art studios.
Then COVID hit and in 2020, she and her team transformed it into an online art school.
Winged Canvas has invited teachers to test out the first module on all five courses (suitable for Grades 1 to 12) for free. The membership is available at http://courses.wingedcanvas.com with the first 50 founding members gaining access for $18 per month.
Winged Canvas launched web portal so teachers can create lessons
Fei Lu knew there was a need for online help for art teachers.
She’d heard their despair. “I'm in a lot of teacher communities already listening to the struggles that teachers have to deal with, and it's incredible what they've gone through, especially during the transition,” said Lu, founder of Winged Canvas, an online art school based in Markham. “And during the pandemic, there are some teachers who are just like ‘I don't, I can't, I don't know how to teach art online, or I'm teaching art online and in class, how this is impossible’.”
Top 20 Places to Take Kids in and around Toronto
Winners in Special Categories
In the second part of the survey, Kids Out and About Toronto asked readers to select their favorites in three categories.
Our voters chose Winged Canvas as the
top arts educator of 2021!
Top Arts Educator: Winged Canvas
Winged Canvas is a visual arts school specializing in virtual learning for kids, teens, and adults with a variety of classes, camps, and mentorship. Our teachers are professional artists who are passionate educators. We also host creative events and custom art workshops for schools that supplement the Ontario Arts Curriculum.
Markham's Winged Canvas art hub moves online
amid COVID-19 pandemic
Winged Canvas, an art hub in Markham, is moving its art classes online in response to the emergency caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Fei Lu, 35, grew up in Markham. In 2014, Fei and her husband opened a four-studio art hub at 185 Bullock Drive that soon became very busy, a “bustling” business where anyone could pick up and develop art skills.
They celebrated their sixth anniversary on Family Day and, not too long after in mid-March, were forced to temporarily close their art hub and adapt their services to go online.
It was a saddening experience for Fei and her staff, as they were all set and “ready to go” with their March break art camp, a program that had been sold out and was one of their most important sources of revenue.
They were also steady and ready to go with their summer art camps; however, those have been cancelled as well, and Fei is in the process of issuing refunds.
However, one of the biggest business decisions Fei had to make was to say goodbye to their Markham art hub, the only physical space they had to operate in, and go completely online.
Some services could no longer continue, such as commissions and the art gallery. However, they have adapted some of their programs, such as drawing foundations, drawing techniques, animation, finger drawing and digital art, to go online at the same quality as it would be if it were
Fei Lu and her husband Aaron Fruman opened the Winged Canvas Art Hub in Markham in 2014. They are forced to close their doors at their Bullock Drive art centre due to struggles associated with the COVID-19 outbreak. They are now offering all types of online classes at www.wingedcanvas.com. April 27, 2020 - Steve Somerville/Torstar
The Winged Canvas art hub in Markham launched its Paws and Reflect art exhibition on Friday. Pongo, one of two popular dogs (Sadie is behind at far right), were on hand to serve as models and help inspire the artists. May 25, 2018 - Steve Somerville/Metroland
Fei said the last month, although difficult, has really been about testing what works. She said that through some trials, they figured 8x8 would be the best free video-conferencing provider to use for online classes. “This has been working out, not sure if it’s going to be our permanent solution,” Fei said.
They have also been using Google Classrooms, and are asking customers for feedback about what it is they want to learn. “It’s been so different and we’ve had to adapt our teaching methods to new ways,” Fei said.
“Not sure if this will be permanent,” Fei said of the future for the art hub, adding that ”I don’t think anyone knows what is going to happen.”
We were one of the social businesses urged to close, and if we closed and paid for an empty building … it just wasn’t a good business idea to do that,” Fei said. “We were lucky we weren’t tied to a 10-year lease.”
However, the decision was difficult and became an emotional time for the team, as more than half of the staff had to be laid off. “We were like a family, very close … It’s been very sad for everybody and all of those face-to-face interactions will no longer be there,” Fei said.
These tough times have helped Fei realize the strength of her art hub, in a sense; as her building was packed up into boxes, she realized more and more that her art hub isn’t a place. It’s an amazing and educational experience that can also take place online.
“We are not limited by the building,” Fei said, which means her online classes can also accommodate her international client base. “We are optimistic.”
Another interesting discovery since the art hub went online has been that adults who frequently avoided joining classes with children actually didn’t mind joining the children in online sessions.
“We’re learning and discovering all types of ways learning is changing,” Fei said.
As for their customers, Fei said she has felt so touched and grateful to them. “We have very loyal customers and they have supported us,” Fei said. She gave an example of one family who turned down a refund of their money, telling her to keep it to help support the art hub. “That was really touching,” Fei said.
“We feel optimistic on how we can reinvent learning online with our customers, with their help and input,” Fei said.
Family Day Painting Party at Winged Canvas
The Winged Canvas Art Hub in central Markham recently celebrated five years of creativity at their gallery/studio/art class facility on Bullock Drive.
Owners Fei Lu and Aaron Fruman, along with their enthusiastic staff, host at least eight theme-based exhibitions each year.
Exhibition themes include contemporary landscapes, the art of realism, the art of abstraction, emerging artists and pop-culture, among others.
Art classes are designed for beginners up to advanced level and include basic drawing, art foundation, intensive life drawing, acrylic painting, cartooning and anime, digital art and mixed media.
“We want to help bring local art into local homes with the gallery and exhibitions,” said Lu. “Markham is my home town. It’s where my roots are.”
She and her staff can also mentor youth, and give guidance with building and fine-tuning portfolios.
They offer high-end printing and framing services as well as hosting painting parties and art camps.
”We want to be leaders in art and education, and we are seeing a lot of talented youth here,” said Lu.
Fei Lu stands in the main gallery space. She, along with her husband Aaron Fruman, own and operate the Markham Art Hub on Bullock Drive in Markham. April 23, 2019 - Steve Somerville/Metroland
Winged Canvas Celebrates 5 Years
Posted by Markham Economist & Sun | 2019 | Arts & Entertainment