For the past six years, the Alberta SPCA has been fortunate to collaborate with local artist, Gloria Ho, in creating our character education classroom poster series. Each year Gloria paints animals that help convey the annual theme. Over the years, thousands of these posters have made their way to Alberta classrooms – learn more about this talented artist who helps us bring humane education to schools across the province. Meet Gloria!
For as long as she can remember Gloria has loved drawing and colouring, but it was in grade 6, during an after-school art class while earning different paint techniques, when she fell in love with watercolour. Although, Gloria’s passion is painting human portraits, she has been experimenting with animal portraitures for almost nine years. She enjoys the variety of textures she is able to achieve with watercolours which lends well to painting animals. Her favourite animals to paint are bison due to the interesting colours and textures in their fur along with their unique shape. Gloria effortlessly conveys emotion in the animals she paints, which is evident by the body language and facial expressions of both the horse and pig on the ‘Choose Compassion’ poster.
Gloria is also an educator. For over eight years, Gloria has taught English to newcomers to Canada. She helps her students adapt to life in Canada by learning how to complete real-world tasks like going to the doctor, reading bank statements, and speaking to a cashier. When asked what her favourite thing about teaching is she replied:
“Interacting with my students and forming meaningful connections with them. They’ve all faced tremendous challenges coming to Canada but they are so resilient and hardworking.”
Gloria believes in the messages the posters promote and she has three of the posters hanging in her classroom. Her favourite, ‘Choose Compassion’, hangs right beside her door to remind her students, and herself, to be kind and compassionate to others and themselves every day.
When asked how it feels to know her artwork is helping build character in students throughout Alberta she responded:
“It’s very exciting! It makes me happy that my artwork goes beyond my little home studio and can reach a wider audience. It’s wonderful that I was given the opportunity to use my artwork to help promote a positive message for students in Alberta.”
Visit our character education page to see all of the classroom posters Gloria designed, along with the accompanying discussion questions and activities.
You can see more of Gloria’s work by visiting her website.