Artist(s) of the Week – VCAD Students and Their Show: PROCESS 29

March 22, 2012 § Leave a comment

PROCESS 29: Meet the Artists! Reception from 7-9pm, Thurs March 22 at the Rail’s End Gallery, Haliburton ON. The show is ongoing to March 31, 2012.

“Chaotic” was the one word student Don Fitzgerald used to describe it. An assault on the senses, an explosion of art: it is the exhibition of our Visual and Creative Arts students’ Conceptual Development project.

Aptly named, Process 29 is about the process, from start to finish, of creating a body of work fit for a gallery. Students experiment with mediums, with techniques, forms, ideas; they’re told to let go and work their concepts rather than simply creating one masterwork of art: exploration and discovery are the name of the game. What matters is not the art at the end, but how the students arrived at it. In many cases, their works are in progress, ideas they are fleshing out and trying on like new sets of clothes: right colour/wrong size, right size/wrong shape, right shape/wrong material…. Let’s face it, just because we’ve tried it on, doesn’t mean we walk away from the store with it and that is exactly what Process 29 is about. Can the students develop an idea, play around with it, try new things and explore? When something doesn’t feel right do they keep at it, hoping it will grow on them in time? Or throw the idea back on the rack with the discards? It’s all part of the process…

Elinor Whidden, the instructor and herself a sculptor/performance artist, stresses that there is no handholding through this entire course:  these students have brought the entire show together. Various committees of students have taken responsibility for several different aspects of the show; from marketing and promotion, to reception planning, installing, de-installing… This group of wildly creative individuals has come together as a team to ensure that despite their differences in personality, taste, technique and style, their art is represented cohesively as one unit.

“It’s very exciting,” Whidden explains, “since for most of these students it’s the first time they’ve ever displayed work in a gallery. But it makes them vulnerable as well; displaying work leaves them open to criticism.” She stresses though, how important feedback can be to an artist. “They need to know if their visuals translate to the viewer with the intentioned message.”

After all, typically with visual art, there aren’t any written words to explain what’s going on; the largest part of the communication relies on the artist’s ability to convey meaning with an image or sculpture. “That the show is about process and not about the art is really interesting,” says VCAD student, Emily Gur. “It reveals more about everyone themselves and their interests…”

Students are asked to go on a voyage of discovery with their art. They all take different paths on this journey, but the end result is what is crucial: there is no official “end”. The works that are on display are not necessarily even completed.  Ideally, the “VCADers” are simply investigating (and enjoying) the search for a “happy accident”.

“It’s really helped me. I never would’ve thought of using any of these materials before,” shares Justine Beauregard. “From the beginning of the year, you can actually see how much everyone has grown in their own artwork.”

And so – without calling in the art critics – that the students themselves can acknowledge how far they’ve come in such a short period of time, tells us their first show? It’s already a success.±

This show is a collection of work from Lauren Ogilvie, Luke Smit, Matthew W. Pearce, Mitchell Doris, Emma May Ross, Andy Anderson, Caitlyn Bloch, Aaron Jones, Megan Marie Morritt, Jessica Brabant, Magic Karpet, Rob Stock, Giuseppi Zuliani, Andrew Hamlen, Michelle Tarkington, Tsiokeriio Brant, Emily Gurr, Meghan Gale, Justine Beauregard, Colin M. Smyth, Cree Tylee, Mandy Ryan, Meghan Didier, Donald S. Fitzgerald, Trent Denne, Elise Elena Verikaitis, Jessica Beaulieu, Nicole Bruce and Jamie Smerdon

For more information about any of the programs at HSTA, please call us at 1-866-353-6464 x3 or visit us online at www.hsta.ca

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