The annual Fine Art Grad Show is upon us (running until May 15), featuring a celebratory showcase of students' art and scholarly activity from their time in the program. On top of their creative efforts in drawing, painting, sculpture, installation, performance and intermedia, COVID-19 meant that the students had to be additionally creative about how to share their work with audiences.
"Being an artist is about more than making work. It's also about bringing your work into conversation with others," says Carolyn Jervis, director of the Mitchell Art Gallery (MAG). "That’s why the MAG approaches the work in student exhibitions like any of our exhibitions. These students have worked so hard in the privacy of their homes and classes and we’re happy to support the public sharing of their work with the care and attention it very much deserves."
A gallery exhibition is an integral capstone to the students' work.
"I was excited by the prospect of my work being shown in a gallery, for everyone in the community to see," says Maddison Post, one of the Fine Art students. Even though the pandemic has meant restrictions to gallery visits, she encourages people to engage with the exhibition however they can. "I hope that people still see and share the show because having your work in a gallery as a young artist is a very important feat, and being able to show that work to the community and build those relationships is also very important."
Here are two ways you can support Post and her classmates:
Best viewed after sunset, eight video artworks by five students are being projected onto the east windows of Allard Hall. From there, walk across campus to Building 5 and get a peek at Over, MacEwan's very special (and humongous) humanoid. Both are free and open to the public to view.
The students' works centre on their experiences navigating the last year and explore topics including mixed-race identity, missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, life during a pandemic, mental health, gender limitations and more.
"This exhibition really gives you a glimpse into the kinds of self knowledge that students have developed through their art practices," says Jervis.
Post's projects are deeply personal responses to the past year, discussing her cultural identity and its connection to grieving the death of her grandmother during the pandemic.
"The works are very personal to me, but are also very informative to the themes and subjects that I am forming my practice on at the moment," says Post. "I also believe that these works come at a time in which anti-Asian hate is a very predominant subject in society, so having works that reflect and celebrate the culture and themes of family, is something really important, and something that I hope the community is able to see and explore when viewing my work."
We acknowledge that the land on which we gather in Treaty Six Territory is the traditional gathering place for many Indigenous people. We honour and respect the history, languages, ceremonies and culture of the First Nations, Métis and Inuit who call this territory home.