A great variety of artwork from talented grads.
The Owens Art Gallery’s current exhibition features a culmination of the collective and individual talents of the 2013 graduates of the Bachelor of Fine Arts program at Mount Allison University. Over twenty students contributed selected artistic projects to showcase their abilities and display a final commemoration of both their shared and personal experiences in the undergraduate stage of their artistic careers.
The most impressive aspect of many of these projects is their diversity and scope. Danica Lundy’s project entitled “The Bruise Bank” consists of hundreds of “bruises” made from felted wool that represent a collection of photographs of actual bruises and wounds. Another popular favourite was Carson Isenor’s “Nest”, a walk-in beehive-like structure crafted entirely out of plywood and planks of poplar, cedar, and birch. Finally, Claire Ellen Paquet awed observers with “Ursula”, a bedroom area filled with paintings, a Ouija board, prayer beads, and other symbols of mystic or even spiritual import.
Other exhibits were smaller or more simplistic in composition, but just as meaningful and effective. Diana Goodwin’s “Ten and Two” is a collection of detailed drawings that invoke vivid images of Alice in Wonderland using only ink and graphite. Danielle Jongeneel’s monotypes, entitled “A Night in the Park”, “Light over Water”, and “Rainy Night” also utilize a brilliant interplay between dark and light. This list is not exhaustive due to the vast array of these artistic pieces; however the quality of each piece and the exhibit as a whole hardly requires explanation.
For some students, this exhibit along with the graduation season as a whole is a time of reflection and contemplation. The Argosy interviewed Nick McDonald from Vancouver, British Columbia, a fifth-year Mt. A fine arts graduate who discussed his experiences with the program. He said the greatest skill he learned from the program was the development of a “sense of style and art” and a realization of his own creative method or niche through experimentation.
The Owens currently features McDonald’s abstract painting entitled “Through the Trees”, a style and medium that he was less familiar with. Because the Fine Arts program requires students to explore a wide variety of techniques and styles, students are often confronted with projects and assignments that challenge them and expand their artistic repertoire. “It was different to do something abstract, but I really enjoyed it and I learned quite a lot”, says McDonald in response to this process.
While he intends to pursue non-art related professions after graduation including ESL learning and a Bachelor of Education at Acadia or UNB, McDonald does not regret his time at Mt. A and hopes to continue his passion for artistic expression. He laments the difficulty and competitiveness of the world of a freelance artist, but reminds us that there are always alternative methods to explore one’s passions in achievable ways. “I really want to teach kindergarten and preschool… but I could probably find a way to teach art as well”, says McDonald.
The exhibition has been on display since April 19, and will continue to be available to the viewing public until June 23.