Prints displayed in Gairdner Fine Arts Building.
This week, stop by the Gairdner Fine Arts Building to take in the combined printmaking efforts of fine arts students from both Mount Allison and Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD). The art departments paired up to create a printmaking exchange that showcases work from both schools.
The innuendo-themed art exhibit includes prints by fourteen Mt. A students and thirteen NSCAD students. These artists made thirty prints each for the exchange—a notably large amount of work considering the intensive nature of printmaking.
The idea for the project was conceived last fall when NSCAD contacted Mt. A printmaking professor Dan Steeves with the proposal for the print exchange between universities. The project got underway in April.
The prints featured in the exchange explored the theme of innuendo, as chosen by NSCAD coordinators Ericka Walker and Mark Bovey.
“There is nothing quite like a little bit of humour to make introductions between strangers a little less tense and more enjoyable. Innuendo seemed to us at NSCAD as the perfect theme to approach our peers at Mt. A,” read the description of the innuendo exchange.
Steeves said that the notion of innuendo is also an appropriate theme because it is open to a variety of artistic interpretations.
Accordingly, the prints displayed in the exhibition offer diverse subject matter, ranging from French bulldogs leaking water, to subtle sexual innuendoes, to brazen expletives.
Julie Whitenect, a fourth-year Mt. A student pursuing a fine arts degree, took a unique approach to the project.
Her prints presented “images where you can see the production crew filming a romantic scene.”
Whitenect attempted to capture the dichotomy between the film’s final product and its creation process.
“It’s interesting that we get caught up in films, but they are orchestrated to evoke certain emotions in us,” she said. “Somehow they draw us in, but we don’t think about the process.”
Whitenect said that the print exchange offered a different perspective by presenting art students with the opportunity to experience the type of work produced in other schools.
“We often see our classmates’ work, what kind of art they make and what they are interested in,” she explained. “It is really interesting to see what other schools are doing in the print shops.”
Steeves agreed, noting that he decided to take on this project in an attempt to increase collaboration between students, and motivate them to work harder than usual—albeit within specific parameters.
The Fine Arts Department, which holds weekly art exhibitions in Gairdner, is also considering another print exchange, this time with Université de Moncton.
Steeves considered the success of this exhibition by stating that the Mt. A students rose to the occasion and performed well:
“We want them to be proud of what they have done. We want to show that we [the faculty] are proud of what they’ve done, and we want others to see that.”