Students at Trinity Western University have turned communal area into a pop-up art exhibition space.
The Emerging Artist Gallery inside Jacobson Hall, a TWU residence dormitory, is a vision that has been two years in the making.
Alysha Creighton, who teaches art and design at TWU, explains how — just before the pandemic began — the art department discussed with the university’s Student Life division ways to re-imagine the student lounge space in Jacobson Hall, a residence building at the Langley campus.
Originally, the plan was to invite the art department to help “animate the space and make it more vibrant and welcoming.”
Creighton had a bigger vision.
“We saw this as a really exciting opportunity to create an Emerging Artist Gallery where TWU students, especially those in their first, second and third years could get valuable exhibition experience and share their work with the campus,” she said.
Late last month, the very first student exhibition opened in the new Jacobson Hall Emerging Artist Gallery.
Called Identities: A Collection of Portraits, the exhibition features the work of Dr. Erica Grimm’s ART 211: life drawing students.
The works will be on display until Jan. 16.
In describing the project, Creighton said, “Students were challenged to create a headdress that revealed something about their identity and then draw themselves wearing the headdresses. Both the drawings and the headdresses are included in the exhibition.”
Reflected within student creations are topics including mental health, emotion, the human body, the environment, faith and seeking.
The drawings aim for accurate anatomy, which, Dr. Grimm noted can be a challenge, “especially given the prevalence of photoshopped faces that distort our perception of what constitutes accurate anatomy.”
“These works demonstrate the clarity needed to see through stereotypes about faces and heads,” Grimm said of the exhibition.
“Accurate anatomy paired with expressive marks has the potential to express what is hard to find words for,” she observed. “Stereotypes are dispelled as identity is excavated, layered, and constructed–for artist and viewer alike.”
The students have applied what they have learned about accurate anatomy and expressive use of form in their works “to reveal individual souls.”
To learn more about the school’s arts, music, and culture department, or specifically the new exhibition space, people can visit the TWU website at twu.ca/samc
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