Students mingle with the public over wine and beers at 2053 Gottingen on Nov. 24. (Photo: Nicolas Bergeron)

NSCAD students close Nov. with independent gallery event

A new exhibit by NSCAD’s emerging artists shows that they are hardly disillusioned and still very much active.

Despite the uncertain fate of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, a dozen students are thinking ahead and distinguishing themselves by exhibiting their work on their own terms.

The NSCAD students, all in their fourth year, have organized an art show called "Risk it for the Biscuit." The exhibit is located at the 2053 Gallery on Gottingen St. and runs until Dec. 3. A large crowd gathered for the opening reception on the evening of Nov. 24, which featured performances from local bands such as Hind Legs, Gigas and a DJ set from Gwen Westell. 

The 12 students taking part in the exhibit are enrolled in Andrew Hunt's open studio course at NSCAD. They include: 

  • Jessica Ableson 
  • Craig Budovitch 
  • Colin Canary 
  • Duncan Furguson
  • Megan Henry 
  • Katie Hernandez 
  • Halloway Jones 
  • Hannah Schroter 
  • Kristen Sharpe 
  • Natania Sherman 
  • Kristian Spears
  • Brianne Williams 

They've all gone through the intermediate and advanced levels of drawing, painting and printmaking, and have developed a variety of vibrant styles. 

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Brianne Williams, 'Reflections,' Oil on Canvas, 2011

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Hunt holds a BFA from NSCAD University and an MFA from State University of New York at Purchase College. He is an adjunct professor of drawing, color and design at the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising College in Manhattan. He is also the "Special Guest Artstar" of the exhibit and some of his work is on display. 

"Early on this semester we discussed doing something outside of the institution, to create something with a little more vitality or momentum," Hunt says. "It's nice to not have to go through all the bureaucracy and paperwork of showing at the school, where you have to apply six months in advance." 

"Everyone put in their art, looked at the press kit, the advertising... it's kind of a way to get their feet wet with what they'd have to do to put on a show after NSCAD," he says. 

According to Hunt, it's unusual to have a show of student work like this. Students showcasing their work at the Anna Leonowens gallery or the Khyber Club tend to break off and do so individually.  

A variety of themes and styles 

Halloway Jones is a BFA student and the female face of the above-mentioned local band Hind Legs. She was creating personalized business cards at the opening. 

"We've been going to the same school for about four years now, and there's a lot of camaraderie being in an enclosed space," she says. "We feed off each other and we learn from each other... it informs our decisions, working with a variety of artists." 

Themes of the exhibit include memory, the western middle class, discomfort, reward systems, childhood nostalgia, science fiction, specific subcultures, interior and exterior landscapes, and the relationship between human beings and technology. 

"You have all these different aesthetic interests being expressed," Halloway says. "You've got everything from really minimalist painting sculptures, to the hyperrealist, to those fantasy ones, and then those big, rushed, juicy cheerleader paintings. There's something for almost everyone." 

The 12 artists took a risk with this exhibit by distinguishing themselves from the NSCAD entity. Hunt is very much encouraged by the way the show has come together. 

"The whole title, 'Risk it for the Biscuit,' was kind of like a 'just go for it' mentality. Forget about what you expect to attain, gleaned through your education, and just do it - take control and make it happen," Hunt says. 

"It's really connecting with a larger audience and actually generating something more than just an art show - it's a happening, an event."

'Risk it for the Biscuit' runs until Saturday, Dec. 3. The artists will be at 2053 from 2-7 p.m. until Thursday. Their work is on sale. 

Comments

Congratulations to the students on this "Risk it for the Biscuit" art show ... some great pieces! It's apparent a lot of work went into the endeavour; be proud!

Posted by Sandra Budovitch | Dec 1, 2021

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