Over the next few weeks, visitors to downtown Edmonton will notice there’s new artwork dotting the landscape. As part of The Works Art & Design Festival, various buildings, skywalks, and streets become art and design exhibits . . . and this year, some Augustana students will have their artwork displayed alongside professional artists.
“We thought about doing this last year but we needed more time to get things together. One thing that needed to be done was to get frames built for the pieces, which is expensive for students to get done. Thanks to a grant, we were able to get frames done." said Keith Harder, Chair of the Fine Arts department.
Entitled From Life, the exhibit will include 19 pieces of art ranging from drawings and paintings to sculpture. The pieces were chosen from final portfolios submitted last semester. “From Life is about drawing ideas from life but also drawing from life experiences, drawing from living sources – by drawing I mean getting ideas from and arriving at concepts.”
“The organizers expect a certain quality of work but they know that these are students as well. When you think that all of these students are in the first level – it’s first year drawing, it’s first year painting, it’s first year sculpting – the work is quite strong for first year students . . . even the people helping me put it up, who are mostly artists, themselves thought it was strong for first years,” said Harder.
The exhibit is also an example of the Visual Arts program’s focus, “we emphasise contemporary techniques put into contemporary concepts,” said Harder.” The classical drawing techniques, classical painting techniques but putting them into contemporary concept . . . so the portraits aren’t just sitting there looking out; these portraits have highly expressive faces, they’re faces that are doing things, faces that are emoting, they’re active.”
While the festival officially runs June 20 – July 2, the Augustana exhibit is already up. Located in Enterprise Square, From Life is displayed in a hallway leading to the Manulife pedway.