Recognizing that this issue of The Bolt is centered around the local artistic community, I thought that I would shed some light on a few of my favorite sights in and around campus. On top of that, I will try my best to direct your attention to other noteworthy events taking place in the city’s art scene.
At the moment, Concordia seems to be slightly lacking from an artistic perspective. When casually scanning the halls and various study spaces around campus, you would be hard pressed to be able to point out colourful pieces of art and inspiration. For the most part, there just isn’t enough content to look at. Currently, Concordia has a very sporadic spread of randomly placed art and historic pictures. We need to try and create a more collective and uniform artistic layout for everyone to enjoy. All that being said, we do have a few subtly placed pieces.
Our most vibrant installation at the moment, is the beloved buffalo. This colourful animal can be spotted on the outdoor patio which is located on the west side of campus. The buffalo patio is a space which has frequently been used successfully for both beer gardens and barbecues. I’m fairly certain that this particular buffalo used to be one of several sculptures which at one time, were scattered all around the city. Each buffalo had been painted by a local artist, and each one had a particular theme. Our dear buffalo, who was once named Bentley by the student body, has seen better days. His color is starting to fade, and his base/legs have been damaged from excessive partying.
Since we are still on the west end of school, let’s chat about another of Concordia’s landmarks. There is a beautiful oil painting located just a few steps below the administrative offices in the older part of the building. This particular painting was given as a gift to our current President and Vice-Chancellor Dr. Gerald Krispin. It’s a lovely illustration of the original front door to our university. The drawing itself is painted from the perspective of someone who is looking at the front door from somewhat of a side view, rather than from straight on. It really is a nice painting.
Concordia does have an interesting past, and we definitely have our fair share of old pictures hung up around school. One of my favorite original photos can be found in the hallway which connects the cafeteria to the science wing. It’s an old picture of the Concordia men’s basketball team from 1923. Other timeless pictures show past graduates, classrooms, professors, priests and staff members. A newer addition to the collection, is a large portrait of our school’s chancellor, the Honourable Allan Wachowich.
Like most schools, our library has the most art to offer. Just a few weeks ago, our library had a few pieces showcased from a larger Edmonton based arts initiative. Several pieces of local art were put on display, including a handful of illustrations from local artist Jason Blower. In addition to this, large scale photos of our school were put up around the library, predominantly in the quiet study zone. These unique images, which focused on the building's architecture, had been taken by various Concordia students. This is a truly organic way of showcasing the talent which exists at our school. Running programs like this allows students to share their personal interpretations of the lively atmosphere around them each day at school. As a university, we should try to do a better job of sharing our student’s talents in a circulating gallery or neutral space where everyone has the opportunity to submit extra curricular art. A platform like this would allow student to both share and enjoy paintings, photos, illustrations and poems at one time. This is a technique which is used at many campuses across the country. It’s a great way of bringing a school closer together because it allows you to experience/establish a common connection through art.
If you are interested in the Edmonton art scene, then I would highly suggest checking out The Royal Bison Art & Craft Fair, happening December 2nd. This trade show has tons of Edmonton based talented individuals selling jewelry, wood work, apparel, leather goods, food, and pictures. It truly is a local collective, and you are sure to find something unique and one of a kind. I will see you there.