In the fall term of 2018, Artsci students Tiana Gammie and Elena Wells (Class of 2020) organized, curated, and hosted the very first Artsci Art Show, which took place 16 November 2018 at the Redchurch Café + Gallery in downtown Hamilton. The 2019-20 edition of the Artsci Art Show, hosted by Tiana and Elena on 15 November 2019 at The Staircase Theatre, built upon the tremendous success of the 2018-19 inaugural event.
Amidst the challenges of a 2020-21 online teaching and learning environment, the first ever virtual Artsci Art Show took place on 14 January 2021. Hosted by this year’s Art Show Planners Corbin McBride and Julia Menezes (Level III) via Microsoft Teams, the event brought together 37 talented artists from all levels of the Arts and Science Program to celebrate a plethora of visual art forms.
Along with aiming to showcase art in the new virtual environment, Corbin and Julia emphasized their desire to continue Tiana and Elena’s tradition of creating a social space for Artscis.
“We had many discussions early-on in the planning process about which virtual platform would work best,” explains Corbin. “In the end, we decided on Microsoft Teams because it allowed participants to socialize and move through different ‘galleries’ at their own pace.”
Throughout the evening, over 70 Artsci students and faculty visited a series of channels, each with a live call where they were invited to chat with other attendees and view 80+ works of art within themed slideshows. The channels were organized into 7 categories: Digital Art, Drawing, Mixed Media, Painting, Pen and Ink, Photography, and Textiles.
Attendees were also encouraged to gather in the main “room” to enjoy several scheduled live performances throughout the evening. Performances included a short film, a series of claymation animations, an original song with cover art, and a guided stereogram demonstration.
Dr. David Clark, who teaches ARTSSCI 2A06 / Social and Political Thought, wrote to artists after the show: “I did want to say how much I enjoyed taking in all of your work. So many provocations and so many thoughtfully beautiful objects. Well done. I think that devoting time and energy to an artistic practice is a key part of living an examined life.”
“My favourite part of the art show,” added artist and event volunteer Charlotte Johnson (level II), “was the community-like aspect of it. Getting to watch music videos and optical illusions with others present was really neat, and although it’s not the same as something in person, it was inspiring to get to experience art in a way that wouldn’t have been possible many other ways, alongside other people.”
As for future Artsci Art Shows, Corbin and Julia are hopeful that the shift online this year will help to challenge ideas about what is possible regarding the annual event.
“We were able to showcase short films and audio artwork this year,” says Julia, “something I don’t think would have happened if we had been in-person. That, and the ability to use Art Show themed virtual backgrounds, were some of the unexpected rewards of hosting the show online.”