Shelley Peterson Student Art Exhibition: 2013
April 9, 2013 § Leave a comment
By Emily Butko
Last week, following the last lecture of my undergraduate career at the University of Toronto, I had the utmost pleasure of joining my classmates, instructors and fellow art lovers at the Shelley Peterson Student Art Exhibition, which took place in UTAC’s art lounge and Delta Gamma Gallery. Curated by Anne Ahrens-Embleton. Andrea Dixon, Meaghan Eldridge and Danielle Megaffin, The Shelley Peterson Student Art Exhibition (formerly the Chancellor’s Student Art Exhibit) features forty works created by thirty-one student-artists in the Visual Studies Programs across the three University of Toronto campuses. These artists use their work to explore themes that are relevant to all of our everyday lives.
Like many student-assembled art exhibitions, the show featured an extensive variety of aesthetics, themes and mediums. The work is chosen by the instructors of the Visual Studies Program throughout the year from various projects and assignments. The works are then judged and selected for the show by the curators, who this year are students in the Master of Museum Studies Program, organizing the installation as a core part of their academic program. This year the curators selected work that highlighted each student artist’s expression of his or her personal story through art using relatable themes.
Perhaps because of my affinity for video art, I was immediately drawn to a piece by student-artist, Evan Fischer. Inspired by found footage, Evan’s video installation, WoodRot, takes the seemingly innocuous form of an informational PSA. Through a subtle and fleeting transition between text from the original instructional video (on solving the problems of wood rot) and Evan’s own politically charged text, the artist successfully creates an eerie and uneasy tone in this piece. The subtly of the transition between texts makes you watch over and over again, becoming increasingly engaged with each loop. The 1 minute and eleven second, looped video is a comment on the government’s response to political protest. WoodRot, playfully offers a manual to suppress civil unrest but offers neither solutions to the problems or preventative measures. The piece, displayed on a small CRT TV, is a critique on how the world treats and acknowledges citizens who challenge their governments.
WoodRot won 3rd place in the Shelley Peterson Student Art Exhibition. Evan is in his final year at the University of Toronto, studying both Visual and Film Studies. He says he doesn’t know what is next for him, but that he will continue to develop his artwork.