Durham College’s three-year Fine Arts program is showing off new ways to display its work. For the first time, Oshawa City Hall is displaying some of the program’s paintings and artworks.
In February, Sean McQuay, coordinator of DC’s Fine Arts program, got approval to have his students display their work in the City Hall showcases. These showcases have been displaying local artwork since 2010. According to McQuay, it was a last minute acceptance, meaning whatever projects were completed went on display.
That’s not the end of it, though. Starting April 20, paintings, designs, drawings, carvings and other creations from the class will be on display at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery until May 6.
“At City Hall, everyone will have a smaller piece. The City Hall will be [called] “ a satellite show” for the bigger show. Satellite means, OK, here’s some work that exemplifies what’s happening in a bigger context,” said McQuay. Both shows will run April 20 – May 6.
This bigger show at the Robert McLaughlin Gallery is called the McLaughlin Thesis Exhibition, which is the main exhibit for the Fine Arts students. At the start of the year, every student came up with what is called a “thesis” and “thesis statement”, which in this case means a theme for a collection of work. The third year students participate in this only, and this year it consists of 15 students, which, according to McMullen, is a small number.
Some of the themes they have come up with include painted vinyl records and painted tables with displays.
These works of art take time. Student Chris Cote will display a painting at the RMG he has been working on since September. According to McMullen, a painting about the size of a poster can take a few weeks to a month to plan and paint.
“We’ve just been working non-stop through classes, on our spare time, through weekends just trying to finish everything; especially since the [Ontario-wide college] strike took away a lot of our time. Technically, we have about three less weeks than normal,” said McMullen.
The RMG is also hosting a monthly event on May 4 at 7 p.m. with the students’ work still on display. Every first Friday of the month, the RMG hosts a gathering to celebrate art in the form of not just designs but music and dance. According to McQuay, 300-400 people visit the event.
When the students are finished displaying their work in Oshawa, they are going to be a part of a brand new event in Whitby at the end of their school year.
The first, second and third year students will display approximately 300 works at the Whitby Station Art Gallery. A professional juror is expected to hand out awards for best painting, best drawing and best in-show, according to McQuay. The exhibit runs May 12 – May 27 and is open to the public. The awards ceremony takes place May 27 at 7 p.m.