Festival succeeds in blah

This year’s fine arts festival, Under the Skin, emerges as an evocative showcase of student artistry.
During March, representations ranging from improvisational poetry to displayed barnyard images have culminated in bringing forth a highly varied, most successful festival.
“We’ve gone a 100 per cent full out with new ideas and a new system for festival,” said Jason Johnston publicity coordinator for the event, and member of the organizing committee. “We’ve rose the bar and from now on, festival is going to be this bigger thing each year as it develops.”
Thumbprints, a student show at Niagara Artists’ Company (NAC), a juried show in Sean O’Sullivan Theatre, as well as the ubiquitous tour of the Ping Pong Hotties, served as preemptory to the festivities this past weekend.
The opening gala, held Wednesday night, allowed fine arts students, as well as the extended Brock community to gather in support of the arts, as well as prepare for the remainder of festival’s activities.
“The opening gala is capitalizing on the concept of festival,” said Johnson who said the committee took great strides in extending an invitation to participate school wide. ‘Tonight was an opportunity for anyone who was interested in doing art to get involved.”
Under the Skin chronicles an important development for festival. Organizers took definite steps to ensure the atmosphere of community among festival participants. Rather than redefining the boundaries among arts students, this year’s festival was a dissolving of definitions allowing visual arts and theatre students, as well as members of the community to contribute, together, towards a cooperative environment.
“The good thing about festival is that it’s a communal atmosphere and everybody can get together and do things,” said Brian Foster who plays Joe in the student production Fred and Joe.
“This year’s festival has allowed us as students tot take a piece of work and develop it artistically in a very unique fashion. We’ve been offered the technical support of our professors and have been allowed to grow as artists and explore things we might not have been able to explore in another situation.
Many of the works presented at the gala worked with this year’s theme Under the Skin. Particularly, Tyler Sainsbury’s film Invalid which worked with the invasion of private spaces within public. Jason Poynton works in improvisational poetry. “I just make it up as I go along. It just depends on the mood I’m in at the time.”
Official festival events concluded this weekend, however, festival plus will provide art enthusiasts with a second chance to get involved in festival. The art show Three Girls and a Boy opens Apr. 1, as well, the play Hope is Translucent is being staged Apr. 5-7.

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