On Friday, May 1, the Brock Art Collective (BAC) held its first virtual art show via Lifesize. Community members and students alike tuned in to watch artists present their artwork in a 30-minute video call.
Stephanie Dancer, the president of the BAC, facilitated the show along with Angelina Turner and Joshua Harwood. Dancer opened the online floor up to artists that otherwise would not have been able to display their pieces.
“We wanted to come together and create this really cool community event. That’s our focus for the year, which is to make our club really inclusive and community-based,” said Dancer. “We thought it was a really great time to open up and do that [promote inclusiveness] virtually, especially because a lot of the graduating students weren’t able to show their work. We wanted to give them a platform to show their work off and tell us a little about what they’ve been working on over the year.”
Although unprecedented, the show ran smoothly. After introductions and some technical instructions, the artists began to share their work. Each participant was allotted two minutes to share a bit about their unique art display. From visual art to a silk-screening demonstration, Adaptations was an eclectic show.
The art show was fittingly named Adaptations to reflect the current state of the world. “The reason we [BAC] named it Adaptations is because we are in the midst of this unprecedented time where we are all under quarantine and we have to adapt our lives to different situations. We thought the name was really reflective of what was going on in society right now,” said Dancer.
The BAC is hopeful that Adaptations serves as a foundation for future online art shows. “It is our first show, as much as we have planned this out, we really are doing a test drive for future shows,” said Dancer.
One of the artists in attendance was Aidan Frenette, a third-year student in the Visual Arts program at Brock University. Frenette uses a variety of mediums to create their artwork, from strawberry syrup to cake to canvas and paint; their art knows no bounds. Even a global pandemic cannot stop them, along with other student artists, from sharing their passion.
In the virtual art show, Frenette shared a three- by five-foot painting of filmmaker David Lynch. Each inch of Frenette’s painting was divided into nine little squares, which created a pixelated effect. Beyond artistic technique, their pixelation is an ode to Lynch’s work Twin Peaks.
“Obscuring the portrait is a reference to his own filmmaking and the minute themes within that filmmaking. On a small scale, if you go into his filmmaking or television series, it won’t make sense if you look at one character,” said Frenette. “You need to really look at the relationship between everything and then you will get the bigger picture, which is like the painting that I’ve done. It won’t make sense if you stand up close, you have to stand about five feet back and then you can actually see what I’m talking about.”
Frenette’s piece was just one of eight that was shown during Adaptations. Each artist took the meaning of Adaptations to heart, resulting in a collection of masterful, unique works. Despite being online, viewers could easily feel the passion radiating from all of the artists involved.
Alongside Frenette, Lindsay Allen, Jessica Thomas, Kayla Chin-Loy, Lindsay-Anne Chilcott, Lauren Sandal, Josh Arcari and Avrie Coney shared their works. There was plenty of diversity featured in Adaptations. Arcari captivated the audience with his silk-screening demonstration that kicked off the show. Thomas’s abstract piece “Fleshy” was a heartfelt nod to the scrutiny those under quarantine face in regard to their bodies and mental states.
Each artist articulately shared their works’ meaning to the audience. Participants watched intently and silently clapped to congratulate the artists on their hard work.
Adaptations was a success for the BAC as it brought the community together to enjoy the talent of young artists. The artists displayed their ability to adapt, leaving audience members in awe even from afar.