Collaboration and polite conversation: a fine arts grad exhibition

Four graduating fine arts students bring a collaboration twist to the fine arts grad exhibition

Fine Arts grads Deb Fong (left), Kazia Poore (right) showcase their collaborative piece. (Elizabeth Nygren/The Omega)

For this year’s fine arts grad exhibition, the four students graduating each have their own pieces in the exhibit, but also have collaborated with one another. As far as the students know, this is the first time a collaboration has been done for the graduating fine arts exhibition.

The students also have a collaborative show coming out in the fall.

“I just feel like every piece that I did with someone else was better than the piece I created in the first place,” said Deb Fong, one of the graduating students.

This is also a smaller graduating class than usual as well. Usually, the graduating class is around 10 students, so four is unusually small. The small class contributed to the title, A Polite Conversation, which came about as all the students were very polite when critiquing each other’s artwork.

Fong’s work in the exhibit focuses on still life. Fong says her pieces are “very large boxes with dioramas in them.”

“The dioramas are based on famous still life paintings. I will also have some two-dimensional paintings,” she added.

“I’m very interested in still life,” Fong said on why she chose the work. “It’s a genre of artistic endeavour that’s often seen as a lesser genre, [but] it really excites me.”

Once Fong finishes with the fine arts program, she hopes to do an artist residency in Spain.

Josh Allan, a fine arts graduate, has focused on creating a comic book that will be on display during the exhibition.

“It’s my first full-length book that I’ve ever made so this year has been a bit of a learning process for me,” he said. “I thought this would be a great time to experiment.”

When Allan graduates, he will hopefully self-publish his own comics on Vancouver Island.

Another graduate, Kazia Poore, has been working with film and has created large prints in her works, all focusing on hands.

“I’m developing photographs from 35mm negatives to 42 inches by 64 inches,” Poore said.

Poore has a strong love for film and created these pieces specifically for the show. Poore said the idea “kind of crept up on me around this time last year.” Poore thought about “the concept of touch and what is a portrait,” when deciding on this exploration of art. Once Poore graduates she will continue working and creating art in the Kamloops community.

The last fine arts student, Elizabeth Sigalet, says her body of work is called transmission lines and she’s working in digital photography.

“I am using digital manipulation to give a different perspective of transmission lines,” she said.

Sigalet’s background in engineering has lent a hand in her process of creating her transmission lines works.

Sigalet added that she wasn’t entirely sure what she was going to do coming into this year.

“The transmission lines started from the idea of seeing the red and white marker balls hanging along the valley [and] thinking they’re quite beautiful,” she said.

After ending the program, Sigalet will spend some time working with the Kamloops Printmakers Society and continue creating photographic works.

A Polite Conversation opens Thursday, April 18 and will have art pieces in the art gallery, the fourth-year studio, the painting studio and the fine arts hallway in Old Main. There will be a reception at 7 p.m. free to everyone. The exhibition runs until May 3.