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With thousands of people descending on Concordia for the Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities in May, several students in the master’s of fine arts program will also have the spotlight on them.
On the first day of Congress, the President’s Conference Series will be staging a Human Rights Day, which will include an auction of several artworks by students in the MFA program. Many high profile speakers will be onsite for the day, including politician Ed Broadbent, news anchor Céline Galipeau and award-winning photojournalist REZA.
Jake moore, director of the Faculty of Fine Arts Gallery, is working with Michèle Thériault, coordinator of the Ellen Art Gallery and Marina Polosa, educational director of the Ellen Art Gallery, to choose the art works.
“Our MFA students go on to become some of the better- known contemporary artists in Canada,” she said, citing Tricia Middleton, who recently exhibited her work at the Musée d’art contemporain, and Jeanie Riddle, a finalist in the RBC Canadian Painting Competition and high-profile gallery director, as two good examples.
The art auction will also be a chance to promote Concordia artists nationally and internationally: their bios will be published on Concordia’s Congress site so that people can learn as much as possible about them.
Bidding will start online meaning people around the world will have the chance to participate and then move to a silent auction on the day of the President’s Conference.
All money raised will be donated to charitable organizations linked to human rights.
Sami Antaki, executive director of University Communications Services and member of the President’s Conference Series committee, says that choosing accessible works of art will be key.
Moore adds that this will be an opportunity to bring a range of high-calibre productions, which are central to the Faculty, to a broader audience.
Whether or not the works, expected to be mostly 2D with the possibility of some sculptures and other 3D objects, will directly address human rights is still undecided. Works by current students and even recent graduates are being considered and REZA will be contributing one of his photographs for auction.
MA art history student Erica Howse is charged with coordinating the movement and collection of the art. She has been very focused on her studies on contemporary native art and sees this as a good opportunity to broaden her horizons.
“This brings me out into the art world,” she says. “It also helps me expand my knowledge of what’s going on right now at Concordia. The exciting part for me is imagining it all coming together.”
Moore says that the simple production of art is a human rights issue, considering so many artists themselves living below the poverty line. This is one way to bring that issue to the fore for consideration.
See Concordia's Congress site.