Grads exposed

By Daorcey Le Bray

"An artist’s life."

The phrase comes with a lot of baggage and negative connotations best left unsaid. Fortunately, Underexposure, this year’s version of the University of Calgary Bachelor of Fine Arts graduation exhibition, gives aspiring artists a positive start to their careers.

The BFA 2001 exhibition, which opens Fri., April 27 and runs to June 23 at the Nickle Arts Museum, is a showcase of works in sculpture, painting, drawing and photography from 29 graduating students.

"It’s just a superb way to finish off your degree," says a beaming Dave Westland, one of the participating artists. "[The show is] a culmination of our training and artistic effort… with the Nickle [Arts Museum]’s reputation, it’s a really good sendoff."

Like most fine art students, Westland has suffered underexposure during his development as an artist at the U of C. Yet Underexposure promises to throw a few aces his way as students, faculty and community members come to view the exhibition and see what is being produced in the top floors of the Art Parkade building.

Westland sees the show as an opportunity for all to see what art’s all about at the U of C.

Underexposure is not the usual art show one can catch in downtown Calgary, either. Instead, the exhibition is a product of expressive freedom from the commercial and economic realities of the professional artist. The 29 participants are not worried about selling to the richest yuppie but are instead concerned with creating real beauty, be it on canvas, in metal or with glass.

"We’re experimenting with many ideas [to create] a jambalaya of work… the Nickle show caters to… everyone on a personal level, " says Doug Williamson, another student artist involved with the exhibition.

The fact that all the artists are U of C students ties the show together, and while they may all be individual in their creative expressions, there is still a cohesive sense to the collection of work.

"The education at the U of C is a common thread," comments West-land on the fact the group of 29 does represent a school of art that is distinct from other groups of artists.

Williamson agrees that there is the idea of the collective within the show giving it an endearing quality unequalled by the usual professional art show.

Underexposure is a statement that student art is meant to be enjoyed and appreciated instead of being holed away for the lack of a venue. Williamson urges everyone to visit and let the art speak for itself.