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ARTSIDEOUT transforms campus for a day

by Kurt Kleiner

Miguel Pinzon attracts a small crowd outside of the Student Centre as he paints with quick, confident movements, his air brush hissing. On the piece of plywood he’s using as a canvas, an image of the Marvel comics X-Men gradually takes shape, smoothed and simplified into a graffiti style. When he finishes, someone offers to buy it on the spot.

Pinzon, a fourth-year studio arts major, was just one of the more than 60 projects and performances at Thursday’s annual ARTSIDEOUT, which transformed the UTSC campus into an art venue for a day. At the Meeting Place dozens of cubes – made out of old CDs, yarn, wire, plastic, balls and even tampons – were on display. In the Bladen Wing, a giant strand of DNA made out of plastic bottles and cans filled a corner. Beside the Student Centre a collaborative Jackson Pollock-style drip painting took shape.

At the central stage between the AA Building and the Science Wing, Art Hurst and Ryan McLean of the combined Drama Society/VGS/Brainwave club attempted to set several world records for high fives. Volunteers lined up with outstretched hands as Hurst ran along slapping their palms. Hurst may have set the record for high-fiving 20 people while blindfolded, at 11.6 seconds, but he’s not sure – it may be that the volunteers should have been blindfolded too. Besides, no one from Guinness was there to make it official.

At the same time, student Chris Rizarri, clad in a green morphsuit that covered his entire face and body, and wearing a ball cap and big white sunglasses, was walking around campus with a giant boombox and planking – balancing himself board-stiff on his boombox and other surfaces.

In front of the Doris McCarthy Gallery, students Golnar Roughani and Fiona Chiu painted faces, and offered bags of popcorn to people who could guess the artists responsible for famous paintings.

On the Rex’s Den patio, Annette Sanger, a lecturer in Visual and Performing Arts, played the Indonesian gamelan with her quartet. In the AA Building, student Michelle Dominique Moreno’s audio sculpture invited audience members to interact with it. By manipulating a mercury switch they could change the sound of the eerie voices coming out of the eight speakers.

Michael Miljanovic, artistic director for ARTSIDEOUT, said that the event ran smoothly this year, with an estimated 2,000 people turning out to see it.

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