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The business of being an artist


A northern-lit studio with a wall of windows? Easels and palettes covered in charcoal and paint? They may be romantic images, but as UTSC art students recently learned, they’re hardly reflective of today’s modern artist.

Over the past several months, 30 UTSC students have been preparing for Mom, Tell Me That You Love It, an off-campus exhibition featuring over 40 works of art.

“The exhibition gives students an understanding of the huge amount of work it takes to mount a show,” says Tanya Mars, a performance artist in UTSC’s Department of Visual and Performing Arts and one of the studio faculty helping to organize the exhibit. “The actual art is only the beginning.”

Students have been responsible not only for creating works to show, but all aspects of the event, including promotion, transportation, installation and staffing. “It’s a test of their personal focus, time management and organizational skills,” says Mars. “They need to work collectively to make something happen for everyone.”

The show is the culmination of two advanced practice art courses. Putting on an exhibit benefits students by encouraging them to focus on a single project or concept.

“They really start thinking about their art as completed work,” Mars says. “It challenges them to push themselves and explore ideas they now have the time and expertise to realize.” Students learn that choosing a project and completing it within their timeframe and budget are all part of the process of being a successful artist.

Reflecting UTSC’s interdisciplinary curriculum, the works include performance art, digital, photography, kinetic sculpture, and contemporary painting and drawing. Although UTSC students have Gallery 1265 on campus, the downtown art exhibit is an opportunity for a new audience to access their work.

Mom, Tell Me That You Love It will be at Gallery 345 and Imaginefoundry on April 9 and 10. More details can be found online.



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