Collaborative Creativity: Artistic Interaction of Mediums Showcases Student Talent at Guelph

Wednesday, November 5, 2014


Written by Jaimee-Lisa Cotter

The English Students Society and KALEIDOSCOPE undergraduate journal for the arts provided a venue for University of Guelph student artists to perform their work on Tuesday October 28.  

Held at Silence, an experimental art venue in the downtown Guelph area, the evening boasted artistic endeavours and interactions of several varieties. Beginning with an introduction by Vice President of The English Students Society Will Wellington, the evening kicked off with poetry, intermittent by musical performances, all of which were performed as installations of photography and videography by student artists were projected over the musical guests and authors.

“As VP of English, I'm excited about showcasing the great writers whose work I know and love. Frankly, there's not much appreciation for contemporary imaginative literature on campus, in my experience. One thing that I really appreciate about the fine arts program here is that the students are really in tune to the contemporary scene, actively engaged with each other's work and with the work of contemporary artists on a national and international level.”

Among the literary and linguistic artists showcased were University of Guelph talents Bogdan Chifa, Samantha Dawdy, Gabrielle Flood, Jordi Klein, Adrien Potvin, and Rachel Wallace who all performed collections of short prose pieces that they had written. While some of the poets have been in past issues of KALEIDOSCOPE, several of them are returning hopefuls and first time applicants to the publication.  

Tessa McDougall, Dylan Evans, Melina Panara, Jessica Price Eisner, Katie Holmes, Emma Carney, Maya Ben-David, and Tori Berends all contributed the installment pieces which were projected over performers who delivered their talents through other mediums.

For Will and his colleagues from The English Students Society, it was all about the mixing of mediums: “It's exciting to collaborate with students in other disciplines and tap into different energies, appreciate different ways of engaging with the world of culture. It's exciting to me to expose English students to the ways and worlds of art and music students, opening up whole other possibilities for working, learning, living, etc. That's the kind of experience that universities are uniquely capable of providing, and that I wish they provided more. I don't know if that's what Stratastrophe succeeded in doing, but that's one way of thinking about why I wanted to put it on”.

Several weeks of preamble including class talks, posters, Facebook solicitation, and approaching strangers to garner interest for the event which stresses the interaction of many art forms coming together as one.

Musical guests Baby Labour performed an instrumental math-rock set during the intermission from poetry: The rock duo segued into the second half of emotionally charged readings with a level of energy that prepared the crowd to celebrate the creativity that the space played home to over the course of the night.

Between sets, executive members of The English Students Society and KALEIDOSCOPE had a chance to mingle with students and attendees, and inform them about the opportunities to get involved in the interdisciplinary arts, especially in fun, creative ways that contribute to an academic experience.

While the event was promotional and light-hearted in nature, it was also a fundraising opportunity for both the organizations. The Fall 2014 publication of KALEIDOSCOPE will be issue number four from the editorial team, bringing readers another semester of both visual art and literature created by undergraduate students. They rely heavily on donations by readers, supporters, and fellow students to put forth the journal, which provides a unique opportunity for students to have their undergraduate work published and to bw involved in the editorial and publication process.  

As the rest of the authors presented material and artistic renditions flashed across a large, otherwise blank wall, the last poet standing (Adrien Potvin) delivered a series of poems that closed out the evening with a sense of finality and wonderment that was consistently carried through each and every performance and reading.

The second musical act of the evening, seven piece folk ensemble Emily & The Mainlanders closed out the show with a soothing performance of carefully selected covers as well as original tracks off of their most recent EP, staying true to the agenda of the evening and branching from genre to genre to craft a wonderfully unique set list that sent attendees out into the night on a light hearted note.  

While the pronunciation of the title of the event was up to artistic interpretation, it seemed as though a good time was had by all. 

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