Every spring, visual arts students from UBC Okanagan prepare a final exhibition and this year’s theme is Up Close from a Distance which will be shared virtually.
The exhibition will feature work from 18 emerging artists from the past year. This includes sculpture, performance, installation, painting, drawing and animation.
“Up Close from a Distance represents the intimacy that connected this cohort as they shared their varied and unusual studio situations, that crossed geographical borders and time zones, through Zoom,” says Visual Arts instructor Katherine Pickering.
The exhibition artwork explores themes including identity, personal histories, cultural traditions and spirituality specific world views.
“Some students saw this year as an opportunity to learn a new skill, and all of them took difficult creative risks as they created a space for themselves to work in this new reality,” says Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies (FCCS) professor Renay Egami.
BFA graduating student Stephanie Tennert says creating art at home taught her more than just art.
“I believe this unusual learning experience has set us up for a lot of future success,” she says. “Learning to do printmaking and large-scale drawings from my own bedroom is a wonderful asset. And seeing the range of works my classmates have been able to make from their homes is inspiring.”
“Travel and many of the usual opportunities to connect were severely limited, yet this class brought us into the world through their work,” adds Egami. “This year was more difficult than anticipated. But for this cohort making art has been cathartic and liberating as they acknowledge their own resilience and ability to overcome obstacles.”
The exhibition opens April 12 and will run until April 26 as part of the FCCS Spring Festival of the Arts. It is free of charge and open to the public.