Lakehead Arts students present their work

The 2017 Juried show gives students an opportunity to shine
By Julia DiPaolo, Layout and Design Editor

On Friday, March 17th, the Thunder Bay Art Gallery hosted its annual Juried Exhibition reception. The show gives Lakehead University art students an opportunity to shine and show off the many art pieces they have been working on all year. The walls of the Thunder Bay Art Gallery were covered in beautiful art presented through a wide variety of media including ceramics, paint, textile, mixed media, and everything in between.

The show began with the curator of the Thunder Bay Art Gallery thanking their longstanding sponsors, Brokerlink Insurance and the Lakehead University Alumni Association. They have been proud sponsors of the gallery for the past 12 years and have purchased pieces from past Lakehead art students, which are now on display throughout the university campus.

The award ceremony followed, with many awards based on technique, improvement and much more. One by one, proud and nervous art students came up to receive recognition for their hard work.

Interactive art

One of the highlights of the night was the interactive piece created by Amanda Toope, called “Shadow Work”. The piece challenges regular norms of art and allows viewers to take one of the 200 ceramic bunnies that Toope handcrafted herself, and in return draw a picture of a bunny. She explains the meaning behind her choice of the bunny: “The majority of my pieces this year focus on Carl Jung’s shadow theory. His theory was that the subconscious mind contains an ego and a shadow. Shadows are formed through identification of the self and judgment or distancing of what is considered to be the opposite. ‘Shadow Work’ is an attempt to accept shadow traits by expanding awareness of one’s reality. I use bunnies as a visual metaphor of individual shadow traits. ‘Shadow Work’ is a representation of how people can start accepting their shadow through expression. I wanted to force people to express their shadow, through drawing, in order to earn acceptance of it. Once expressed, the ceramic bunny affects the person’s life in some way, and the effect is different from one person to the next. I chose to render the bunnies as stuffed animals in order to make a point on how we derive comfort in having a strong self-concept. This comfort is misleading by allowing us to feel numb in the ignorance of our full reality. “

A look at the art

The Argus caught up with some of the award-winning artists to talk about their work.

Katy Poirier took home the largest prize at the reception, the Johann Winckelmann Award for Excellence in Art History. The award regularly goes to students in their second, third, or fourth year, but Poirier was an exception and took home the prize in her first year in the Arts program at Lakehead. She stands beside her mixed media piece named “Incubator”.

Aidan Domenis is a first year student who took home his first award for his artistic achievement, the Painted Turtle Art Shop Award. His winning piece is a charcoal drawing of a sheet that had been draped over a ladder.

Katie Kramer is a fourth year student who won the Deborah Christine Scott Memorial Award. She presents her beautiful piece, “Nature vs. Synthetic,” which is a mix of metal work and wood that she retrieved from her own property.

We also caught up with Kaarina Kotanen, who won the Rust Check Award for her drawing “Phantasmal Creature No. 1”. She describes her piece as representing the creature hidden behind the mask.

If you missed the reception, you can still check out all the amazing artwork at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, on display until April 2nd, 2017.

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