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ART Friday, March 11, 2011

ART Friday, March 11, 2011

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Friday, March 11, 2011
Corey Stanford
James Patten
Artistic area of focus?
Canadian contemporary artand photography.
Educational background?
University of Toronto BA art histo-ry, McGill MA art history.
What are you currently work-ing on?
An exhibition on London artistJason McLean for the 100th anniver-sary of HB Beal Secondary School.
What are your thoughts on theLondon arts scene?
London is unique in that it has avibrant visual art community,cheap studio space, is close toToronto, has three good art schools,and a supportive gallery system.
What is the importance of thearts in our society?
It offers new ways of interpretingour lives beyond the formal struc-tures of linguistic or numerical sys-tems. It’s a key element of anydemocracy  freedom of expression and it brings people from diversebackgrounds together.
How can people explore theircreative side in London?
Visit galleries. Art galleries are thegateway to experiencing the visualarts and to meeting members of theart community. Most gallery eventsare free and the public is welcome.
What is your ultimate goal andambition in your field of work?
My current job  I love being atWestern. My goal is to make theMcIntosh Gallery one of the best uni-versity art galleries in North America.
A new version of mcintoshgallery.cawill be launched later this month.
Jesse Tahirali
Alone in the basement isn’t the onlyway to enjoy comic books anymore.Although comic books andgraphic novels have been popular forseveral decades, they’re gaining evenmore mainstream attention today.“I think it’s come about becauseof the comic book movies,” saysDouglas Mann, a Western professorwho teaches a course specializing incomic book culture. “People tend toignore fan sub-cultures unless theybecome part of television, movies or,now, the internet.”And while the average personmay still be more interested inmovies, Hollywood also seems to beinterested in comic books.“We’ve had 10 years or so of mas-sive comic book adaptations  somestuff that you wouldn’t even knowcame from a comic book,” Mannsays, citing films like
V for Vendetta
A History of Violence 
as examples.As a medium, graphic novels areunique, possessing certain advan-tages over other methods of story-telling. With both pictures and text, acomic book can convey an ideawithout relying solely on writtenwords. Films often borrow tech-niques from graphic novels to helptell their story.“They’ll sketch out the actionscenes in a story board, and they lookexactly like comic books. Graphicnovels are like a really detailed andwell-planned film,” Mann explains.“The advantage you have overfilm is it’s a medium that’s still verymuch something one person canproduce on their own,” explainsPeter Birkemoe, owner of renownedToronto comic specialty store TheBeguiling.. “The great thing is that itis something that does not require alarge cast and crew or budget.”Birkemoe explains with thediverse range of authors and booksexisting today, graphic novels canappeal to even those with very spe-cific or obscure tastes.“I will often ask ‘What kinds of films or novels do you read?’ If some-one is a fan of chick lit, or they’re a fanof more formalist experimental prose,there are equivalents in comics.”Canada is not without its share of cartoonists, either. London-bornartist Bryan Lee O’Malley has seensuccess in print and on the bigscreen with his graphic novel series
Scott Pilgrim
. Chester Brown, a Mon-treal-born cartoonist, is also aprominent author, creating workssuch as the highly-acclaimed
LouisRiel: A Comic-Strip Biography.
Another example is cartoonistand former
graphics editorDave Lapp.“What happens is, when I writeand draw, there is some third thingcalled the idea or the emotion, and itdoesn’t ever lend itself just to wordsor just to pictures.”One of his published books,
Chil-dren of the Atom
, is a collection of comic strips featuring two childrenin an abstract environment. Thestrips convey complex emotions byimmersing the reader in this atmos-phere as opposed to telling a simplelinear story  something that could-n’t be achieved with words alone.“However my mind works, it’sjust so natural to have words andpictures together,” Lapp says. “If Iwrite it with just words, it doesn’tlook right, it doesn’t seem like theright way to do it. Same thing if I didpictures without the words. It wouldjust seem unfinished.”Birkemoe praises the book forbeing intensely personal, and forbeing different from any otherworks. He cited
Children of the Atom
as an example of something thatcould not be translated into any of the more traditional mediums.“There’s still a lot of unexploredterritory in the world of comics thatcannot necessarily be said with theworld of prose or film,” he concludes.As for the idea that graphic nov-els are an immature art form, Birke-moe explains there really aren’t anycritics today  aside from stubbornsenior citizens and the woefullyuninformed.“We don’t really encounter thatanymore,” he says. “The comics havewon.”
Stuart A. Thompson
APK Live
In a city with more watering holesthan venues, APK Live is more of anindie music temple than hipster bar.Located on the south side of the city,far past Richmond Row, the APK isone of few bars actually interested incombining pub fare with qualitymusic and art. It’s what owner MarcGammal calls “beats and eats.”When Gammal moved into thespacious basement venue beneathYuk Yuk’s, he took an “art-first”approach and asked four local artiststo decorate the space to make it look“shabby-chic.” The new ceiling is oneyou won’t likely miss  a tapestry of art with demented figures and strangeshapes looming as you imbibe. Art onthe wall rotates regularly and Gam-mal has aspirations for outdoor artinstallations too. The result is a veryToronto-like bar, fit for OssingtonAvenue, steeped in good music andrich with amicable clientele  verydissimilar from your Richmond Rowfare. It’s a welcome respite from thatcrowded scene  an oasis where PabstBlue Ribbon flows like water.
Forest City Gallery 
Few Western students will cross thetrain tracks to find themselves at theForest City Gallery, a hole-in-the-wall art space just south of the ViaRail station. But those who make itthat far will be rewarded with awhite-walled multi-purpose spacewhere art and music are common-place.The gallery is currently showing“Nobody Cares About Art But You,”a cheekily-named display by over-looked Winnipeg artists JakeKoscuik and Ray Peterson. At othertimes, the space is used for smallperformances  usually local bandsand sometimes touring acts. As abonus, the gallery regularly securesa liquour licence and with the Labattbrewery just across the street, theynever run out of booze.
The Arts Project
One of the nicest galleries in Lon-don, this downtown space is unusu-ally large, with two-and-a-half floorsof art-filled wall space. There’s also atheatre in the back where smallplays are regularly showcased,including three performances perseason by the acclaimed PassionfoolTheatre Company.It’s a good idea to pop by the nexttime you walk down Dundas Streetor stop by Central Library sincethere’s always something to see andadmission is free. As a bonus, Lon-don’s own independent café, the Lit-tle Red Roaster, is located steps awayfrom the Library. Grab a cuppa joeand try feeling a little more artsy.
• 3
Friday, March 11, 2011
2 •
Friday, March 11, 2011
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London’s art venue menu
Courtesy of LondonFUSE.ca
APK Live provides “beats and eats” with a diverse menu and eclectic music  not to men-tion an interesting view if you look up.
People tend to ignorefan sub-cultures unlessthey become part oftelevision, movies or,now, the internet.
Douglas Mann
Professor in the faculty ofinformation and media studies
>> Spotlight
> McIntosh Gallery curator
Meagan Kashty 
Western students are being given theopportunity to sit in the director’schair.Next Saturday, students, facultyand anyone who has an avid inter-est in film can buy tickets to go toThe Wave to see students showcasetheir films, and then vote for theirfavourites.The annual UWO Film Festivalinvites all students to submit filmsthat are no longer than 12 minutes. Apre-selection committee thenselects the top 10 films to bescreened and judged at the festival.Sonya Gilpin and Emily Joosten,the two directors who spearheadedthis year’s festival, are enthusiasticabout its reception.“We’re really trying to establishWestern filmmakers as part of thearts community,” Gilpin says.Supporting the ever-growingfilm community in London andWestern has been a longstandingeffort for the directors as well as thejudges. Jason Clark, founder of theLondon Short Film Showcase andKeith Tomasek, a Western professor,will be offering their expertise.Clark and Tomasek aren’t Lon-don natives, but since moving to thecity they’ve noticed a small, butaffluent film community. In theirrespective groups, the two have seennot only the number of filmmakersgrow, but they noticed a distinctimprovement in the quality of thefilms they’ve seen.“London overall is going througha creative surge right now,” Tomasekexplains. “There’s so much going onin terms of theatre and music, andthat’s what goes into the fine arts. Itonly makes sense film be coupledwith that.”And it seems only right thatWestern plays a part in seeing thismovement grow.Lauren Avinoam, a producer atPurefire Communications and West-ern film grad, started out her uni-versity career in Media, Informationand Technoculture with the inten-tion of pursuing a career in journal-ism. After spending a summer doinga marketing internship with theToronto International Film Festival,Avinoam realized her passion wasreally in the film industry.“I became obsessed with film andstarted watching as much as Icould,” she explains. “In second-yearI switched to film  I took what Ireally liked about the industry I hadseen for so long and tried to turn itinto something I could do for therest of my life.”Avinoam is one of many Westernstudents who harbour a passion formovies. Ultimately, Joosten notes,the UWO Film Festival will helpbring these people together.“Film is a communication of cul-ture, passion, politics, personal inter-est  it’s the way we communicate asa modern society,” Joosten says.But film is also subjective  andhaving mass appeal won’t help thejudges when it comes to picking awinner at the festival.“I’m also looking at what wouldmake it compelling to an audience. Idon’t believe people can show a storythat hasn’t been told,” Avinoam says.“Storytelling has gone back for cen-turies, so it’s about how you presenta film to make it special and unique.”While some of the films submit-ted for the festival are independent-ly made, some are class projects orassignments. Because of the widegenre of films being submitted,Gilpin and Joosten are set with thetask of making sure nothing isweighted heavily and films aren’tstacked against one another. Butultimately, the festival is aboutshowing off hidden talent in theWestern community.“We really wanted to have a valueadded to everyone, not just for peo-ple submitting work or who arejudging. We wanted a well-roundedevent that people can experienceand connect with  we wanted moreplatform interaction” Gilpin says.
The top 10 films will be showcasedand judged next Satuday at The Wave.Tickets are $15 each
>> Spotlight
> Founder of the London Short Film Showcase
Jason Clark 
As president of the London ShortFilm Showcase, Jason Clark isenthusiastic about fostering the filmcommunity in London.Clark admits film came into hislife a bit later than the average per-son. Eight years ago a friendapproached him asking for help witha production, which sparked hisinterest.“We entered one of the first shortfilms we made into a festival inToronto,” Clark explains. “For lack of a better word, we lost and were pret-ty unhappy.”But upon coming back to Lon-don, Clark realized the potential inthe city  which is why he decidedto found the London Short FilmShowcase.“We realized there wasn’t a lot of opportunity for independent film-makers to show their work, andwanted to combine with other film-makers,” Clark explains. “We weretrying to make those connections.”Since then Clark has reached outto other organizations such as Lon-don Fringe, Fanshawe College,Western and Museum London forsupport.“I saw a quote once that saidsomething along the lines of, ‘Film isa powerful art form because I’venever seen anyone stand and stareat a painting for more than twohours,’” Clark says of his passion forfilm. “And as far as short films go, inthis day and age short films are agood way to get your name out therein a very easy and creative way.”
• 5
Friday, March 11, 2011
4 •
Friday, March 11, 2011
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Student Submissions >
Margaret Davidson (left) and Cameron Arksey (right)
Cameron Arksey
What is your artistic area offocus?
Mixed media design formusic/literature, graphic design,poetry and other writings.
What is your educational back-ground?
Honours specialization in devel-opmental cognitive neuroscienceand French.
What are your thoughts on theLondon arts scene?
I see art and creativity in every-day life and that’s what inspires memost. I feel like you can create astory about anything and the Lon-don/Western scene has a lot of thosesomethings if you just slow downand look around for them.
What is the importance of thearts in our society?
Art is what we use to express ourjoy and frustration, to explore oldideas and create new ones for thoseto follow. It is an analysis of thehuman experience.
How can people explore theircreative side in London?
Break the rules once in a whileand see what happens. Nobody canargue with your experience and howyou choose to display it.
Who are your favourite artists?
Banksy and Edgar Allan Poe.
What is your ultimate goal andambition in your field of work?
A professional creative designposition would be great because Iknow it’s something I would enjoydoing every day.
Find out more about Cameron at youtube.com/cameronarksey 
>> Spotlight
> Student Artist
Courtesy of Kara MacLean
“Keep In Touch,” a submission which won second place in the festival last year,depicted a long-distance friendship and a representation of modern forms ofcommunication through traditional means. The film is made up of hundreds ofphotographs.
UWO Film Festival
Unearthing Western’s bestU
O Film Festival
Western’s best

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