“Among the wider university community here, it is a bit of a challenge to expose the visual arts,” said Shannon Garden-Smith, Co-President of FASU this year. Visual Arts students face the task of creating meaningful art in the environment of a heavily academic institution that is rarely reputed for its cultivation of creativity or priority on artistic value. Fortunately, this does not diminish their passion.
Given the academic focus of visual arts students here, there is the potential for art that tends toward the conceptual, and is perhaps rooted in a more theoretical than experimental approach. This sets the stage for a showcase that reveals the intentions of its artists more explicitly than the average gallery. We’ve all stared at a piece--perhaps a blank wall entitled “The Love of a Woman,” or a spinning baby mobile made entirely of dolls’ heads, hanging from a ceiling over a giant black spot on the floor, aptly named “Georgia 1981”--and wondered, “But, what does it mean?” At Eyeball, the people who have the answers will be there, and they will be your peers.
The exhibit’s unusual name pays homage to the history of the building at 1 Spadina Crescent. Its basement is the former home of the Eye Bank of Canada, which housed thousands of disembodied eyes prepped for transplant. The coincidence of drawing that connection to a Visual Arts showcase was a pun too perfect to pass up. Visitors will be able to explore much of the space, including the studios of graduate students who choose to open their doors for the first time this year.
Also new is the addition of guided tours. “We really wanted to have students play a larger role, and allow them to show the guests what they’ve been working on, and really represent the supportive community we have here,” Garden-Smith said. “We think that with the addition of student dossiers this year, it will really help enhance the Eyeball experience and its public enjoyment overall.”
The exhibit is a pleasant reminder of the presence of artists among us, toiling to create and share physical reflections of the student--and human--experience which we can all appreciate. Between computer glare, textbook induced myopia, and lack of sleep, Eyeball offers a much needed break for your strained eyes.
Eyeball takes place Thursday December 8th, from 6 to 9 p.m. throughout 1 Spadina Crescent. The event is free and open to the public.