View Gallery curatorial assistant Brenda Flynn asked VIU art students to “Make a Statement” for the gallery’s latest show. (Josef Jacobson/The News Bulletin)

VIU art and design students ‘make a statement’ at the View Gallery

New exhibition begins March 8 and runs until April 6

The latest student exhibition at the View Gallery strips away ambiguity and gives the artists the opportunity to directly discuss the ideas and themes they tackle in their work.

The show, Make a Statement, features paintings, sculptures and installation pieces by students from their first to graduating years. As part of the collection, the students wrote “statements” that describe their pieces to provide gallery goers with more insight to be read after viewing. The show opens with a reception on Thursday, March 8 and continues until April 6.

When View Gallery curatorial assistant and visual arts student Brenda Flynn put out a call for submissions, she was hoping to receive a broad range of pieces and she happy that’s what she got.

“The thing is with the students in this institution, they’re so diverse and they’re so talented and they come from all the different mediums, so they’re pulling together their experiences through the university … and they’re bringing all of that together and this is their outlet,” she said.

“And I’m so thankful that we have an outlet like this gallery to be able to host a curatorial show for the students, about the students, about their work.”

As the artists were given no instruction regarding their statements except to “Be bold and harness your creativity to inspire,” the resulting work covers the personal and the political. Flynn said some issues alluded to in the work include mental health, the environment and feminism.

“I’m so thrilled at the level of diversity. The depth that people have gone into to try and bring out what they think, ‘Make a Statement’ is to them…” Flynn said.

“I feel that there’s a lot of very powerful pieces that have bee demonstrated here.”

She said the exhibit offers viewers the change to view the items, first through their own interpretation, then with the artist’s written guidance. Flynn said she hopes to build a connection between the creator and the viewer through the work.

“They’re really trying to send a message, whether or not a viewer understands,” she said.

“It may be something that they’re not familiar with, it might be something that they don’t understand or maybe they’re drawn completely into it. But in any case just that communication that the artist is having with the viewer through their art is so important to me.”

WHAT’S ON … Make a Statement’s opening reception takes place at the View Gallery at VIU on Thursday, March 8 at 6:30 p.m. The exhibition runs until April 6.

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