Close to 100 people escaped the gloom and humidity that was Friday night by attending Méli-Mélo: STUdent Art Show, held at Gallery Connexion.
Moving to the musical of Inda Intiar and Kylee French and fuelled by the cookies and pretzel sticks that were provided, they explored the artistic offerings of a student community that is brimming with talent.
The evening was put on by The Fine Arts Student Association of St. Thomas in an attempt to showcase the hard work of student artists. It is an opportunity that, according to society president Dusty Green, does not happen often enough.
“It can be hard sometimes for students to get their work shown in a professional setting. Putting on these nights gives us a chance to be seen,” Green said.
Ranging from photographs to paintings and sculptures to steel works, the pieces on display represented hours upon hours of discipline and dedication to a field that can often be very rocky. Through those challenges, however, is where many find their voices.
Jose Luis Dominguez-Rodriguez, known simply as Luis to his friends, uses his art as a means to express his opinions on topics like complications in gender roles, global warming and the effects of violence on our society.
Dominguez-Rodriguez’s current exhibit applies the same process used when working with ceramics but instead on steel, and draws inspiration from artists like Leonardo DaVinci and Diego Rivera.
“My work is more like something abstract, sometimes like characters, sometimes specific patterns that recreate a dream or fantasy,” he said.
While some use their art as a means to voice opinions on their environment, others show specific snapshots of those surroundings seen through their own eyes.
Through the use of figurative art style, Sophie Lévesque paints representations of the world she lives in. The process usually begins with
sketching the object or scene and then moving onto the transfer of that sketch to canvas.
“I was originally trained in oil painting,” Lévesque said. “It’s a bit better as a medium in terms of how I use the paintbrush stroke. It’s better with acrylics for me.”
Those strokes signify the artist’s commitment to presenting the subject in a way that communicates both the spontaneity of that moment as well as its permanence.
Lévesque and Dominguez-Rodriguez, as well as the six other artists whose works were part of the show, represent a Fine Arts Student Association of St. Thomas that has grown leaps and bounds over the past two years.
Laura Lyall, who was the president of the group when it first began, sees a marked difference in its legitimacy since its formation.
“When we started we had no presence in the St. Thomas community at all,” Lyall said. “We had no money. So we really
just focused on building up our resources.”
After Lyall graduated, fellow co-founder Dusty Green took over as president and, once the group had built up funds, began to organize more and more shows.
“The point of nights like these is to get the students’ work out there,” Green said. “We’ve worked hard for this and it’s really nice to see this type of reaction from the public.”