Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The North is Vancouver's Nerve-Ending

by Tyler Clarke
Photo and Production Coordinator

Prince George is getting its art on full force this semester, by means of both visual and literary dimensions. This is all in hopes of promoting the new UNBC/Emily Carr Institute partnership with regards to a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree.
The most recent event was a UNBC/Emily Carr poetry reading and arts presentation, held at the Two Rivers Art Gallery, located by the Civic Centre downtown, Saturday March 1.
A small crowd of under 30 was present for the event in the main entrance of the Two Rivers Gallery, consisting mainly of current UNBC students.
The event had UNBC/Emily Carr professor Sheila Hall give a presentation on various artistic projects she’s been a part of across the globe, in addition to UNBC English professor Robert Budde’s poetry reading. The event was free of charge, and included appetizers as well as free access to the full Two Rivers gallery.
“The North has wanted this for so so long… Prince George and Northerners can stay in their own latitude and explore their artistic statements,” UNBC English masters student and co-organizer of the event Jeremy Stewart said during the event’s introduction.
Budde followed with praise for the program, as well as selections from his latest book, Finding Fort George. He also presented a few poems from a work in progress series with a working title of Poem’s Poem, consisting of poetry from the point of view of the poem.
“They’re about he or she would react to the world,” Budde said, followed by a poem about a poem going to the dentist.
Budde was well received and liked by the audience.
Hall opened her time with a short discussion of the importance of the Fine Arts program at UNBC/Emily Carr Institute.
“Vancouver is too isolating... [The North] is the nerve endings that send messages to the centre [Vancouver],” Hall said. “There are some excellent artists from Prince George and UNBC.”
Then, rather than discuss the Fine Arts program as this reporter expected, she decided to lecture about various artistic projects she’s been a part of during the past few years. These included various open-air exhibits in the Lower Main Land, as well as projects she did with students in Africa. Some of this work is with the School For Life. For those interested, the website is theschoolforlife.org.
This was Hall’s last week in Prince George, as she goes back to the Emily Carr Institute following her teaching of intensive courses at UNBC.
Although she said that there are some things she will miss in Prince George, she said “I’m not going to miss flying up here every week.”
In between presentations, the Two Rivers Gallery was open for people to wander around the art displays. The display on feature at the moment was The Good, The Bad, and The Bunny. The display consisted of evil looking bunnies, houses with legs, and sock-bunnies hanging from wires on the ceiling. There didn’t seem to be any artistic purpose to the display, it didn’t provoke any thought, and didn’t deserve more than a fleeing glance from the observer. Hopefully Fine Arts graduates from the UNBC/Emily Carr partnership produce more meaningful art than that specific display.
Other pieces of art in the museum exuded more talent than the featured display.
For more information on this Bachelor of Fine Arts joint degree between UNBC and the Emily Carr Institute, go to http://www.unbc.ca/finearts/index.html.

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