Student homes can be dingy — grimy even. As an alternative to slapping a nondescript poster across your wall to brighten things up, consider student art as an option.
Western’s visual arts department is home to various artists from painters to sculptors, many of whom produce and sell their own work. The Visual Arts Supporters' Association (VASA) works to support these artists through events like the VASA student art sale happening Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the John Labatt Visual Arts Centre.
Ronnie Clarke, VASA president and fourth-year visual arts student, says there will be something for everyone at Tuesday’s sale, which is the second VASA-organized student art sale this year.
“Students can find just about everything from paintings, drawings, prints, photography and sculptures,” says Clarke. “I love collecting prints from our printmakers and giving art as gifts. Last semester students were also selling pins, buttons and watercolours.”
All profits from the sale go directly to the artists, who are either visual art or art history students. Prices range from $2 for smaller art works (cards, buttons, etc.) to $100 for larger more labour-intensive works (paintings, sculpture etc.).
But the sale isn’t just about making money as an artist.
Clarke mentions how much learning happens between artists looking to expand or better their artistic skills. This sentiment is particularly true for Clarke who likes to work collaboratively in performance, media and installation art.
“Art matters most to me because it reminds me that you can never stop learning and that you can learn something from everyone you meet,” Clarke says.
VASA hosts other events throughout the year where students from the Western community can come together to learn and make art. Some of the annual events include life-drawing sessions, movie screenings and socials where you can throw darts at paint-filled balloons, just like Mia Thermopolis did in Princess Diaries — truly a dream come true.
The "Art in the Public Sphere" lecture series is also open to students looking to learn about art on campus and in the London community.
“It's so important to support artists and their craft,” Clarke says. “It's a way of giving back to your community and the people who work so hard to make it vibrant. Art is everywhere, and when you support art everybody wins.”
Who knows — you may even pick up the work of a budding Picasso.