Do It Yourself (DIY) can evoke images of too much glitter floating in mason jars and burning glue guns left on corners of craft tables.
But visual art professor Christof Migone has a different vision of DIY. Migone is the organizer of this semester’s "Art in the Public Sphere" lecture series, and has selected DIY as the theme that inspires his wide selection of guest artists, curators, and scholars.
The weekly lectures invite all members of the public to learn about visual art on a broad scale that appeals to students across disciplines.
“Contemporary art nowadays is very much connected to what is going on socially and politically,” Migone says. “So the hope is that let’s say you're in political science, or maybe you're in medicine or law, that there will be some point of connection."
"It might not be readily obvious, but I think as people who live in this world we share some concerns, and art in its broadest sense can be one of the ways to approach it.”
Thursday evening was the first of the weekly lecture series of this semester. The evening featured a round table discussion between guest artists/curators Jenna Faye Powell (Forest City Gallery), Taylor Doyle and Sophie Quick (Good Sport) and Christine Negus (London Ontario Media Arts Association - LOMAA). They discussed the topic of artist-run centres, which evoke the spirit of doing something yourself. Next to Ace Space in Toronto, Forest City Gallery is the second oldest artist run centre in Canada and opened in 1973.
The four women also discussed London's small but mighty arts community, funding challenges and the invaluable experience of volunteering in galleries.
Future lecturers include Vicky Moufawad-Paul, Toronto-based curator and writer; Helen Fielding, Western philosophy professor; Shelly Nero, multimedia artist; Simone Jones, multidisciplinary artist; Peter Flemming, artist; and a Toronto-based six-person artist collective called VSVSVS.
The lecture series is connected to a second year course Migone teaches called Art Now II: DIY (From Sctratch to Share). As part of the coursework, students need to attend the lecture series.
“There is a whole range of approaches that [the speakers] will present, and so I hope that students will get an idea of the infinite set of possibilities that art can offer,” Migone says.
Migone emphasizes that art doesn’t need to be confined to a frame, and hopes that this lecture series will bring about the possibilities art offers to students outside his class.
Lectures take place in North Campus Building, room 113 on Thursdays at 7 p.m. For a full list of lectures, see the Visual Arts website.