For its 16th winter the Visual Arts Student Union is putting on their silent auction featuring student art, Silence!
VASU uses the venue not only to support the group and students themselves — as half of the proceeds go to both the student and VASU for each piece sold — but as an opportunity for upcoming artists to see their own work shown and potentially sold. From Dec. 2 – 6, people can come out to the Gordon Snelgrove Gallery to enjoy the exhibition and bid on items.
Attendees have a selection of 180 pieces to bid on from 40 students, covering a variety of different media including paintings, photographs, prints and sculptures.
Aralia Maxwell, co-organizer and a participator of the event, will herself have a large variety of work submitted into the show, including handmade colouring books and hanging sculptures called “Meditation Helmets.” Theseworks provide a glimpse of the variety that is coming out of one artist, and with the large number of artists participating in the event the sheer amount of originality to come out is bound to be vast.
VASU uses the proceeds from the event to directly help the students in Friday Figure Drawing Sessions, where models pose for students to draw them, and BFA Scholarships, while half to 75 per cent goes to the student directly depend if they volunteer at the event.
Finding a piece of beautifully made local art goes right back to the students, presenting them with more opportunity in their academic careers to continue learning and developing as artists.
Supporting student artists is a great reason to make it out to Silence! as many of them will be learning in their first gallery experience,
“Silence! is a great opportunity for student artists to showcase and sell their artwork, as well as gain valuable skills in learning how to hang and exhibit their artwork,” said fellow organizer Stacie Huculak.
On the professional side of things Huculak believes that the experience of being in the exhibition is invaluable.
“I believe Silence! is highly beneficial to students. They learn more about the business side of art something that isn’t emphasized much in class and how to make connections,” Huculak said. “Often people are very interested in commissioning a student after seeing their work in Silence!”
For participator Katlynn Balderstone, Silence! helps her more fully understand her art.
“It helps give students an idea of how to price their work through their opening price and what people are willing to pay, which isn’t something we get in other university art shows.”
Taking the time to support student art and speak with the artists gives students and attendees alike the chance for greater learning as well as to foster an important part of Saskatoon community and culture.
As with each year, artist Terry Boucher will be submitting a piece of Lego art, the sale of which will see all proceeds go directly toward VASU. Last year his creation was influenced by the bridges of Saskatoon. While this year’s piece is yet to be unveiled, Maxwell hinted that it will focus on some kind of transport.
Submissions for the show are left open, with no co-ordinating theme as is the norm at most other galleries. This concept lets the artist have complete freedom to create what they are currently inspired by or to display what they feel they are most skilled at. It also offers a unique gallery experience, where every piece is bound to be unique and completely different from the last.
The reception and auctioning of the pieces happens on Nov. 29, though there is still plenty to see and enjoy for those not looking for a new piece of art to take home.
“The reception on Friday is a great place to hang out with friends and celebrate the end of the semester,” said Maxwell. “Basically it is just a big art party!”
Music for the auction will put on by DJ Weatherboy, so you can take in the art while dancing the night away. There will also be a sweet sixteen photo to commemorate the event’s 16th year.
The reception will also offer beer and wine by donation as well as free homemade appetizers and desserts for all to enjoy. There will also be a number of door prizes available to win, donated by local businesses.
While Silence! offers an opportunity to find some unique art and potential holiday presents for friends and loved ones, it is also an entertaining chance to support those enrolled in fine arts and enjoy a different gallery experience.
Check out Silence! at Snelgrove Gallery from Dec. 2 – 6. Bidding on artwork takes place from 7 p.m. – 9 p.m. on the final evening, while the party itself continues until 10 p.m.
Photos: Gordon Snelgrove & Aralia Maxwell