Fresh Paint / New Construction 2012

July 14 – September 1, 2012
Fresh Paint / New Construction
11 universities | 42 artists
Opening reception: Saturday, July 14th from 3-5pm

Ryota Aoki, Jessica Arseneau, Matthieu Bouchard, Gabriel Bribeau, Kyla Brown, Mark Butler, Marilyse Chaussée, Patrick Cull, Alishia Ellis, Mathieu Gagnon-Cardin, Natasha Gusta, Diana Hosseini, Nathaniel Hurtubise, Magali Hébert-Huot, Olivier Hébert, James Kemp, Ji Yeon Kim, Braden Labonté, Jean-Gabriel Lebel, Mario Leblanc, Alexis Lepage, Antoine Lortie, Julian Majewski, Jessica Massard, Virginie Mercure, Laura Mitrow, Michael Mogatas, Caroline Mousseau, Mélanie Myers, Rob Nicholls, Justin Pedersen, Marianne Pon-Layus, Solafa Rawas, Sherrie Rennie, Joshua Roach, Shannon Scanlan, Luke Siemens, Audrey St-Laurent, Patrick Sternon, Helen Teager, Sarah Tue-Fee, Christopher Varady-Szabo

Text by Michael Patten

The 8th edition of Fresh Paint / New Construction unites 42 students from 11 universities across Canada in a cutting-edge exhibition of new work that occupies more than 14,000 sq. ft. of gallery space on three floors. The selected artists were recommended by faculty members from each university based on the exceptional quality and originality of their work. This event not only benefits our visitors but also provides an invaluable educational experience and an opportunity for the students to show their work in a professional context. From coast to coast, this major survey of painting and sculpture is the only one of its kind in the country – considering its size and reach. As expected with an exhibition of this size, with no limitations on subject matter, there is a wide range of themes and approaches to art making, as indicated in the following examples:

Jessica Massard (University of Waterloo) explores the sculptural properties of acrylic paint with her process-based abstractions. The built up layers of brightly colored paint bloom into new shapes, like folds of fabric – which are then rolled, stretched, carved, cut, and peeled into place.

Investigating the concept of emptiness, Helen Teager (Nova Scotia College of Art & Design) creates positive plaster casts from empty packaging molds she collected from a hardware store. These attractive abstracted forms contrast the possible motives behind shoplifting and the void it fills.

Solafa Rawas (University of Western Ontario) examines notions of gender inequality in Saudi Arabia, the only country in the world that prohibits women from driving. In her work, she assembles auto parts and broken household items – associated with the idea of power and control – into beautifully ornate installations.

Ryota Aoki (University of Ottawa) translates words into images through paint, in an attempt to get a better understanding of the linguistic and cultural subtleties between Japanese and English – his second language. This process of abstract thinking sets the mood and atmosphere of each imaginative work. A mirror motif also appears in some of his abstractions, which could be seen as an interpretation of language through two lenses.

These are just a few examples of the diversity present in this year’s Fresh Paint / New Construction. With over 130 artworks, this exhibition covers a lot of ground – from formal research to the use of everyday materials and abstraction. Since the modernist Big Bang, the expanded field of painting and sculpture continues to flourish and branch out into all areas of our lives.