A Modern Fuel masterpiece in 24 hours

Three teams of artists get together this weekend to create art in a single day

Lisa Visser, BFA ’06, stands in front of a multimedia work created by Modern Fuel members Tony Leamon and Vincent Perez.
Lisa Visser, BFA ’06, stands in front of a multimedia work created by Modern Fuel members Tony Leamon and Vincent Perez.

Fundraising Preview: The 24-hour Art-a-Thon @ 173 Princess St., Sept. 23 - Sept. 24

This year, the Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre’s method of fundraising will manage to combine performance art with the art of working with a deadline.

The 24-Hour Art-a-Thon will take place from noon this Saturday, until noon on Sunday. During the crunch, three teams of artists from the Queen’s and Kingston community will each work diligently to complete a piece of artwork. The so-called “space,” which is located in the old arcade building at 173 Princess St., will house the event.

The concept is similar to events such as the Focus Film Festival and 24-hour playwriting competitions, where artists are forced to collaborate quickly and efficiently to create complete works of art in a single day.

Lisa Visser, BFA ’06, who sits on the Modern Fuel Gallery’s board of directors as the head of fundraising, is overseeing the Art-a-Thon.

“We were just brainstorming,” said Visser, who came up with the idea with Julia Mensiuk BEd ’06.

“We knew that ‘a-thons’ were good, so we went with that idea.”

“It’s an artist-run relay for survival,” said Visser, who hopes the event will reach its goal of $5,000.

Funds raised will benefit the Modern Fuel Artist-Run Centre, which is the only one of its kind in Kingston and the surrounding area.

Modern Fuel, which was founded in 1977, is run by artists in the community who arrange project space and exhibits with a contemporary focus. “It’s a great opportunity for students,” said Visser, who joined Modern Fuel as a second-year Fine Arts student at Queen’s.

Visser is interested in print-based installations that transform the viewer’s atmosphere and challenge the way one might think about art.

Visser had some of her work exhibited in the group exhibit Disconnected, which was curated by Modern Fuel members Lindsay Fisher and Vincent Perez.

“I contacted established Canadian artists by e-mail and asked them for advice about how a Fine Arts graduate could enter the art field,” said Visser.

This year’s fundraiser will force the artists involved to work as a team, and, during the wee hours of the morning, to work in shifts so that their teammates can rest.

“We’re leaving it open,” said Visser of what she expects from the artists. “I’m hoping they’ll be creative with what they have.

“It’ll be exciting to see what they come up with,” she added.

Modern Fuel will provide art supplies such as canvas, paint, yarn and other donation from their sponsor, Wallack’s Art and Drafting Supplies.

“[The artists] can go out and find their own materials during the Art-a-thon,” said Visser. “But we would discourage purchasing supplies.”

Food from The Sleepless Goat and The Grad Club will also be donated to the artists.

However, Visser stressed that despite the time constraint, the fundraiser should not be seen as a competition.

“There won’t be a winner,” said Visser, who added that the public event will allow people to simply “watch art happen.”

Visitors are invited to come watch art happen at the “Space,” although they aren’t encouraged to drop in early Sunday morning.

“Doors will be open for almost the whole time,” said Visser, who explained that safety will be an issue later in the evening.

Volunteers will be at the event to talk with visitors about Modern Fuel, and receive donations. There will also be DJs starting at 2 p.m. to create a more casual atmosphere.

Modern Fuel has a major fundraising event every year. Because the Artist-Run Centre is a not-for-profit organization, they rely mainly on grants from the Ontario Arts Council for the maintenance of their space and the arranging of exhibits. However, these annual events are very important to supplement these costs.

“The fundraising activites for the year will keep us afloat,” said Visser.

“[Modern Fuel] is an important part of the Kingston art community on a local and national level. Although Artist-Run Centres are successful in major cities such as Toronto and Vancouver, they tend to struggle in smaller cities like Kingston.”

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