Decent exposure

Exposure festival aims to foster an artistic environment for artists, writers, musicians—and their admirers

The guitarist of Ben, Rich and Tim plays with friends during Exposure’s music night.
The guitarist of Ben, Rich and Tim plays with friends during Exposure’s music night.
Vibrant student band Living Planet won second place at Tuesday’s battle of the bands.
Vibrant student band Living Planet won second place at Tuesday’s battle of the bands.

For artists in the Queen’s community, there’s not such thing as over-exposure, and Neshka Kus and Avneet Toor are on a mission to put student art in the spotlight.

Kus and Toor, both ArtSci ’08, are co-chairs of Exposure, an art festival run through the AMS’s Campus Activities Commission. They were hired last March and began planning for this year’s festival last May.

Kus said she and Toor wanted to bring the arts to the forefront of the Queen’s community.

“[We wanted] to expose Queen’s to art … and to expose Queen’s students’ art,” she said. “We just wanted to reach all ends of the spectrum.”

The festival’s goal is to create an art-friendly environment on campus, Toor said.

“We just wanted to create an atmosphere where art could be shown and appreciated,” she said, adding that the reaction from students as been really positive.

Toor said part of what Exposure tries to do is showcase the art made by students outside the faculty of fine arts.

“Besides fine arts, there’s a lot of people who do art but don’t get the chance to show it,” she said. “It’s important for the artist and for everyone else to see it.”

“It’s great to see the artists smile when they see their art displayed or after they perform,” she said. “There’s a lot of talent.”

The art display in the JDUC has long been the centre of the Exposure experience. Showcasing the artistic talents of Queen’s students from all faculties, the flat panels in the lower ceilidh display a variety of artistic visions.

With everything from photography to painting and sketching, realism to abstract, Exposure has captured both the wide range of art being created on campus and the students who craft it.

But Exposure hasn’t limited itself to just visual art, Toor said.

“Beyond just the art displays, we’ve had a battle of the bands and a coffeehouse,” Toor said.

Exposure gets the bulk of its funding from the AMS’s Special Projects Grant and the JDUC Bursary, as well as fundraising initiatives and sponsorships from local businesses.

The week is chock full of events featuring art, music and poetry that aim to reach out to students and the community.

Wednesday night’s coffeehouse at the Common Ground was a forum for student writers to share their work. Tuesday night at the Grad Club, on the other hand, was all about the music.

Offering five bands the chance to compete for a $100 first prize, Exposure’s battle of the bands covered everything from rock and funk to bluegrass and Afro-beat. The competing bands took their audience on a spin through time, places and emotions, and gave them something to dance to along the way.

Showcasing the incredible diversity of the Queen’s music scene as well as the need to support our musicians, Exposure crowned Make Your Exit … Find An Exit the winning band. Living Planet came in at a close second, winning a $50 gift certificate to Limestone Music.

Ben Wright, ArtSci ’08, competed with two bands, Living Planet and Ben, Rich, Tim. Wright said he has been involved with Exposure in the past.

“It brings awareness to student arts,” he said. “It’s not just about music.”

Andrew Mouck, CompSci ’08, opened the competition with his band Garçon Means Boy. Mouck said Exposure is important because of the forum it offers musicians and artists at Queen’s.

“I think it offers opportunities for students to perform without having to organize themselves,” he said. “It offers them a place to play.”

Exposure runs until Feb. 10. Tonight there’s a poetry reading at the Grad Club featuring Lillian Allen and writer-in-residence Billeh Nickerson. Tomorrow night Ballet Jorgen will perform “Anastasia” in Grant Hall. Tickets for the ballet are available at Destinations and cost $17 for students and $22 for adults.

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