First year BFA exhibition takes on third dimension

FORM welcomes student artists to the world of professional art


On Wednesday, fine art first years took their first steps into the professional art world.

FORM: First year in 3D is displaying work by the Queen’s BFA class ARTF 128: 3D Fundamentals from Mar 27 to 29 at the Isabel Bader Centre. The opening reception was on Wednesday in the Performing Arts’ Art and Media lab.

The event invites students to present their art in a public setting—for some, it might be their first time. 

For these students who’ve never displayed their artwork in a public viewing before, this is an exciting opportunity. 

The works exhibited were produced in class and range from maquette models—scale replicas of larger structures—3D prints, and print designs, as well as found-object sculptures.

First year BFA student Nichole Banting’s art is on display in the exhibit. 

She said the process of making the maquette models is similar to interior design. Architectural and interior design experience can be valuable for fine arts students hoping to pursue the field professionally.

For them, a maquette is primarily constructed with a foam board, but some students chose to include other materials such as wooden popsicle sticks and sheets of plastic. 

Students were evaluated on their maquette’s measurements and scaling, relative to the actual structure. 

Course instructor Stéphanie McKnight noted that although “the space, size, volume, and mass of 3D objects at first glance seems obvious, creating unity in an object is quite challenging.”

The class’ second project required students to create objects using an online design program. When they finished their designs, they were sent off to be 3D printed. This presentedseveral obstacles. 

Working with size constraints, planning and sizing were crucial to ensure their structures would hold. But some students’ design parts broke in the process. 

They’d submitted dimensions that were too thin for the material to support, and the computer program used wasn’t accurate replicating organic shapes created by students. 

Despite these difficulties, the opportunities technology offers to artists are rapidly increasing, many of which require advanced technical training like when designing 3D prints. 

“Atits core,” McKnight told The Journal, 3D printing is about “functionality and use. Getting students to think about art in the context of mass production, usefulness, and value is very important today.”

With the majority of BFA first years choosing painting as their medium of choice, this course opens up new possibilities for visual experimentation. 

“It’s inspired me, some of the work that [McKnight’s] shown us. I’ve never thought to do sculpture before. Now I’m thinking of doing more in the future.”

For Banting, the most exciting part about the course is thinking about the exhibition space. 

Having never shown her work outside of high school art shows, a space in the Isabel is a huge leap forward. 

Many other first year fine arts students share the sentiment.

From small things like writing artists’ statements to organizing and promoting the exhibition, the show welcomes fine art students to the world of professional art.

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