Living in a first-world country, it’s easy to complain about the way things are or pine for changes we think should be made. The proof is endless, from message boards rife with detailed descriptions of flaws in various systems, to the first-world problem hashtag.
What’s not so easy is making that change yourself and giving in to a certain over-quoted Gandhi sound bite.
Yet that’s exactly what a group of Concordia fine arts students did. After noticing that McGill had a fine arts magazine – yet no fine arts faculty to speak of – and Concordia didn’t, Bella Giancotta took matters into her own hands by gathering a group of people to start Interfold, Concordia’s first fine arts magazine.
Interfold, which according to its website “acts as an exhibition within a magazine,” is meant to showcase work that may otherwise not get a bigger audience than the classroom.
“We wanted something that would provide a platform for students to get their work out to a broader audience,” explained Giancotta, the magazine’s editor-in-chief. “A lot of times, unless you have classes with students, you won’t get to see their work, and not everyone has enough works to hold an exhibit by themselves or even in a group show. So this magazine is something that’s accessible for all of the Concordia student body, and will show off fine arts students’ work.”
The magazine addresses the challenge that comes with having individuals so full of creativity, yet lacking in the resources to present it to more people.
“In the fine arts community, oftentimes it’s very challenging to kind of get your images or the work out there and expose yourself to the public,” said Iain Meyer-Macaulay, Interfold’s events and communications executive. “And so, the role that Interfold can play, and is playing at this point, is it’s there to be an avenue in which fine arts students can exhibit their work.”
Another platform they’re using to achieve this is through the magazine’s website, which features a different student every month. Besides allowing them to feature even more art, as the magazine is a biannual publication, the website makes it possible for Interfold to show other media such as dance, theatre and other art forms that are not confined to the page.
The concept of limits and working creatively within as well as outside them served as inspiration for the theme of the first issue, which is “confines.” Keeping in mind what month the issue would come out, the team brainstormed about what it is that pushes them to create in even the direst of climates.
“Sometimes having too many confines or not enough forces you to be more creative, so we were just thinking about things that drive our own work and we came up with confine,” said Giancotta.
The selection of works chosen for the issue are in no way restricted, however, as they include “a wide range of media, from drawings and paintings to sculptures and photography,” said Meyer-Macaulay. “So it’s really wide-reaching and we’re trying to be as all-encompassing as we can in terms of including different forms of art.”
The first issue hasn’t officially launched yet, but that hasn’t stopped both those exhibiting and those waiting to be shown the art from expressing enthusiasm for the project in their response.
“It’s been overwhelmingly positive,” said Giancotta. “People have told us -This is the first piece of professional art experience I’m putting on my resume, thanks guys for letting me be part of this.’ Even people in business have been very excited for this arts publication, and they said -You know, it’s been about time, I’d love to see what’s going on in the VA, and what’s going on in the EV by Concordia students.’”
“It seems that people are interested in seeing what Concordia undergraduate students are producing, and we are equally as excited to show that to different people,” added Meyer-Macaulay.
Lending a hand in this endeavour is the magazine’s launch party, which will act as an introduction both to the magazine and to Concordia’s Fine Arts community.
“People should expect a great community feeling. This isn’t meant to be a pretentious art show. We are featuring a lot of different artists who aren’t in the magazine as well as some who are […] It’s just gonna be a fun time to meet people in the arts community and outside of it, and just get to know each other,” said Giancotta.
At the end of the day, students who attend the launch might also discover that members of Concordia’s Fine Arts community enjoy the simplest things in life, too.
“Great art, great people, great grilled cheese,” said Meyer-Macaulay, “and great drinks.”
Interfold’s launch party takes place Jan. 14 at 9 p.m. at 1175 St-Marc St. The magazine comes out on Jan. 16 and will be available free across campus.