Canada’s largest student-run art fest is back for its 8th edition and has got new kicks not to be missed. From the launch party Feb. 29 with Ghislain Poirier et al. at Just for Laughs, to the closing party March 15, this year’s festival is slated to be the largest ever, nearly doubling the number of featured artists from last year.
And whereas most art shows and festivals still shy away from ‘new media’ already many decades old, this year’s Art Matters is tackling it head-on. Festival co-producer Joshua Barndt was excited to announce this year’s multi-disciplinary fest is putting a huge emphasis on art forms often not included, such as music, dance and digital art.
Art Matters will be collaborating with the soon-to-be graduates from Concordia’s newest Fine Arts program, Intermedia Cyber Arts, in order to add a new techno-art dimension to the fest. “We really wanted to do special events for them so they could showcase their work,” explained Barndt, “and it just turned into a huge collaboration, between the festival and the students, but also artist-run spaces such as Eastern Bloc.”
Other cutting edge efforts made by Art Matters’ creative team this year include a promotional DVD, which more adequately represents not only traditional images, but also video clips and sound bytes.
Collaboration and solidarity have been the team’s goal this year, as Barndt stated that his main concerns were to add “an extra comfort level so students can take the opportunity that is Art Matters to network with other Concordia artists, learn about the administrative side of creating art shows, and gain important professional experience.”
When asked what he hoped this year’s festival would achieve, Barndt said the aims were threefold. “We want this to allow students to come together and display professionally, while learning a sense of collectivity. Also, we think this experience will enable these emerging artists to add a new energy to the city by not only making art, but being able to organize it and make it accessible for the public. In turn, this should build up the art community.”
Art Matters 8 runs Feb. 29 to March 15 at over 30 venues throughout Montreal. Visit http://artmatters.concordia.ca/ for more information.