Visual arts and performances come together at the Sensitivity exhibit

Nine Concordia students will be presenting their work at this 4-day event

Concordia’s Painting and Drawing Student Association (PDSA) is wrapping up the winter semester with a multidisciplinary exhibition. For this event, they decided to collaborate with Studio 7, a club from the university’s contemporary dance department. The organizers selected artists from both disciplines who will be presenting their work at Galerie 2112 from May 3 to 7. 

Titled Sensitivity, the exhibition brings together work from five visual artists and four dance creators. “The goal was for two different art forms to meet in an exhibition to create a dialogue between the artworks, but also to create a dialogue between the art pieces and the theme,” said Justine Bellefeuille, events coordinator for the PDSA. For Bellefeuille and the other organizers, the theme of sensitivity came about because it related to both art forms. 

The theme of sensitivity is interpreted in many different ways by the artists submitting their work. For Bellefeuille and the PDSA team, it was “about touch, about textures, everything that is related to the senses.” But the event organizer also saw a link with the current context. “I think that it is also unavoidable to mention the pandemic. It created an atmosphere in the arts field that makes everything more precarious, more sensitive.”

One of the selected artists, Elyanne Desaulniers, decided to apply to the Sensitivity exhibit because the theme really spoke to her practice. She describes herself as a multidisciplinary artist who mixes several mediums in all her creations. Desaulniers left Trois-Rivières to start a degree in Studio Arts at Concordia this year. While she currently focuses on painting, collages, drawing, ceramics and photography, poetry is often central to her work. 

Desaulniers relates to the theme of sensitivity as it informs her creative process but also the way she sees her relationship with the audience. “My goal as an artist is that people who look at my work feel an emotion, a sensation, resentment, anything,” explained the artist, adding that “if someone is completely indifferent while looking at one of my artworks, I did not complete my mission.”

The artist will be presenting a diptych titled I am a wandering vessel 1 and 2. Desaulniers was inspired by her experience as a newcomer in Montreal. She created the arts piece based on poems she wrote on her way to school. The work speaks to the feeling of being a stranger in this city that is her new home. “The city is really strange for me and it’s not the place where I’m most comfortable, so I tried to reverse this by giving attention to the most interesting details instead,” said the artist.

On the performance side, Santiago Lopez will be presenting a solo performance inspired by paintings he created. A first-year theater student, Lopez centres his artistic practice on dance, film, and theatre creations. For the exhibition, the emerging choreographers perform A letter to my multiple existences, a piece based on a painting that has been recreated. Lopez first made the artwork when he was 13 and painted a new version of it last year using his latest life experiences as inspiration for the adaptation.

“This is basically a solo I made in order to create this kind of sensitive bridge as I call it between my past identity and my possible future identity,” explained Lopez. The dance solo he presents is inspired by the shapes and lines on the newest painting.

The artist also wishes to encourage the audience to take on a journey similar to his, exploring the differences between their past and present selves, and embracing the transformation we all go through in life. 

For Éléonore Emond, coordinator for Studio 7 and dance curator for the exhibition, the event answers to a need for more collaborative work between Concordia’s Fine Arts departments. Studio 7 organizes performances every month at the contemporary dance department. They invite students from all arts disciplines to participate. This year particularly, the team wanted to encourage a variety of performances to be presented, therefore the event was an opportunity to fulfill their larger mission.

The PDSA is a Concordia club dedicated to all Fine Arts students who are interested in painting or drawing. The group organizes events all year long including talks with artists, workshops, and exhibitions.

Five visual arts pieces by Desaulniers, and artists Dan Yang, Maurane, Darius Yeung, and Aimée Lebeau will be showcased from May 3 to 7. At the vernissage night on May 4, all four performances will be showcased. This includes the solo performance by Lopez, and a solo improvisation by Marie-Laurence Deschênes who will be inspired live by another artwork in the space. There will also be duos by Kristina Hilliard and Bronwyn Robert, as well as Eva Myers and Xdzunúm Danae Trejo Boles. Each performance will also be presented on one other night. The PDSA published the performance schedule on its Instagram page. The Sensitivity exhibition will happen at Galerie 2112 at 2112 Atateken St. 


Visuals courtesy Justine Bellefeuille and Elyanne Desaulniers


Timelines bridges the gap between artists

An intergenerational approach brings students and alumni together

A specific idea or theme is usually what draws artworks together in an exhibition. Timelines, on the other hand, is themeless. Held at Atelier Galerie 2112, in the Plateau, the show, organized by the Painting and Drawing Student Association (PDSA), features the works of 10 Concordia artists.

“The exhibition is about celebrating and showcasing the great works that are created by both students and alumni,” said Jose Guillermo Garcia Sierra, President of the PDSA.

Timelines functions like a mentorship program. “We paired each alumni with an undergraduate for them to meet and have a small mentorship relationship,” said Garcia Sierra.

The PDSA’s primary goal is to give students enriching opportunities at Concordia. Garcia Sierra added that while their focus lies on painting and drawing, they are not limited to the mediums. Student artists practicing a number of disciplines can participate in their workshops, events, and vernissages.

While the show itself does not feature a specific theme, the exhibited artists demonstrate a mutual interest in the notion of the environment. “We were mainly looking for individuals that were really committed to their craft,” said Garcia Sierra. “We focused on how excited and serious the people were going to take this project that we made.”

Vibrant blues and greens fill the canvas in Laura Douglas’ The Empty Place. The oil painting depicts an empty parking lot which contrasts with a lush green forest and makes a statement about nature’s reclamation of human-occupied spaces.

Alumnus Sylvia Trotter Ewens’ Untitled portrays a modern glass-paned building, a burning urban space and a forest fire. Inspired by artificiality and the natural landscape, Trotter Ewens work engages primarily with environmental ethics.

However, paintings are not the only works exhibited, Malachy Schwartz’s 3D printed sculpture, Textures #1, #2, #3, explores the permanence of the image and visual transformation. Each sculpture originates from a photograph. This notion of the manmade and the artificial is present in Schwartz’s project which further delves into the idea of landscapes and the relationship between natural and unnatural materials.

Aside from works centred around the natural environment, artists like alumni Rihab Essayh and Colas Eko investigate the interpersonal as a result of familial and societal environments. There is no doubt that regardless of the artists’ age or background, their works complement one another and allow for an enticing and visually stimulating experience.

Fine Arts students looking to have their work featured in a future exhibition can follow the PDSA’s social media pages for updates on submission dates.

Timelines is on display until February 19 at Atelier Galerie 2112, at 2112 Atateken. The gallery is open Tuesday to Sunday, from 12 to 6 p.m. Further information about the PDSA’s upcoming workshops and events can be found at /


Feature photo by Britanny Clarke

Exit mobile version