Grading faculty art

by | Mar 20, 2015 | A&E

Charlotte Morritt-Jacobs

Humber’s Visual and Digital Arts faculty is living up to the college’s promotional tag “We are Storytellers” during the annual faculty art exhibition

The University of Guelph-Humber Gallery welcomed roughly 150 guests on March 10 for the opening of Rubric, which features new works by VADA’s program faculty.

Each faculty member produced four works that addressed individual creative concerns relative to notions of process, multiplicity and narrative.

“We created four sections of criteria that would function as a rubric,” said Noni Kaur, VADA program coordinator. “The moment we thought of the rubric we decided that the students would be grading our work and providing feedback.”

Instructor art reviews are a lively affair for the students in the program, Kaur said.

“It creates a platform to engage in a critical discourse about the work and dig deeper—any feedback is always good feedback,” she said.

Kristia Dion, second-year VADA student, said she enjoyed Rubric because it allowed her to get to know her professors on a more equal level as artists after hearing how they felt about their work.

Similarly, Kristin Wilkinson, Humber Visual and Digital Arts alumna said that she was able to match the artwork to the personality of the artists.

“You can tell which ones are quiet and technical, the ones that are abstract, and which ones are rather kooky, in a fun way,” she said.

The program’s courses direct students to focus on producing works with strong narratives and concepts.

The program challenges students to think critically about projects by asking questions like “who is the audience and what kind of emotion does the artist want to resonate in their audience?” and “what will the artist get out of the audience?” Kaur said.

Despite the time spent using sophisticated software and the effort it takes to plan a piece, some students at the event raised their concerns over stereotypes still attached to digital art.

“Sometimes I find it hard for people to understand that digital art is an art form, just as traditional artwork is an art form. Many argue that digital art isn’t art because it is done with a computer,” Wilkinson said.

She even admitted to having that belief before she started working with digital art.

“Digital art seems to be viewed as a sort of sci-fi form of art by most people, (featuring) very technical, almost robotic imagery,” Wilkinson said.

After she began exploring, she said she realized she not only manipulated images, creating surreal and abstract art, she created beautiful realistic portraits and vast landscapes that looked like paintings.

Kaur reiterated that digital art acts as a personal and visual language that uses different support materials to convey ideas.

All artists featured will receive their rubrics with comments at the end of the exhibition.

Rubric is open to the public weekdays from 12 p.m. – 5 p.m. until April 1, 2015.