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Three students to represent U of S at art exhibition in Montreal

Posted on 2018-06-26 in Arts & Culture, Students & Campus Life

Artwork by (from left) Diana Roelens, Cristine Andrew-Stuckel and Tia Furstenberg

By Shannon Boklaschuk

Three University of Saskatchewan undergraduate students will have the opportunity to display their artwork in a professional gallery exhibition in Montreal this summer.

The Fresh Paint/New Construction show at the Art Mûr commercial gallery is now in its 14th edition. The project showcases the talents of young Canadian painters and sculptors, offering them an opportunity to show their work in a professional setting alongside the work of their peers from other parts of the country.

In January, Art Mûr asked the U of S and a number of other Canadian universities to nominate some of their best student painters and sculptors. The gallery juried the submissions it received to make a final selection of about 55 artists nationwide.

On Art Mûr’s website, Fresh Paint/New Construction is described as “an exhibition providing an extensive survey of some of the newest and more interesting work” coming out of the art programs of 14 Canadian universities.

U of S students Cristine Andrew-Stuckel, Tia Furstenberg and Diana Roelens, who are studying studio art in the College of Arts and Science, are among the Canadian students who have been selected to show their work in Montreal. The 2018 edition of Fresh Paint/New Construction will run from July 14-Aug. 25, with the opening reception scheduled for July 14.

Andrew-Stuckel, who will have two paintings included in the show, said she is happy to represent the U of S.

“My husband and I have booked our trip and are planning on attending,” she said.

Andrew-Stuckel said her work is influenced by many of the artists she studies in art history and in lectures and presentations in painting class, including Willem de Kooning, David Salle, Chuck Close, Judy Pfaff and J.M.W. Turner, as well as contemporary Canadian artists Melanie Authier and Martin Golland. She said her U of S professors are also a “huge inspiration.”

“When my senior painting professor, Allyson Glenn, notified me that she had nominated me for this competition, I was thrilled. When I received the email from Art Mûr, I was really excited. It is a big boost to the confidence to be selected for a juried art show,” she said.

“Preparing the proposal for the competition—and later, the packaging and arrangement of shipping—was an important experience for all of us. After all, once we graduate we will be applying for these types of opportunities on a regular basis.”

U of S art students (from left): Diana Roelens, Cristine Andrew-Stuckel and Tia Furstenberg

Andrew-Stuckel said she has had the opportunity to experiment as part of her painting studies at the U of S during the past year. She is currently working with a grid to create a pixelated effect that explores themes of memory and identity.

“The works that (were) selected for the show are an example of this; they are scenes from my tiny hometown in Ontario, and they question whether memories of childhood are sometimes considered through rose-coloured glasses,” she said.

Furstenberg, another U of S art student, said she was “absolutely delighted” when she found out three of her oil paintings would be included in Fresh Paint/New Construction. She described the upcoming show as “a great opportunity for young, emerging artists,” and said she is thankful for the support of the College of Arts and Science’s Department of Art and Art History and its professors.

“I would describe my work as calm yet expressive. I love the play of movement versus stillness, sharp versus blurry. I enjoy impasto—painting thick—and how a brushstroke can indicate time, depending how fast or slow it’s made,” said Furstenberg.

“My love of the outdoors has a huge influence on my work, as my subject matter and palette is centred on nature and, specifically, how it changes and moves—much like our human lives. I’m fascinated by the emotions an artist can elicit from their viewer, simply by using certain colours or the speed and size of a brush’s mark.”

Roelens, a third-year student, will also have her paintings on view. She said her landscapes are done in a contemporary, modern style, while her still life is more traditional.

“In these paintings, water, wetland preservation and water conservation is the overall theme. Three of the landscapes are part of a series called Toxic Cocktails (and) refer to the threat of toxins, which could be chemical or oil spills on our wetlands and waterways,” Roelens said.

“The other landscape is more about the everyday beauty that we pass on the highway and, for the most (part), take for granted—the reflections and serenity of sloughs and ditches. The still life features a water bottle—another testament to something which shouldn’t be necessary, but in some communities is a critical essential,” she said.

“The environment is a big influence on my work—what we have, what was before and what are the current and potential issues that threaten our landscapes and water sources. I am also drawn to portraiture and abstract painting and these influences are often evident in my work.”

Roelens said she was honoured to have her artwork nominated by Glenn for inclusion in the exhibition, noting she is “really excited to have it recognized by Fresh Paint.”

“It has been a privilege to be able to study studio art and it has given me the opportunity to really develop and explore new ways of expressing myself through various mediums,” she said.


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