Concordia’s beloved Art Matters festival is kicking into gear for its 11th edition. This year, however, is special – it’s been ten years in the making.
On Thursday, February 10th, Art Matters unveiled its retrospective 10th anniversary publication at a stylish press cocktail on the second floor of the MB building. A few dozen art students – many of them curators of the upcoming shows – as well as a handful of press members nursed glasses of wine as they mingled and peered over the dapper booklets.
Assembled and designed by festival co-producer Stephanie Laoun, together with Sean Yendrys, a design “wizard” and art director for Art Matters, the turquoise booklets visually outline the evolution of the festival over a decade.
Over the years, Art Matters has been a showcase and platform for burgeoning talent in the university, providing student artists with professional experience and all-important exposure. At the same time, the entirely student-run, non-profit festival is a gift to our festival-loving city too. Over two weeks of innovative, multi-disciplinary art by more than 200 up-and-coming Montreal artists in local galleries throughout the city - and one “retrofit dumpster.” What’s there not to love?
This year features a not-to-miss opening party at Espace Reunion March 4th, plus exciting bands and DJ’s, musical “happenings”, and an event at Nuit Blanche called “Decadence”.
The student crew that has been toiling hard since the summer to bring us Art Matters was giddy over artists like Grimes, Pat Jordache, Roadsworth, and Andew W.K., among others, taking part.
At the press cocktail, the theme for this year’s festival was summed up by Laoun: “as we look back, we also look forward.” In the spirit of looking back, festival founder Julie Fowler, dubbed “the mother” of Art Matters, made a special trip from B.C. to speak about the festival’s humble beginnings. As it turns out, Art Matters started off as a one-day fundraiser for the Fine Arts Reading Room which was, at the time, in quite the dilapidated state. Fowler laughed over what was then a more serious concern: a leaking ceiling and computers roughly a quarter century old.
Of course, Art Matters went on to do much more than fix the Reading Room’s sad ceiling. It united the vast array of disciplines under the Fine Arts umbrella and put the Concordia Fine Arts department, and most importantly, its students, on the map.
The 11th edition kicks off on March 1st with three vernissages, and runs till March 19th.
Check out artmattersfestival.com for festival information, artist statements, and dates.