There are two Department of Visual Arts related shows happening this week that look to be well worth a visit.

Becky Cao

First up is cheerfultearful, an exhibit of new work by the students of Visual Arts painting professor Sandra Meigs‘ third-year painting class. Featuring work by nine students—Jesse Betman, Linnea Blum, Terri-Lynn Cayhill, Becky Cao, Nadine Halston, Carmen Low, Owen Mathieson, Jeffrey Sedun and Erin Shuttleworth—this brief exhibit is on now and runs through to Saturday, November 10, in the Audain Gallery in the Visual Arts building. Why wait for the annual BFA show in the spring? Check out student work now!

Also opening this week is the photography exhibit _backspace at the Slide Room Gallery. Curated by Visual Arts sessional instructor Tara Nicholson and featuring work by Visual Arts photography professor Vikky Alexander, _backspace also offers photos by the acclaimed likes of Stephen Waddell and Sarah Fuller. Alexander and Waddell are both featured in the 2012 Canadian Biennale at the National Gallery in Ottawa (on now till January 20, 2013) while Fuller will be included in Alberta’s 2013 Biennale. Also appearing in  _backspace are Elspeth Finlay, Johanne Hemond, Francis Sullivan and Selena Roberts.

Stephen Waddell

As curator Nicholson explains, photographs were selected from over 40 submissions, based not only on each artist’s response to the thematic concerns but also how their work paralleled the practices of the three internationally recognized artists invited to appear: Alexander, Fuller and Waddell.

_backspace signifies overlooked or forgotten spaces and eludes to a disengagement or desire to exit from everyday processes,” Nicholson says in the exhibit’s catalogue. “The physical and psychological borders between private and public space materialize within the work in this exhibition. _backspace investigates the idea of sanctuary in rural and urban space and the never-ending layers of ownership attached to many landmasses.”

_backspace opens 7:30pm, Friday November 9, at the Slide Room Gallery in the Vancouver Island School of Art, 2549 Quadra, and runs Monday to Friday 9am-5pm to December 10.