Given the shifting nature of life on campus recently, it’s hard to think of a better title for this year’s Visual Arts BFA exhibit than Subject to Change. Featuring the work of 32 graduating artists whose academic experience has been very much that since 2020, there’s definitely a heightened sense of excitement for this year’s show, running April 15 to 24 in the visual arts building.
“This is the first exhibit open to the public since our 2019 edition,” notes Visual Arts chair and exhibit supervisor Cedric Bomford. “It’s fair to say the occasion is one we are anticipating with a strange mix of excitement and anxiety. This feeling also flows through the pieces the students have worked so hard to create over the past year of on-again/off-again access and restrictions.”
The exhibit kicks off with a gala opening night celebration, starting at 7pm Thursday, April 14.
Finding the positive in a pandemic
While the Faculty of Fine Arts was able to offer the highest number of in-person/on-campus classes during the pandemic, graduating Visual Arts student Joshua Wallace managed to put a positive spin on his online classes. “I feel like I was able to work more, as I didn’t have to run across campus to other classes,” he says.
Wallace also cleverly put his CERB money to work by investing in supplementary online painting classes, which allowed him to greatly expand his creative practice. “I’d be at home studying like crazy, then come to the studio and apply what I learned. My work changed a lot because of that.”
Originally from Vernon BC, Wallace came into the visual arts program with a focus on figurative and landscape painting in acrylic, but now primarily doing portraiture in oils. He’s also been working as a gallery assistant at downtown’s Madrona Gallery for the past three years; owned by fine arts alumnus Michael Warren, Madrona focuses on contemporary and history Canadian art—an ideal job for an emerging artist. His immediate plans after graduation? “Keep exploring, keep trying new things,” he says.
Visual Arts student Joshua Wallace
Tour the exhibit online
One advantage of having both the 2020 and 2021 BFA shows only viewable online was an increased familiarity with creating digital exhibitions—a skill the BFA show student organizers have once again put to use, as Subject to Change will also be made available again as a walk-through 3D Matterpoint tour.
A diversity of artistic practices—ranging from painting and sculpture to photography, installations and video—will be on view in both the exhibition and accompanying artist book.
“We’re very excited to be hosting the public back into our building for this, the most important art event of the year on campus,” says Bomford.
Subject to Change runs 9am-6pm daily April 15-24 throughout UVic’s Visual Arts building