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Inside Art Side Out

An exploration of UTSC's annual arts exhibition
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Students at the annual Art Side Out event. KEN JONES/THE VARSITY
Students at the annual Art Side Out event. KEN JONES/THE VARSITY

UTSC’s annual Art Side Out ran from 11:00 am – 11:00 pm this past Thursday, October 9, showcasing visual art, musical performances, film, and more from students and others in the community.

It seemed like everywhere you went that day, there was art. The political piece Art As Resistance by Toronto Students For Justice in Palestine could be found in the Student Centre, and students’ paintings, drawings, and photographs lined the walls of the third floor hallway. 

While there was no shortage of art, there was a shortage of people. Many student had no idea Art Side Out was happening. “What even is Art Side Out?” asked student Linh Tang around 4:00 pm that afternoon, after the event had been happening for a few hours. Many people asked where you could get a program and where the art was located. Hewot Dawit, a first-year student, said, “I wish it was more publicized; I didn’t even know it was going on. It was happening all around me, though, so in a sense, I was forced to go.”

This was true — even though it was fairly empty outside, lots of art could be found inside if you knew where to look. In the Meeting Place, tables featured work from students in arts classes, such as Foundations in Studio. Featured student artist Maddy Nelson said, “Without the class, I wouldn’t have been motivated to put artwork in. It was pretty kick-ass.” The walls were lined with pieces such as a photography set entitled Why We Still Need Feminism by the Women’s Centre. There was also a wearable installation called Hung, Drawn, and Quartered by Lesley Hampton and Sarah Lowe — both students from UTM. The piece involved Lowe being wrapped in red material for hours on end. “This is our first time at Art Side Out, and we’ve gotten a really good response,” said Hampton.

There were also interactive pieces such as Wanderlust by Aspire Youth. Aliya Karmali from UTSG described Aspire Youth as “a creative hub for everything youth want to do.” In Wanderlust, people could place a dot on a giant map of where they would like to visit and then place a sticky note stating why they chose that place. Other interactive exhibits included The Wishing Wall by TedxUTSC, one of the few exhibits found outdoors.

Also found outside were the performances at the ARC quad that started later in the day. From solo performers like Henry Lu and Bollywood dancer Aasiyah Kevwala to bands like Soul Sistas, the performances were diverse and well-received by the audience.

The performances continued at Art Side Out After Dark, the evening component of the event. Performances from off-campus bands Crowns for Convoy, Plaitwrights, and Charleston Relay closed the night and wrapped up a long day of artistic excitement.