Graduate school has traditionally been a place of academic and professional growth. As graduate students fully immerse themselves into their research, their world gradually narrows down to the scope of their research environment. Students may become disconnected with artistic hobbies and talents that were once practised on a regular basis as they progress through their graduate student life. This project focuses on bringing art back in the graduate student’s perspective and gives students the opportunity to reawaken with their artistic side.
Last year, the Gallery of Graduate Arts received overwhelmingly positive responses from the general McMaster community. Students, faculty, and staff were impressed by the artwork displayed at the gallery and amazed to learn that there were graduate students who possessed these skills beyond their research capacity. However, as beautiful as the feedback was, what really made this gallery worthwhile were the responses we received from the graduate artists themselves:
“The Gallery of Graduate Arts connected me with other student artists (I didn’t know any before!) and facilitated a conversation about school and art that inspired me to keep up with my artwork. I loved hearing about how other students balance (and even combine) art and academics, and I even learned a few new art techniques I am planning to try soon.”
– Ana Kovacevic, 2nd Year MSc, Kinesiology
“I was honoured to be an exhibiting artist at the Gallery of Graduate Arts last year. This event provided the platform for me to express myself, share my creativity, and engage with other artists. I had been trying to get back into my artwork for years; the Gallery of Graduate Arts was exactly the push that I needed to jump back in. Not only was the event a huge success, but it facilitated lasting connections with other artists in the field of science. Through these connections, I am remaining engaged in art and incorporating it into my life more regularly.”
-Tanya Miladinovic, 3rd year PhD, Medical Sciences
“I had the opportunity to reconnect with art two years ago when I took part in the amateur graduate art exhibit led by the school of graduate studies. This actually encouraged me to enroll into art classes so that I could improve and broaden my skills. I submitted my recent works to the Gallery of Graduate Arts this past October and all of the positive feedback I got as an artist. This event has truly inspired me to continue making art and staying connected with this part of me”
-Manreet (Sonia) Padwal, 3rd year PhD, Medical
To learn that the gallery provided the opportunity for other artists such as Ana, Tanya, and Sonia to reconnect with their artistic side is what our team considers the true achievement of this event. Not only has the event revived their inspiration to continue their art, but it has introduced them to a new demographic of graduate students who express themselves scientifically and artistically. We believe this type of interdisciplinary engagement will promote fruitful conversations amongst students that extend beyond academia, which will allow them to thrive in whichever trajectory they pursue.
This year, we are going to reconnect with graduate artists at McMaster by continuing the tradition of the Gallery of Graduate Arts. The purpose of the gallery, which is the prodigy of the Amateur Art Exhibition (established in 2014 by Irena Radisevic) is to encourage graduate students to pursue their artistic talents alongside their graduate careers. In order to achieve this, we plan carry out the following objectives:
- Organize a space and atmosphere to facilitate an art gallery at McMaster University that is open to graduate students, faculty, staff and the general public.
- Invite graduate and faculty artists to share their experiences about their artwork and how it has impacted their lives and their research.
- Organize a space and atmosphere to facilitate an art gallery that is open to graduate students, faculty, staff and the general public.
To carry out this objective, we will reserve a time and location for the gallery to be held during the fall term. Last year we held this event at the McMaster Heersink Reading Pavilion, which was a fantastic experience. This year we aim to organize this event off-campus in a city venue or gallery, as we believe this would create a greater emphasis on art and research in the McMaster graduate community and reach out to the greater Hamilton community. Alongside this effort, we will promote the gallery to graduate students across McMaster University through social media and department emails. We will invite students to submit pictures of their artwork whether it is in the form of sketches, paintings, sculptures – all forms of artwork will be welcome.
- Invite graduate and faculty artists to share their experiences about their artwork and how this has impacted their lives and their research.
As part of the gallery, we will invite the participating graduate students and faculty to be guest speakers at the event. They will be encouraged to share their experiences and describe how they incorporate it in their everyday lives. We would also like to take it a step further by inviting a speaker who combines both art and research on a day-to-day basis in their careers to highlight the importance of interdisciplinary trajectories. Examples of these careers are medical illustrators, knowledge translators, and authors, to name a few.
- Yasmeen Mezil, PhD, Medical Sciences, Artist Communication Lead
- Manreet (Sonia) Padwal, PhD, Medical Sciences, Event Planning Lead
- Tanya Miladinovic, PhD, Medical Sciences, Gallery Promotion Lead
We believe that this event will lead to an increased sense of community between graduate students on a creative and professional level. We expect graduate students to gain a better sense of confidence in their artistic abilities and ultimately, the Gallery of Graduate Arts will motivate them to pursue their arts and talents whether it is as a hobby or in supplement to their research, without feeling that they are stepping away from their academic or research path. We also think this is a great opportunity for students from different disciplines to interact with one another and exchange ideas. We are now in a world where everything is interdisciplinary, therefore we think the possibilities are endless.
May 2017 – June 2017
- Recruit additional members to create a gallery planning committee
- Browse and communicate with venues off-campus
July 2017 – August 2017
- Promote event to McMaster graduate students, recruit artists
- Seek faculty, graduate students and professionals to be guest speaker
September 2017 – October 2017
- Organize event catering
- Purchase supplies (easels, frames, labels)
- Purchase gifts for participants and speakers
- Gallery of Graduate Arts