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Art Matters: 10 shows to see

March 3 - 27: Concordia's student-run art and performance festival takes over the city
February 21, 2018
By Travis Wysote

Grand Bateau by artist Colas Eko from the exhibition Out of Balance Grand Bateau by artist Colas Eko from the exhibition Out of Balance

With ten exhibitions, seventeen curators, and over seventy artists, North America’s premiere student-run undergraduate art festival will once again shine a spotlight on Concordia-based artists, performers and curators.

Starting March 3, fine arts students will spend the month presenting intellectual and aesthetic delights to galleries and artist-run spaces across the city.

This year, Art Matters organizers have focused on interactivity and student involvement, says Diana Tapia, the festival's outreach coordinator and a 4th year animation student.

“By this, I mean we've encouraged students to be curators, artists, speakers, performers, or volunteers,” says Diana. “And especially, we want them coming out to visit all the shows and see what’s going on in the Concordia fine arts community!”

Here are the festival's 10 shows that should be added to your cultural calendar.

1)   (Dis)CONNECT (March 3, 7 p.m. – 1 .am.  Espace POP, 5587 Du Parc Ave.)  

Kicking off the festival as part of Nuit Blanche’s (re)MIX exhibition, (Dis)CONNECT uses scientific and technological innovation to breathe new life into the embodiment of artistic experience.

“This will be a fun one night event, part of our traditional Nuit Blanche participation. The artists are all interdisciplinary and they mix science and technology with art,” says Tapia.

new fortitude by artist Florence Yee in the exhibition Tender Teeth new fortitude by artist Florence Yee in the exhibition Tender Teeth

2) BLUEPRINTS (March 5 – 16, VAV Gallery, 1395 René Levesque Blvd. W.)  

Blueprints contemplates the creative dialogue between artists and artworks as a process mediated by the vicissitudes of time.

“This is a collaboration with Festival Art Souterrain at the VAV. It reflects on time – for instance, when do you know when an artwork is finished and ready to show?”

3) Tender Teeth (March 6 – 17, Mainline Gallery, 3095 St Laurent Blvd.)

An intimate exhibition which explores concepts of softness using materials whose softness is ambivalent and unconventional at best.

“Anything and everything you think about as soft and how the notion of softness might surpise you – it might not be so soft at all! There will also be a performance involving dancers and musicians.”

conceal reveal by artist Le Lin from the exhibition bookworks conceal reveal by artist Le Lin from the exhibition bookworks

4) bookworks (March 3 - 17, Mile End Gallery, 5345 Du Parc Ave.)

bookworks approaches the artist book as an artwork unto itself. It asks the challenging question “what defines a book?”

5) Myth Dealing (March 5 – 18, Espace POP, 5587 Du Parc Ave.)

An exhibition envisioning the power of myth and mythmaking as a modality of artistic production and consumption which finds expression through repetition and reinvention.

bookworks and Myth Dealing both hold their vernissages on the same night, March 9th. They’re only one block away from each other, so you should take advantage and see both these amazing shows.”

Float by artist Carmen Fox from the exhibition it’s all i have to bring today Float by artist Carmen Fox from the exhibition it’s all i have to bring today

6) it’s all i have to bring today (March 9 – 24, Studio XX, 4001 Berri St.)

Seven artists come together to explore vistas of artistry and self-care inspired by the work of Emily Dickinson.

“A group of studio artists will present drawings and sculptures that deal with artists’ emotional labour and struggles.”

7) Out of Balance (March 8 – 18, Galerie Espace 4844 St. Laurent Blvd.)

Giving expression to both the destructive and generative dimensions of disequilibrium, this exhibition explores, notions of uncertainty, risk, and contingency as avenues of creativity and imaginative potential.

“This show looks at themes of complete opposites: growth and decay, art and craft, modernity and technology and so on. Plus, there’s a giant boat!”

Stephen Shore's Diabetic Breakfast by artist CubeAndre Stephen Shore's Diabetic Breakfast by artist CubeAndre from the exhibition The Art of Sinking

8) The Art of Sinking (March 12 – 24, GHAM + DAFE, 3425 St. Catherine St. E.)

The Art of Sinking reconsiders the (faux) seriousness of artistic practice and production by subverting its conventions using comedy and a dose of radical honesty.

“This is about comedy in art. It’s a little sarcastic and a fun look at anti-climactic art.”

9) Art Crush in Time (March 16 – 27, articule, 262 Fairmount Ave. W.)

Delves into the largely unrecognized role that marking, inscription, and other notational systems play in the creative process. This, the exhibition’s pieces draw attention to the interactive and relational dialogue which unfolds in the spaces between the body of an observer and the body of an artwork.

“Art Crush usually brings together visual arts, music and dance. Here they’re doing a special show with us examining the performative nature of art.”

10)  pedagogy (March 14 – 24, Espace Projet, 353 Villeray St.)

An exhibition emphasizing the learning and educational experiences which emerge from the process of artistic production. pedagogy gives expression to the intellectual dimensions activated by the artist’s drive towards artistic creation.

“Their main goal is to start a dialogue in the community about the relationship between learning about art and making art. They're planning to hold workshops that artists, curators and the public can attend.”

Concordia’s Art Matters needs an army of volunteers to help run the festival. If you want to get involved, contact

Check out the full Art Matters 2018 festival program or follow them on Facebook.  

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