Four UBC MFA students are taking over downtown Vancouver’s Satellite Gallery with an exhibit that starts off without a single finished work — they’re making it up as they go along.
Over the course of two and a half weeks, visitors to the gallery can watch as the artists collaborate to create an entire exhibit, called Extended Party Mix. Guests are also invited to pitch in on the collaboration.
The artists, Eric Angus, Jamey Braden, Anyse Ducharme and Jessica Gnyp, are all in their first year of UBC’s master of fine arts program; the gallery’s team invited them to do an experimental show where everything gets created in the gallery.
Ducharme says she’s excited — and nervous — to have people come and watch her and her classmates make art together.
“And to interact with us, I hope!” she said. “If anybody can contribute, that would be very cool.”
They’re starting off with ideas and themes, but no concrete works to show right off the bat. Their art will be responding to their environment, the Satellite Gallery’s distinctive setting above the Five Sixty nightclub. The artists will incorporate themes relating to the club experience. They’re hoping to use sounds from the nightclub and play with the reverberations that rise up from the club every night. They might also work in specialty cocktails, beer cans and red plastic cups.
The artists all bring different skills to the collaboration, with backgrounds that include photography, video, soft sculpture and sound design. Part of the experience for visitors will be about seeing how the artists work together.
“It will be performative, in a sense,” Ducharme said. “It puts our artistic process on display.”
“It’s like inviting people into your studio,” Gnyp said.
Angus says it’s partly up to the audience to determine what kind of art will be produced, as they can interact with the artists throughout the exhibition.
“People will make it the experience that it is, so the more people that come, the better it will be,” he said. He points out that art gallery guests are often brimming with opinions, and now they’ll have a chance to tell the artists what they think while the work is still being created — and even suggest ideas. “We might just try it out,” he said.
He’s looking forward to working with Ducharme, Gnyp and Braden as they maximize their potential by creating art together. “We can come up with so much more as four people than we could in our studios by ourselves, so it’s opening new doors and then bringing in the public will open even more,” he said.
“It’s going to be fun — an adventure,” said Angus, grinning. “That’s all we really know at this point.”
Extended Party Mix runs until May 2 at the Satellite Gallery at 560 Seymour Street (second floor), during gallery hours of noon to 6 p.m. There will be a closing reception the evening of May 2.