Poster art and the relationship between artists and the community groups is a hallmark of Montreal’s streets. Made famous by the silkscreens of Seripop and Jack Dylan’s comics, Montreal street art provides a great deal of aesthetic appeal to buildings, mailboxes, and other surfaces.
But poster art is minimal on McGill’s campus because of complicated rules and regulations surrounding postering, according to SSMU clubs and services rep Jose Diaz, who also sits on Queer McGill’s executive board as the social coordinator.
“On campus we [Queer McGill] do poster, but because it is not centralized, it’s always a pain in the ass,” said Diaz. “Certain buildings have their own rules and a certain society handling posters within that building.”
For example, to poster in the engineering complex – which includes the Macdonald Harrington, McConnell Engineering, Trottier, and Wong buildings – organizations must obtain permission from SSMU’s Post It service, the Engineering Students’ Society, or the Dean of Engineering office. Printing posters can also be challenging for clubs with limited budget, and putting them up can be challenging during snowy winter months.
SSMU is hoping its new web site will give student groups space to advertise.
Samantha Cook, SSMU Vice-President of Clubs and Services believed it could provide a singular forum for information about clubs and events. The new site, which was launched on Wednesday, and will be completed in the next few weeks, will feature an online events calendar.
Cook recognized that without an area designated for posters familiar to all students, it can be challenging for groups to get the word out.
“It is hard that we have had no centralized poster board on campus. We do have the SSMU bulletin boards, but people don’t necessarily make sure to go by there to see what’s up,” she said.
Still, some students believe that the SSMU web site cannot provide the same kind of avenue for artistic expression as posters can. Caroline Dutka, U0 Arts, said a public bulletin would be a catalyst for increased artistic output at McGill.
“If there was a forum, or a bulletin board, it would probably be easier for people who want to get involved in the art aspect of poster-making to partner with a different club – it’s also a place where you could potentially see other people’s work. It could be a mishmash of getting ideas from other people – like a constant art show,” Dutka said.