Culture | Stop studying and pull a more artistic all-nighter

AUS Nuit Blanche showcases students’ art

Nuit Blanche is a burgeoning international movement that has sprung up in cities all around the world in an effort to promote arts and culture. This phenomenon has found a receptive audience within Montreal. Once a year the city comes together for one night to celebrate the diversity of its artistic community. Although the citywide 2013 Nuit Blanche has already passed, the AUS Nuit Blanche is just about to kick off.

Here at McGill, Nuit Blanche focuses on showcasing the fine arts side of university that is so often overlooked and undervalued. McGill has a thriving arts scene and Nuit Blanche aims to promote and encourage its growth. Nuit Blanche invites students to explore the diverse fine arts initiatives that are such an integral part of campus experience. The Fine Arts Council (FAC) will be presenting the fifth annual Nuit Blanche this Thursday, March 28 in the SSMU building.

The FAC’s motto is “creating a community of fine arts where none existed before,” and Nuit Blanche plays an important role in that vision. Planning an event of this scope that is cohesive and organized requires a great deal of work. Caitlin Reid has helped coordinate Nuit Blanche in previous years and says, “This year, rather than delegating only three coordinators, the Fine Arts Council is working as a group, which allows us to make Nuit Blanche bigger and bolder than ever.” She emphasizes that the event has been adjusted to fit a more “compact time frame” which will allow “attendees to experience even more acts and exhibitions.”

Students will be able to enjoy a wide range of artistic exhibits and performances at Nuit Blanche. Representing the visual art scene, The Fridge Door Gallery will host a vernissage of student artwork and sculptures, while The Daily will put on a photography exhibition. In addition to the more conventional art displays, students can choose to experience interactive art. Carlyn Hopkins’ installation of live art will “involve making tape moulds of people and things.” She describes her art as “a mash-up of biology, psychology, and science, dealing with the external expression of one’s inner environment”. Saaraa Premji plans to explore the connection between nature and spirituality through the creation of “a painting in real-time.”

There will be a host of different musical performances, ranging from vocal ensembles to live bands. Students can expect to hear from three different a cappella groups – Chromatones, Tonal Ecstasy and Soulstice – each with their own unique take on group performance. Gert’s will also host a series of live band shows as part of CKUT’s Thursdays (A)Live.

Fleshing out the art scene with some literature, the VEG literary magazine and Steps will be putting on a reading interspersed with acoustic music, and McSWAY promises an exciting night of slam poetry. Those with a taste for drama can catch performances by the Arts Undergraduate Theatre Society or enjoy some skits courtesy of the McGill Improv team.

All this is just a taste of what Nuit Blanche has to offer with its diverse palette spanning the gamut of artistic expression. This event allows the different art groups at McGill to not only gain more exposure but also to come together into a unified community. By bringing together artists, musicians, and performers, Nuit Blanche exposes students to the thriving campus art scene just waiting to be discovered.