Back for their second year, Museum of WesternU Artists takes the stage this month in the University Community Centre for all to see. The two-day event will take place on March 16 and the following week on March 23 in the Community Room.
MoWA, a wordplay on New York's well-known MoMA, is an initiative started by the leadership and academic mentorship program’s first-year committee in association with Global China Connections. One of MoWA’s main goals is to highlight student artists.
“We wanted to make sure we brought in Western students who have any sort of passion for art from any faculty,” says Olivia Ghosh, LAMP first-year committee leadership chair. “We wanted to really connect students and the Western community through art.”
People can walk through the event and observe the art as spectators, or bid on the student artwork in a silent auction. Artwork will be hung on easels and specialized sheets for viewing.
The artwork will be primarily visual, including installations and sculptures. However, there isn't exactly a restriction on the art MoWA will accept.
“We’re not going to narrow it down to any medium of art,” says Ghosh. “There are so many variations of art and we’d like anyone to come out.”
Last year’s event hosted around 125 pieces, presenting MoWA with a struggle to put up all of the incoming artwork. Despite this, the organization really strives to publicize the artists that donate their pieces.
“We don't just promote the event on Facebook, but we also feature artists and different pieces before and after the event to showcase them,” says LAMP leadership chair coordinator Jeremy Ho.
Second-year medical sciences student Marc Lawrence, who donated seven pieces from his photography portfolio to MoWA, really feels this student support.
“Seeing Western’s response to art made by fellow students from various programs and backgrounds was incredibly rewarding, especially for the hours and energy spent behind the scenes,” says Lawrence.
Lawrence’s work came about over several years and countries with no intention of being sold. One of the reasons he donated his work was because he felt it was an opportunity for student artists to get their work out and their names noticed.
However, the event extends beyond student talent. Partnered with Art for AIDS International, MoWA seeks to incorporate a charitable component through a third day of art.
“We like the student concept, but we also wanted to target people in the local community,” says Ho. “This is for local professionals and we’re hoping to target a demographic that has a disposable income.”
This additional event involves a night at The Wave on April 1, open to the London community. The pieces will be different from the UCC event, larger and worth more money, appealing largely to an older demographic.
“Prior to the event last year, I had never placed a monetary value on my art,” says Lawrence. “I think the best part is knowing that the money raised through our art goes to support a worthy cause like Art for Aids.”
MoWA’s three events over the next few weeks hope to promote student artists while supporting a necessary cause. Taking this dual approach to Western art, MoWA hopes to help those in the local and international community.