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Collaborative effort seeks to display students’ work along high-traffic pedestrian area

Patricia-Joy Crosby | Fulcrum Contributor

Photo by Justin Labelle

STUDENT ARTISTS ACROSS campus are getting a chance to showcase their creations downtown on Sparks Street.

A collaboration between the Students’ Association of the Faculty of Arts (SAFA), the Visual Arts Student Association (VASA), and the Sparks Street Mall has put out a call to artists at the University of Ottawa to display their art throughout the downtown pedestrian street.

The preliminary showcase will take place Dec. 3 at Café Alt from 6 to 8 p.m.

The project was inspired by an executive member from the Human Kinetics Student Association who brought the idea to SAFA. Sparks Street Mall was looking for local artwork to benefit and beautify the community, so it was the perfect opportunity for SAFA and VASA to help student artists gain exposure.

The Sparks Street Mall showcase aims to help students’ work be seen in downtown Ottawa and to bridge the gap between the University of Ottawa and the larger Ottawa public. Sparks Street Mall is one of the city’s busiest streets during the day, with many people passing through on their way to work, shop, or eat. It’s a rare opportunity for students to have their creative work displayed in such a high-traffic area.

“Any form of art takes time and effort, and to have it showcased in such a high-traffic public place is such a cool and rewarding opportunity,” Jenna Naulls, president of SAFA, said in an email to the Fulcrum.

“I also think it brings the University of Ottawa and the Ottawa community at large closer together, because everyone will be able to experience the work that students here are doing,” she said. “It’ll definitely also add a new level of beauty to the streets—something everyone can enjoy.”

The Sparks Street Mall is looking to display a variety of art forms and has no restrictions on the artistic arrangements that students may submit. Attendees of the showcase at Café Alt can expect photography, paintings, video displays, slideshows, posters, sculptures, and more, as well as a live DJ.

Thus far, the showcase has generated lots of interest from students in multiple faculties. Naulls said SAFA is excited about the variety.

“Love for art, and creating art, is not exclusive to our faculty,” she said.

SAFA also runs another initiative that has Café Alt hosting student artwork on a month-to-month basis; the organization hopes that some of the students submitting art to the Sparks Street opportunity will have the chance to participate in Café Alt’s displays as well.

Students interested in participating in the Sparks Street Mall showcase are invited to contact Jenna Naulls at by Nov. 30 to register.


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