Reading Time: 2 minutes

Students paint pictures of movement and dance at Walk of Arts

Kajahni Tharmarajan | Fulcrum Contributor

THE UNIVERSITY OF Ottawa’s Community Life Service (CLS) held its seventh annual Walk of Arts competition on campus Oct. 4, drawing in 32 students to show off their artistic talents.

“This is the best turnout yet, and what a beautiful day to have it,” said Marc Duval, director of CLS and one of the judges of the competition.

The weather certainly was cooperative that day as contestants from a variety of faculties let their creativity run wild on the outdoor walkway in front of 90 University.

Students were each given a 24- by 36-inch canvas, paint, paintbrushes, two hours, and the theme of the event, “Dance your shoes off!” Participants then let loose as they scrambled to get their ideas onto a big white board. The artists were asked to contribute to the theme of movement and dance in their paintings.

“You could just see the fear on everyone’s faces,” U of O psychology major Jacquie Dunn commented afterward. “That big blank canvas can be so intimidating.”

The students certainly got over that intimidation. It didn’t take long before participants, alone and in pairs, started to create diverse emblems of vibrant colours and figures. Passersby stopped on their way to classes to admire the various artistic interpretations of ballerina figures, abstract shapes, and lively landscapes.

Cash prizes were awarded to the top three paintings. “The judging was based on originality and concordance of the painting with the theme,” said organizer Melanie Reville.

The top prize of $400 was awarded to partners Zineb Adref, an economics major, and Hawraa Bachir, a psychology major. Adref and Bachir’s piece depicted a ballerina in New York City and encompassed the painstaking hours of training and sweat that inevitably goes into art.

“It’s not your typical ballerina,” said Bachir. “It’s someone who worked their way up—a ghetto ballerina, if you will.”

Adref and Bachir’s winning artwork will be installed at the InfoService office.

An award of $300 was given to second-place winner Vincent Kember, an education student. Kember described his piece as a “contemporary impression of movement,” displaying a club scene with dynamic action and colour while focusing on a circled group of diverse dancers.

A $200 award was given to visual arts major Alejandra Velasquez for placing third. Velasquez was particularly resourceful in using the spatula technique to create a three-dimensional background for her portrait of an urban ballerina.

“I decided to substitute the traditional ballet slippers with black boots to add an edgy feel,” she said.

The student’s choice award of $100 went to accounting student Sarah Niu.

The annual contest welcomes students from all disciplines and faculties to share their hidden talents and explore their artistic passions.