qmunicate conducted an e-mail interview with the Executive Committee of the Glasgow University Art Appreciation Society (GUAAS)
There are so many societies on campus dedicated to different forms of student art, that it is sometimes easy to get lost in what each of them does. Since January, my Facebook feed has been increasingly filled with a society I had never heard of before: GUAAS. I decided to contact the executive committee with some questions to find out what it was all about – and to share that information with you!
qmunicate: Can you give us a quick overview of your society and its aims?
GUAAS: The Arts Appreciation Society organises weekly events in the hope of exploring different aspects of the Glasgow art scene. These events include visiting exhibitions, films, music, and performing arts.
Through our society, we aim to bring people with similar interests together and help them discover new venues and lesser known cultural events in the city. This year, we have also made it our goal to support student artists by providing a platform for their work.
qmunicate: What inspired you to create the society?
GUAAS: The society was created a couple of years ago, but we all decided to join the committee because we wanted to be involved in introducing Glasgow students to Glasgow culture.
As to the pop-up exhibition, we created [your text here] around the theme of the student voice because what connects our artists is that they all have something to say, regardless of the medium they work in. Painting or print, photography or sketch, everything we make is a glimpse of who we are and how we perceive the world. We wanted to capture a snapshot of these artists, and give them the opportunity to present themselves to the public – for most, for the very first time.
qmunicate: Why do you think students’ artistic creations do not get a lot of coverage or appreciation?
GUAAS: There have been a series of initiatives to support student artists on campus in the past, but not recently. Though we know there are plenty of opportunities for students to practice fine arts, we felt that it was time to reintroduce a possibility for students to exhibit their work, just like there are societies dedicated to showcasing students’ performing arts talents and music skills.
qmunicate: What criteria do you use to select the art you exhibit?
GUAAS: We have made a selection based on works we thought complimented each other, and were careful to ensure that the selections covered a wide range of visual art forms and techniques. We really wanted to show how one artwork brings out something in the works it is placed next to. To that end, we chose a form of display that reflects the many ways in which the voices of the different artists blend and amplify each other. Like in collages, each work is strong on its own, but strengthened when surrounded by other works, to tell a visual story as a group.
qmunicate: What do you think student art can do for society? Or Why do you think it is important to exhibit student art?
GUAAS: Our years at university are a unique period in our lives, in which we have the time and the possibility to explore our talents and interests, outside as well as within the academic field. These explorations of who we are and what we have to say should be encouraged as much as possible because we are the future leaders, dreamers, innovators and creators, and we are becoming those people right now.
qmunicate: What can other students do to support young artists?
GUAAS: Spreading the word is critical and probably the easiest thing to do. Everyone has a particular network of friends, classmates, and other acquaintances, so if you come across someone you think is particularly talented or deserving of recognition let other people know. Through the various media outlets of the four student bodies we can reach thousands of students, as well as the people they are connected to. That is how we speak up, bring change about or support those that do that.
Of course, the thing to do right now is to come support our own artists at the opening night of [your text here] on the 23rd of March at The Project Café!