Photo cred- Concordia University
All programs at Concordia University have their own challenges but with a building like the VA, art students really have it rough. Concordia art students are faced with different struggles like not having enough studio or storage space for assignments. To add to this, the Concordia Visual Arts building on René Lévesque is literally falling apart, making school life even more difficult. With bad heating and air conditioning, disruptive construction and a sketchy elevator- it seems like art students are at a disadvantage. You would think that because the conditions of the facilities are already bad, students would play their role in being tidy and respectful of what littlewe do have. Wrong. So many art students take ownership of free studio space, ruin other students work and steal materials.
1. Art materials and supplies are too expensive
If you want good quality materials, you might as well quit buying groceries all semester long. A single tube of paint could cost up to 50$ and a canvas could cost over 150$. Students often compromise their ideas or even drop studio classes halfway through the year due to a lack of funds. A decent assignment in painting, sculpting and fibers could cost you well over 200$. Spending your paycheck on anything else other than art materials isn't an option, not unless you want decent grades. There are alternatives to spending your full paycheck like dumpster diving for used and recycled materials that could possible be salvaged for your next assignment.
2. Not nearly enough storage space
With the amount of students taking studio courses there definitely is not enough space for them to store their projects. Canvases as large as a classroom wall and sculptures weighing more than your own body, storage is a real struggle. If you finally build up enough courage to try and find a free spot in any of the painting storage rooms, you'll need to put on your helmet and elbow pads because walking through there is like playing a game of tetris. You'll need luck wedging your way through the tiniest crevice to store your painting.
3. Not nearly enough open studio space
With so many materials, need for space and reliance on school facilities to complete artwork, Concordia art students have no choice but to work on assignments at school. Considering that large amount of students who need to work in the wood and metal shops, print, ceramic, sculpture, drawing and painting studios, there is a lack of space. Free studios almost always filled with certain Concordia students who take ownership of specific corners. With that being said, many students are left without space to complete certain assignments.
4. Some students ruin and steal artwork
Either they don't have enough money to buy their own supplies or they forgot to do an assignment, some students will actually resort to stealing other students artworks that are left in storage spaces. Other students are careless and can be disrespectful towards the artwork of other students that they will step on, move or dirty their artwork.
5. Some students don't clean up after themselves
There are lazy people and of course, lazy art students. Being an art student requires messes and messes require cleaning but of course, some Concordia students feel that it is beyond them to clean up after themselves. Leaving wet paint on chairs and tables, leaving papers or scrap materials on floors some students are just dirty.
6. Disruptive construction
As students, you would expect to be able to learn in a quiet and calm environment but this is not the case if you're a Concordia art student. With renovations being done in the VA building and city construction all around the building, peace and quiet is apparently too much to ask for. As art students, concentration and a relaxing atmosphere are essential to creating an art piece.
7. Long critiques
Oh the joys of spending hours talking about artwork you don't care about! If you're an art student, you understand this pain. Most Concordia art classes are four hours long and when presentation time comes around, most professors dedicate two full classes for critiquing student work. That makes a whole eight hours of standing by each students artwork one at a time and talking about what works and what doesn't about the piece. Critiques are either scary or boring and sometimes useful but most of the time, way too long!
8. The VA building is falling apart
The old garage turned Concordia University building is home to all Concordia art students- a scary and dirty one. The Visual Arts building which was once a run-down garage and parking lot has been going through maintenance for far too long with little to no changes. Due to maintenance with the heating and air conditioning system, art students are faced with the decision to either wear their winter jackets or swim suits to class because it is either way too hot or way too cold. If you're lucky enough to catch the elevator working, you'll have work up the courage to step foot into it first because it squeaks and trembles which will have you questioning it.
9. Other faculties don't take art students seriously
Many Concordia students including those of JMSB think that they are better than Fine Arts students and aren't afraid to let it show. On the Spotted: Concordia University Facebook page, many members of different Concordia faculties have targeted the Fine Arts Faculty in the past. Art students often find themselves defending their program choices and career paths on a daily basis. So many people cannot comprehend the benefits and future career options of art students and therefore are compelled to think that their program is superior. Many Concordia students and of course, JMSB students often take pride in bashing and generalizing art students as being in purposeless programs with purposeless futures when in fact, they have no idea what they're saying.
10. Transportation of art projects
For Concordia art students, bigger is always better. Especially in studio courses you better be ready to go big or go home. With so many choices of materials and formats, more often than not the right choice is to create an artwork who's scale will stand out. This makes transportation a nightmare. If your artwork is large or heavy, either you will have to get a friend to help transport it through bus, metro and walking or you will be forced to dish out money for a transport truck.