Confessions of a Visual Arts Student

By Kaitlyn Gao:

I love art. No, scratch that. I love enjoying art. I can spend hours in the art gallery, and if I had the time and money, I would visit the National Art Centre monthly.

However, creating art is definitely much harder than enjoying art, and for me, the two don’t go hand-in-hand. That didn’t stop me, though, from taking visual art for two years. And I wasn’t just one of the students who went to class because they had to have an art credit. Sure, I was never satisfied with any of my pieces, but art class might have been the most fun I had during class hours. The people I met in there, perhaps we don’t see each other anymore, but we can always look back on the times when we fooled around and laughed. Room 410 had been a temporary home for me when I didn’t belong anywhere else.

You can then imagine my surprise when I recently found out that most of my friends (who happen to be music
students) said that they’ve never been in the art room before. Some didn’t even know where it was. Okay, so
you don’t have a reason to hang out there like you do for the music rooms, but haven’t you ever been curious
as to what it looks like? No? Oh… Well what about the drama room? Nope? And you call yourself a fine arts
student! Just kidding.

But in all honesty, the art room is as cool as the drama or music rooms. It’s a place where you can go to enjoy
your lunch with friends, or to work on that summative speech that you’ve procrastinated on. It is also home to
various clubs such as the Anime Club, the Art Club, and Mural Maniacs. If you were to peek into the classroom
during class hours, you would most likely see students bustling about, trying to find that specific colour of
pencil crayon or paint, or the right colour paper for their matte. Stepping inside the classroom, you would notice
that the desks are scratched from years of accidents – and sometimes not accidents – involving Xacto knives.
To the right of the main door are piles and piles of art supplies and the art office, which holds – you guessed it
– even more supplies!

What draws a lot of attention might be the alcove, where the windows are. Presented here are many art projects, usually sculptures, from the current and the previous year. If you visit Room 410 during the art show, you’ll see
various pieces of art displayed on big grey boards. When you see one that you particularly like, you may
purchase it from the artist if they consent. (I remember how my favourite part of the art show was not the
actual showing of my work, but the fact that the art class got to go up to the famed fifth floor to retrieve the
display boards!)

So, what happens in the art room, other than art (and for some strange reason, biology) class? Murals are
painted – the most recent one being Art Club’s mural for the Ottawa Hospital. Lovely sets for drama
productions are developed; the flowery swing set of the fairies and the traditional palace backdrop for last year’s
Midsummer Night’s Dream production were created in that room. And of course, it is the location of the art
show at the end of every semester. So, if you were ever curious about that mysterious room beside the fourth
floor computer lab, try dropping in once just for a glimpse. No one will bite you, I promise. And hey,
maybe you’ll find a new place to chill.