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May 21, 2018 | by  | in News |
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Inaugural Opening of Student Art Exhibition

Tuesday 15 May was the opening night for the VUWSA Student Art Exhibition, held in collaboration with students Violette Squire and Leo Fauvel. The opening night was called Pretentious but not Expensive, in reference to art exhibitions hosted by Squire and Fauvel by the same name. Submissions to the exhibition were open to the university students for Arts Week, and student pieces were available for purchase. VUWSA hopes to make this exhibition a cornerstone event of their annual Arts Week.

Opening night saw over 100 attendees fill the mezzanine study space in Maclaurin, including local Wellington MP Nicola Willis, who gave a speech and performed the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Willis purchased four pieces from the exhibition.

Bethany Parker, VUWSA Events Manager, said VUWSA is “so happy” with how the event ran. She said “Not only does it celebrate art and culture on campus, it financially benefits student artists, which we think is so important to support”. She added that “VUWSA would like to thank Squire and Fauvel for their incredible hard work in helping and getting the event off the ground”.

Fauvel was elated at the exhibition’s success. “Events like this create opportunities for artists that otherwise wouldn’t have exposure, or the confidence to show their work. It could definitely be a stepping stone for bigger and better things.”

Over 100 pieces were submitted by Victoria students, spanning different mediums from painting and prints to a projected film piece. Squire was delighted with the variety of submissions, saying “really diverse art from a diverse range of artists is what we aspire to”.

Anya Seth’s pottery was a crowd favourite, selling all 12 of her pieces within the first half hour. Over 40 pieces of work were sold over the course of the evening.

Contributors felt that it was inspiring and refreshing to have young artists supporting each other. Film and Law student Navneeth Nair contributed three pieces to the exhibition, and said he felt “humbled to have the opportunity to display something I created among such a wide range of talented artists and creatives”. Third year Architecture student and artist Alice Harcourt commented “It makes me want to create more! I have been to all of the exhibitions so far and they are most definitely my favourite event I have been involved in during the three years I’ve been at Vic”.

Pretentious But Not Expensive is a series of exhibitions founded by Squire and Fauvel in 2017 after they faced difficulties getting their art exhibited. They decided to begin hosting guerrilla-style exhibitions in student flats around Wellington, allowing anyone to submit their art. The pair wanted to democratise the art community, and create an inclusive platform for young people to exhibit and sell their art. Pretentious But Not Expensive is not for profit, with 100% of the proceeds going back to the artists.

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