MFA students display their work at 64 Steps Contemporary Art

Go west, young artist, to look for opportunity and adventure – Queen West, to be exact. That’s exactly what 19 graduates and current students of York ‘s MFA program in the visual arts did. Their recent artworks are on display at 64 Steps Contemporary Art, a gallery located at 1164 Queen St. West in downtown Toronto.

The participating artists are: Amber Andersen, Lise Beaudry, Clemente Botelho, Lori Clermont, Niall Donaghy, Justina Gardiner, Farheen HaQ, Alison Judd, Sunny Kerr, Sholem Krishtalka, Renee Lear, Jennifer Lefort, Alison MacTaggart, Jeff Menzies, Day Milman, Laura Moore, Craig Rodmore, Tamara Toledo and Sara Vipond.

Right: The MFA thesis exhibition by Tamara Toledo, one of the participating artists in small comets: a new class of interplanetary bodies confirmed exhibit

The exhibition, titled small comets: a new class of interplanetary bodies confirmed, comprises thoughtful, intelligent and beautiful works of art, offering a window to what the next generation of artists can do.

Sholem Krishtalka, who curated the exhibition, reflects upon the body of work in his curatorial statement: “Too much emphasis is placed on the consequential. We tend to expect that, as in any good dramatic narrative, particular points in our lives should assume dramatic consequence, that if our lives were Hollywood movies, these high points would be like comets of earth-shattering potential and significance. Think of it this way, would anyone see a disaster movie if the comet wasn’t of earth-shattering proportions, if it turned out after all to be some harmless bit of cosmic debris, floating by on its merry way, harmlessly bypassing our planet by millions of miles?

“Similarly, a terminal degree – in this case an MFA – is made out to be more than it should be. As someone once put it, ‘there is the tendency to see an MFA as a period, rather than a comma in one’s artistic career’,” writes Krishtalka. “small comets: a new class of interplanetary bodies confirmed is a celebration of the modest, the small, the picayune.”

The range and diversity of this work is as interesting and accomplished as anything on display in the galleries along the Queen St. West corridor. The exhibition remains on view until Thursday, Sept. 8. The 64 Steps Contemporary Art gallery hours are noon to 5pm, Wednesday through Saturday, and by appointment on Sunday.

small comets: a new class of interplanetary bodies confirmed is sponsored by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, York University.