As described by principal Ulrich Krull, UTM Art 50, which took place this past Wednesday, was a “celebration of the arts on campus in honor of [UTM’s] 50th anniversary.” The campus dotted with art stations ranging from groups of live painters to drama students performing snippets from Shakespearean plays.

During the event, English professor Terry Robinson recited John Keats’s “To Autumn,” paying tribute to artistic expression on campus. Krull’s opening speech mentioned a range of campus construction plans. Some of which included projects for new science and arts & culture buildings as well as a robotics laboratory. Other mentioned topics included selectively reshaping a portion of the green spaces on campus for aesthetic purposes, and installing a permanent outdoor art collection.

Krull also took the opportunity to acknowledge the efforts of Christine Shaw, director of the Blackwood Gallery, who has begun work on a Mississauga-wide art project set to receive a large grant from the Canadian Council for the Arts. In closing his speech, Krull reminded students and faculty to actively seek to derive joy from creative expression, stressing that creativity is not, as conventionally is seen, restricted to a certain type of major or hobby. Giving the example of cyber currency becoming a reality in the near future as a testament to the creativity of an accountant, he emphasized that everyone in attendance has a similar capacity for creativity.

Olivia Zaloski, a fourth-year art and art history student, helped organize a public painting event. In terms of the reception of the event, Zaloski, who is also the president of the Department of Visual Studies Society, commented, “[It] has surprisingly been phenomenal. We went in with some doubt, and we were pleasantly surprised with the turnout. We had three people to an easel sometimes.”

Zaloski added that there is a lack of attention accorded to the arts on campus, and events such as public painting are aimed towards heightening recognition of the arts.

“We just want to remind people that there is an arts program, and that there’s an arts society,” Zaloski said.

Vice principal Amrita Daniere and professor Teresa Lobalsamo of the organizing committee also spoke at the commencement ceremony. Other events included student-made short films played at Erindale Theatre, staged combat at various campus locations, and gallery exhibitions.

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