Last Saturday, the UTM Artistic Resource Team hosted Arts Fest 2018. The annual event provides a platform for all students to showcase their works of visual and performing art. The show consisted of two acts separated by an intermission where audience members could tour the visual art exhibition. At the end of the night, all submissions were adjudicated by staff members for the judge’s pick award as well as by the audience for the viewers’ choice.

The festival’s opening act featured an 80s medley performed by a nine-member ensemble. Dressed in leopard print and neon colours, the choir exuberantly sang a combination of upbeat and nostalgic songs, such as “I Wanna Dance With Somebody” and “Thriller.”

The emcee of the show, Clara Lambert, then came out to address the audience. Throughout the night, she introduced each artist with humorously written bios. Most of the acts featured vocalists singing either their take on a well-known song or an original piece. Some of the acts that stood out to me were by Rosalynn Mutheardy and Maggie Kennedy. Mutheardy sang a chilling instrumental cover of “Crazy” by Gnarls Barkley while playing the piano, and Kennedy showcased her tap dancing whilst delivering a memorable vocal performance. It seemed as though they felt every word they sang with undeniable passion for their art.

Also noteworthy was Darren Clift’s spoken word piece, which he titled Stay Weird. He poetically listed different iterations of what normalcy has come to mean, and how being weird and “exceeding societal expectations” is far more valuable.

During the intermission, I observed the student-created visual artwork on display. The talent in terms of artistry and professionalism was noteworthy, as the exhibition felt similar to a real art gallery. One of my favourite pieces was “Self Portrait” by Ryanne Florence. Her usage of oil as the medium on a huge cream canvas stood out. Her illustration included fiery red hair and realistic dimension in facial features, as well as bursts of paint in the background which were cohesive with the overall colour scheme.

The title “Flower Face” perfectly encapsulates Arianna Hoard’s illustration. Using acrylic on canvas, Hoard depicts a human with visible hair and a neck, but whose visage is covered with smeared pink peonies.

In my opinion, this piece was beautifully executed. Lastly, I admired “Dream River” by Linyun Huang, in which she used small brushstrokes to portray a serene river landscape. Although whimsical in appearance, the painting is realistic and reminds me of Claude Monet’s signature style.

At the conclusion of the event, the much anticipated results of the judges were in.

Both the judge’s pick and viewer’s choice went to LA Music for his outstanding keyboard and vocal performance.

In regards to being a part of the Artistic Resource Team, Adelaide Chan, a first-year student, says that “Helping out at Arts Fest was amazing. I’m so grateful to have been apart of a group so full of teamwork and talent.”