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Art activism 101

Chase Joynt. (Press photo)
Chase Joynt. (Press photo)

At a public artist talk on Sept. 18 at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (NSCAD), Chase Joynt, a Toronto-based artist-activist, answered a question on how he found his vision for his latest exhibit, Resisterectomy.

“I am motivated,” said Joynt, “by an insistent desire to throw questions back into the world, most of which start with the word ‘why’…” Joynt is an excellent example of an artist who successfully fuels his creativity by questioning society.

For all the young artsy idealists who are feverish for change, Halifax is a wondrous hub for art and activism. The city is teeming with artistic possibilities for anyone being tickled by the creative muse.

Halifax’s many campuses have numerous outlets at your fingertips. NSCAD has started a new project called Art and Activism at NSCAD for the 2013/14 year. The project aims to continue traditions of the connectivity of art and activism through workshops and events. The workshops engage community members and students with creative projects or educational events which concern diversified global, environmental and societal issues.

On Sept. 14, The Beehive Collective hosted an event called Exploring Art and Activism, an interactive workshop where participants brainstormed issues of interest and articulated them with comics and drawings. The Beehive Collective is a dynamic group that designs incredibly detailed posters that tell true tales of Mesoamerican resistance in response to many forms of globalization, and is a great resource to those who desire to create art with a political focus.

If you’re itching to get out on the town and find a nook to meet likeminded people in the arts you may want to explore some of the city’s artsy gems. The Khyber, located at 1588 Barrington St., is an artist-run center which can introduce you to the local art scene through either participating in yearly events, obtaining a membership, or volunteering.

If you’re interested in checking out jewelry, local art, taxidermied creatures and many other curious wares and inventions, it would be wise to head over to Plan B, located on Gottingen Street. This merchant’s coop is a tridimensional universe that offers a gallery/event space in the back, a cafe and a store. As a merchant/artist, you can rent a space to sell your goods whether it be edgy, activist art or homemade kitten toys.

Also not to be slighted, our own Dalhousie home-world has an array of options for the arts-inclined. During the academic year, Dal and King’s often have openings in student productions for those eager to audition. If you’re interested in reading stories, becoming a DJ, or putting together radio documentaries, you might want to check out CKDU, Dal’s campus-operated and student-run radio station which is based out of the third floor of the Student Union Building.

Another great outlet is the Nova Scotia Public Interest Group (NSPIRG). NSPIRG is equipped with an alternative library and zines for all students to use. Additionally, the organization hosts a variety of workshops during the year, including zine making, for those who want to craftily express their interests or peeves.

So, for all you aspiring activist artists, there is no excuse to not get involved; get out there, express yourself and make us proud.

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