By Leah Schulli & Madelyne Beckles, curators of Area Codes
Area Codes was an art exhibition on March 23rd, 2017 consisting of 12 female artists based in cities all over Canada and internationally. The aim of show was to bring the Right to Campus mission to life aesthetically though maximalist works built by women.
Having a right to a public space is about more than just the right to being physically present in the space, but also a right to engage and interact with the space in a secure and equitable manner. To speak to these ideas via artistic language, Area Codes brought together a collection large scale and maximalist pieces with the intention of creating an environment where space is being consumed and occupied sole-y by the work of female artists – a rare occurrence in the gallery setting. To complete our curatorial vision, we sought out work that consisted of unapologetic, loud, resistant concepts across all mediums. The show ended up including pieces ranging from interactive installation, video, performance, fibres, print media, painting and ceramics. Through the use of multiple maximalist works crafted by a diverse range of female artists, a radical and celebratory space was created.
Another focus of the exhibiton was to showcase and highlight female aritsts who we believe to be experts in their field with distinct and refined attention to detail in their craft. Due to partisanship that is rampant in creative communities, we felt as if these women deserve more professional recognition, and hopefully the large turn out at the vernissage provided the community with knowledge of their talents.
The exhibition would not have been a success without the beautiful works and professionalism of Anika Ahuja, Janina Anderson, Sophia Borowska, Simone Blain, Molly Caldwell, Sara Graorac, Salina Ladha, Lindsey Lagemaat, Alicia Mersy, Hayley O’Byrne, Amery Sandford and Liz Xu, our wonderful artists. Special thanks to Studio XX for providing us their space to showcase our work, McGill and Concordia Universities for funding our endeavour, and Olive Orange for their generous catering contribution.