By: David Tulloch

From left, Emily Neufeld, Alynia Symons and Brien Watson created some of the prints that currently hang on the walls of The Mud Oven. The prints were created by the intro to fine arts students and will be available for purchase for a month.

The intro to fine arts program had the students’ works on display at the Mud Oven on March 18 in its second art show this year.

The paintings will be hanging for a month and will be up for sale the entire time.

This marks the fourth consecutive year that the Mud Oven has hosted the art show, which shared a common theme for each year.

“The show always has to do with print media,” said Amy Schissel, 33, professor of introduction to traditional media and coordinator of the program. “This year is one of the best years from the print project.”

The students were given a prompt and were directed to focus their print around that idea.

“The basic theme of the show is that every artist chose an animal of significance to them, and we worked with that animal,” explained Schissel. “So some people took it in terms of a spirit animal, some took it in terms of an animal that they loved, some took it in terms of an animal they wanted to know more about. It was about exploring the essence of that animal through print media.”

Most of the pieces were linoleum prints. Brien Watson, 20, an artist in the show, described the process of creating a linoleum print. After buying a linoleum block, they “carve out the areas that you want as negative space and the positive space you leave behind,” said Watson. “Afterwards you cover it in a thin layer of [ink] and put it onto a piece of paper. It creates a stamp, essentially.”

Watson’s piece was called Tiger and displayed that very animal.

“It took about a week just carving out the block in the shape of the animal,” said Watson. “Making the actual print was very quick. Just roll on the ink.”

The reason that Watson chose to display a tiger was very practical. “I chose a tiger because I think that the style just suits the animal very well,” he said. “So the shape and feel of the tiger is expressed easily through a print.”

“My dad was an animator when I was a kid, so he got me into that,” said Jessi Illingworth, 21. Illingworth has been an artist for as long as she can remember. “It started off as drawing, but then I went into painting, just experimenting with things. Sculpting, everything. I just wanted to explore.”

Her piece, Don’t leave me now, depicts two deer. “It’s the whole concept of relationships, the loss of someone that you love,” said Illingworth. “I’m recently out of a four-year relationship, and I’m just figuring things out on my own, and I think a lot of my art is very feminist or relationship based.”

There will be one final art show this year, Spectrum, on April 17 from 4 – 7 p.m. and will take place in the Student Commons.

“It’s going to be with three other programs in the general arts and science division of Algonquin,” said Schissel. “We have our own little gallery space up by the theatre, and then there’s three other huge allocated spaces, so it’s this massive kind of art fair feel.”

The pieces of display will be available for purchase, with the proceeds going directly to the students.