By: Megan Delaire

James Waller, manager of Restaurant International, poses in front of the new artwork in the restaurant. The pieces were done in Robery Hinchley’s class.

Diners at Restaurant International now have even more to look at than the artful arrangements of ratatouille or roast pheasant on their plates. For the next six weeks someone enjoying a meal at the campus’ gourmet restaurant can look up from the table setting and see a sunny Venetian canal lined with pastel coloured buildings.

Diners can thank the college’s visual arts students and Restaurant International for the collection of six works of acrylic on canvas currently displayed on one of the restaurant’s walls.

The pieces were created for various projects assigned in art professor Robert Hinchley’s class. Each one depicts a place that the artist has been.

This display of art at Restaurant International is meant to increase exposure for the artists in addition to raising awareness of the restaurant among the student population.

“We’re trying to get more students into the restaurant because we feel that it’s a great opportunity for the students to come in and have a chance to have some fine dining at a reasonable price,” said restaurant day-manager Cathy Dewar, citing the restaurant’s affordable gourmet dishes.

Restaurant International has displayed student art in the past, but has tended to hang it in less visible areas. Their approach to hanging the art this year is slightly different, with all six pieces displayed clearly along one wall in the dining area.

“I recall when I started last year that they did hang art, but it was sort of sporadic,” said Dewar. “So this year what we decided to do was put it in one area so that it could look more like an art show, so that the artists get a little more exposure.”

And this new display tactic is working.

“We’ve had lots of patrons go up and take a look at the wall. This is usually where we set up for dinner or lunch service,” said restaurant manager James Waller. “People go over and take a look at the paintings and comment on them.”

The paintings depict locations including Venice, Boston, an old Toronto theatre, a family farm, a long exposure style shot of a highway and an autumn Muskoka landscape. Of the six original pieces, three are for sale at $150 each.

As far as expanding the display and hosting an art show or exhibit in the future, both Restaurant International and Hinchley are open to the idea.

“We’d have to check and see if that’s a possibility,” said Hinchley. “It’s a nice space, it’s nice and bright in there and lots of people in the public see it, so it could be a possibility.”