Photo courtesy of the artists

A nuit to remember

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Now in its sixth year, Nuit Blanche gives Ryerson artists one sleepless night to show the city what they can do. Victoria Kuglin reports

On Oct. 1 Toronto will be transformed into a living art gallery for Nuit Blanche, the annual festival of contemporary art. Once again, Ryerson will be front and centre, flexing its creative muscles with the Light Up the Night project, a set of five exhibits.

“It’s a great platform for young students,” says Nicole Bazuin, a contributing artist to Honey! I’m Home. Bazuin and her team have replicated the stereotypical sitcom set and family. They’re allowing guests to step into the shoes of the father and alter the dynamics of the sketch.

For Cheryl Hsu, another Honey! collaborator, this is a chance to share the fruits of her labour.

“These are your peers and colleagues,” she says. “It’s the perfect chance to learn about your school through these exhibits.”

To Vincent Hui, the faculty advisor for Cirrus — a work of art involving over 2,800 LED lights — and an assistant architecture professor, Ryerson artists need opportunities like Nuit Blanche to actively contribute to the “the cultural good.”

This, he believes, benefits both students and the city at large.

“It tells the rest of Toronto that our students understand that they are, in a sense, cultural leaders.”

The concept for Cirrus was born in one of his fourth-year classes, when seven architecture students conceptualized it for their final project. The exhibit interacts with visitors and reacts differently to each person.

“It’s a concept based on clouds, which is where the name ‘Cirrus’ comes from.”

Diana Galligan, the head of technical design for Egerton Falls — an almuni project that uses projectors to impose a waterfall on the rocks at Lake Devo — shares the belief that showing at Nuit Blanche can help young artists develop a following and receive feedback.

“It’s important to show students getting involved in creating art. It’s always interesting to see people’s reactions when they see it,” she said.

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