An Artistic Escape from Semester Stress

A Look into The Art Nook

Tricia Robinson and Maia Manshadi work on making pins together. Photo Olivia Integlia.

As the semester stress builds up, students might be looking for an outlet on campus to decompress. On Sept. 19, the Concordia Student Union reinaugurated its art nook after a period of inaccessibility due to the pandemic and renovations. Despite the gloomy weather and pouring rain, the Art Nook offered a warm and bright atmosphere to those who attended the event.

The Art Nook is a free space available to all Concordia students, allowing them to make art with free supplies provided by the CSU. Students are specifically encouraged to create activist art, such as banners or pins for upcoming events.

“It has always been open, but between online classes and construction closures, we hadn’t stocked [up supplies] in a while. Many students who started online didn’t even know it existed,” said Florencia Vallejo, Campaigns Coordinator of the CSU and the host of the event.

The Art Nook is located in a corner on the seventh floor of the Hall Building, near the CSU offices. Despite its secluded locale, it's hard to miss. This small yet lively area is decorated with colourful paintings, and a recent mural, painted by Kezna Dalz, stands out. It is the first mural at Concordia to be painted by a black artist, explained Christopher Vacarella, the former Arts and Science CSU councillor who proposed the Mural Festival motion, with the intention of showcasing underrepresented artists in the Concordia and Montreal community. This proposal allowed for the painting of the Art Nook mural.

Kezna Dalz’s mural, located in the art nook, is the first mural to be painted by a black artist on campus. Photo Olivia Integlia

During its reinauguration, the space was packed with attendees with big smiles on their faces when taking part in the Art Nook’s activities. Tricia Robinson, a Montreal-based artist who specializes in creating political art, was in a corner helping students make revolution-themed pins. “I like the idea of a space like this [where] anyone can make art,” she explained. This space is welcoming to all students, regardless of their skills, she said.

In the opposite corner, a group of students were working on repainting the entrance of the Art Nook. Despite their various backgrounds in art, everyone was giggling and working together on the same community project.

For others, the space is a quiet area to work on art. Maia Manshadi was in deep concentration as she designed pins. She said that she appreciates having a space where supplies are readily available. “I love that I can do art without carrying my entire art box with me,” she explained.

Students feeling stressed out with an assignment or simply planning a revolution can visit the Art Nook, a creative space allowing creative ideas to run wild.