Art culture reclaiming its value at Nuit Violette

London, ON, Canada / 106.9 The X

After a gap year of Nuit Violette’s presence on Western University’s campus, it is back this year and more epic than ever. This year’s event is nothing short of talent and artistic creativity.

Spread throughout the University’s campus from McIntosh Gallery to Concrete Beach, participants can find a variety of mediums including bands that students may be familiar with like Fat Chance and B-Club, spoken word artists, installations, short films, canvas art, live music, and more. There will be two stages for live music.

Importance of hosting Nuit Violette

Last school year, the Arts and Humanities facility faced a major budget cut due to a significant decrease in enrollment numbers. Some of the implications include an limitation in the availability in course selection for students and an increase in class sizes.

USC Public Arts Coordinator, Vanshika Dhawan, says that the budget cut sends a message that an arts degree is not as valued as other degrees.

She said she is motivated to take on her role as the Public Arts Coordinator because “its important to reinforce that art has a real value in society.”

“Art just has so much value in society. It is a vehicle for social activism, mental wellness, and it also saves lives for a lot of people. It’s such an outlet that not only does that artist benefit from creating that art, but the people who are hearing, or consuming, or viewing the art, helps them feels understood by somebody else in the world. I think that art really forces people to critically think as well. [There are] just have so many benefits.”

Demand for art events in London

Organizers of Nuit Violette are hoping to see the largest audience yet. Dhawan says there is a lot of excitement built around it.

“I think there’s a huge aspect in supporting your fellow students and knowing everything displayed is done by somebody just like us. There’s a cool promoting local artists and community feel to it, which I think has drawn people to it” says Dhawan.

Nuit Violette was intentionally scheduled to take place midweek to encourage participation, as it caters to the needs and timetables of students. It is running in the middle of campus, in close proximity to classes and homes, and runs at a time that does not conflict with majority of classes.

The event runs all night so students have a wider timeframe where they can choose to come and go as they like and best fit their schedule. Best of all, it is free of admission charge.

Here to stay

Nuit Violette started two years ago by a group of students who wanted to create a space where individuals could express their artistic creativity. The event faced a gap year because original organizers no longer attended the school. This year, the University Student Council (USC) took it on after seeing that it is a valuable event. It has been placed onto the responsibility of the Public Arts Council.

Dhawan explains, “what we’ve been doing this year is taking the core values that we as artists have, making sure they don’t feel exploited, creating spaces for art to be displayed, promoting the value of art, and really just trying to channel all of that into this event and hoping people carry these values away with them as well.”

Students and locals can expect to see more small-scaled art events throughout the school year. As for Nuit Violette, it is here to stay.

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