MONTREAL, CA – Canadian artist Aquil Virani found a simple way to mix community engagement and his art.
Project 1. The idea sounds simple enough — hand out slips of paper to students and ask them to create a doodle that will added to a larger triptych. But, what about those who say they can’t draw? Todd Moe talks with Montreal artist and graphic designer Aquil Virani about revealing the artist in everyone and how art can bring people together. Radio Story.
Project 2. After three weeks of intricate painting, I finished this collaborative artwork. It involved a contribution from every single Southridge student from kindergarten to graduation. It was interesting to see that the younger students were much more enthusiastic about drawing. The older students met the project with mixed feelings, sometimes reluctant to participate. 2010
Project 3. I created this interactive art piece at McGill’s Nuit Blanche in 2009. I asked people for a creative response to the question “What makes you happy?” As people stood around and lined up to write down their answer, I wrote the responses on the (slightly painted) wooden board as they watched the creation of the portrait from start to finish. It was rather difficult to render because I (purposely) didn’t make any plans on the surface before I started. In the end, though, it worked out quite well. The responses were quite amusing and many expressed enthusiasm for the concept. More than anything, it was a lovely experience for me to reflect on what makes me and others around me happy. Little things. Big things. Red things. Non-thing things. Even sweet no-things whispered in your ear.
So I just have to ask: What makes you happy?