Jamie Q

In what way did your experience at The Department of Visual Arts at Western impact you & your career path?

My intention in pursuing a master’s degree was to have two years of intensive dedication to my art practice. I was able to produce a significant body of work, make valuable connections, and carry that momentum forward in building my career.

How have you been contributing to your community following your experience at Western?

I’m currently teaching art classes to adults at the Art Gallery of Ontario and at the Make Den Sewing Studio in Toronto.

Can you think back and share a memorable moment from your time here at Visual Arts?

I enjoyed having the opportunity to work with undergraduate students as an instructor and mentor.

What was the most important thing you learned during your time here?

I learned how to break down my own generalizations about the art world, specifically regarding things being “outside” or “inside.” There is no outside. There are just different distributions of power, wealth, and accessibility.

What is something you are passionate about?

Queer intersectional feminism. Artists being paid fairly for their work.

What are you working on right now?

I’m setting up a new studio, having lost my previous one due to gentrification and development. This year I’ll be continuing a body of work merging painting, sculpture, and textiles, with support from the Toronto Arts Council.

Why do you think a career in the Visual Arts is important/valuable?

Visual art involves the capacity to think critically, and to do so beyond language, through materials and through actions. It encourages us to carefully consider what we create and take responsibility for it. These are skills the world could certainly use more.

What would your hopes be for the next 50 years of Visual Arts at Western?

I hope students have access to faculty diverse in gender, race, class background, sexual orientation, HIV status, age, and ability. I hope tuition becomes free so that money is not a barrier to education. I hope all faculty and staff have job security and health benefits. I hope everyone has the support they need to do their best work, and that no voices are missing from the conversations.