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Student wins region prize of BMO 1st Art! Invitational Student Art Competition

August 25, 2014 — 
 (⌒-⌒; )  by Katrina Mendoza

(⌒-⌒; ) by Katrina Mendoza

Sixth-year Fine Arts student Katrina Marie Mendoza won the regional category of of the 12th annual BMO 1st Art! Invitational Student Art Competition with her mixed medium sculpture whose name is an emoticon: (⌒-⌒; ). (Previous UM winners.)

(⌒-⌒; ) is made of the artist’s favourite drawn and found objects puzzle-pieced into an picture playscape. The Filipino artists gets inspiration from Japanese culture, particularly Japanese comics, and that influenced the piece’s name and structure. The piece fits in a larger series of works but she submitted this particular work because it fit within the spacial dimensions set forth by the competition. The piece’s inspiration comes from collage, product display, graphic design, Constructivist drawings, and Japanese manga.

“The whole work borrows from the process of painting,” she says. “If I’m making a painting I’m first making loose marks on the canvas and originally with this piece I was drawing lots of shapes and being very loose. So that’s the painting part — using this intuitive process. Then I pared it down and became very specific about what pieces I would use.”

She made the work in first semester and she completed the two-day project after buying some astroturf at the dollar store because she “needed something uncontrolled” and playful. Though it took her very little time to complete this particular piece, the work that spawned it, untitled landscapes, took months to complete.

“The piece is about a process of arranging and rearranging drawn and found parts into a satisfying composition. It’s also about bouncing back and forth between conflicting ways of working; working loosely and drawing as many shapes as I like, being very particular about which plastic shapes to use, leaving the final composition unplanned and then allowing myself to work very specifically with all the parts I’ve given myself. The piece is a result of obsessive formal exercise, the result of a kind of puzzle-piecing process that’s related to painting, design and sculpture,” she wrote in her entry submission.

After her convocation in October 2014, the artists plans on attending Red River College to study Manufacturing CAD (Computer Aided Design). But she may pursue her masters in lieu of, or, as well.


A poem for (⌒-⌒; ), by the artist


i made a slow turn
then a quick twist
and a slicing out:

soft-shelled favourites,
selected line,
sadness sagging closely behind

it chirps back up blackness
bubbling ‘no’ then withering plump−
cheering coolness
incurable unease

try not to be




, ,

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