This year’s Artist Social, hosted by Trent Writers Society and Trent Book Club, took place on March 8 in Trent University’s student pub, the Ceilie. An event started three years ago, the Artist Social is an opportunity for artists to showcase their work and for newer artists with confidence to publicly display their work. The Artist Social was advertised as an event open to any artist or art enthusiast, with anyone welcome to join.
“It also is meant to foster relationships between different types of artists,” said Maxine Niehaus, the Co-President of Trent Writers Society. This includes “writers meeting musicians, painters meeting singers, [etcetera]. We can hopefully build a bigger artist community at Trent.”
The Trent Book Club and Trent Writers Society overlap in many of their values, as both groups are comprised of students who are passionate about reading and writing. Both groups aim to create and maintain connections through networks, where members can have spaces to create, discuss, and support each other through these networks.
In the past, the Artist Social was a collaboration between Trent Writers Society and Trent Visual Arts Network. “Because both [Writers Society] and [Trent Book Club] are literary clubs, it made sense to collab, and we only had to tweak the event slightly,” said Aakriti Pandey, the President and Co-Founder of Trent Book Club.
The event began at 7:00 p.m. and ended at 10:00 p.m. It welcomed around nearly 20 guests, with some dropping in for just a few moments, and others staying for the full three hours. There were more guests than expected, but fortunately — as more and more showed up — each person was accommodated at a table.
When the majority of guests had arrived, there was a round of introductions that included sharing each person’s role in either Trent Writers Society or Trent Book Club, as well as their choice of artistic expression; most considered themselves to be writers and readers. The rest of the evening was a free-for-all, allowing guests the opportunity to do an open mic, share poetry and writing, or to simply socialize with each other.
Discussions on books and writing were encouraged among guests, though conversations tended to bounce from one topic to another. On one wall, a gallery consisting of a few short stories and poems available for guests to read throughout the evening. Although no one participated in the open mic this time, hopefully at the next Artist Social some courageous students will step up and share the whatever they have been working on, whether it be a song, poetry, a short story, or another artistic medium.
Trent Book Club has extended an invitation for guests to attend an upcoming movie night that they are hosting on April 5, with more details to follow in the future. To keep updated with Trent Writers Society and Trent Book Club, both groups encouraged anyone interested to follow them on Facebook for meetings and upcoming events.