BY TONY MCLELLAN
The Kitchener city hall rotunda was recently taken over by an army of artists, musicians and writers, all of whom were proudly united under a single, unique mission – to examine what it truly means to be a “geek” through the mediums of paintings, crafts, song and discussion. The event, called the G33K Art Show, helped to bring the unique culture of the geek to the masses.
The creation of this alternative art show can be credited to Miroki Tong, a Kitchener artistic performer and self-professed geek.
“I saw a lot of fellow artists who didn’t have the same opportunities I had in getting funding or support for their work. So I decided to create the show to suit their needs,” Tong said.
The initiative, now on its third year of production, has been increasingly popular in the community and beyond. This is good news for the participating artists who would be overlooked due to their unique focuses on such subject matter as fantasy and science fiction. In the past, Tong said many professional artists have been judged simply because of their preference in subject matter, and ignored on an artistic level.
Sean Chappell is one of the many artists who came to help redefine what it means to be an artist who focuses on traditionally nerdy subjects. While he and his wife attended the event in the past, it was only at this most recent show that they became participants, making Chappell’s bizarre, one-of-a-kind paintings available to the public.
“My inspirations, aside from my own imagination, are horror movies and writing, as well as sci-fi and fantasy. All these various forms of art help to spur my own creativity,” Chappell said while showing off one of his latest paintings.
The artists such as Chappell, who dare to colour outside the lines hope they will be thought of less as geeks and more as true artists. While their work is not what is imagined of a typical professional, the time and effort put into these works is easily up to that standard.