Fine Arts Classes at Quest usually take the form of Studio Art blocks. Each semester, artists of varying disciplines are brought in to teach a class of their own design. These “Artists in Residences” run only one class at a time and bring completely unique syllabi to the Studio Art block. This means each class will not be offered again which makes them highly sought after. (If you want to learn more about another amazing Studio Art block read Notable Courses: Sculptural Footwear.)
Our first Studio Art class of the year was Intersections: Exploring Creativity. Throughout the course, students were encouraged to explore the creative process through various art practices. Students would then reflect on these activities through journal entries. This led into overarching exploration into the binaries of sound and silence. The class went on a field trip to Lynn Valley (a park in North Vancouver) and experienced silence through the practice of walking through a labyrinth and then overwhelming sound from a waterfall nearby. The silent experience that a labyrinth provides is hard to come by in our daily lives. It is hard to remove ourselves from the noise and focus on the serenity of silent contemplation. So, this class came together to build a labyrinth in the forest behind our residences.
The students wanted to respect the forest first. This led to an unconventional “S” shaped labyrinth that is unique to our campus. They built the path with little to no tools and replanted moss to cushion those who chose to walk in bare feet. I don’t want to give away too much, because the practice of walking the labyrinth is your own (the class has even left a small notebook for you leave your personal reflections or thoughts on the labyrinth).
This labyrinth also provides the Quest community with a space separate from the noise of our daily routines. Sometimes, classes have so much homework that you find yourself working until the late evening without having taken a break. Sometimes, you’re so interested in a class that you quite willingly devote yourself to it. Regardless, it is easy for many Quest students to leave little room for self care or mental breaks. The labyrinth is right on campus (maybe a 5 minute walk from the Library) and will hopefully serve as a much needed reset button during future heavy blocks.