48-Hour Storytelling Challenge yields eye-catching student art

Last month, students from the Faculty of Media, Art and Design (MAD) put their storytelling skills to the test in a fun extracurricular competition.

The MAD 48-Hour Storytelling Challenge presented students with a difficult but rewarding task. They were given the weekend to tell a compelling story on the topic of ‘Spring,’ using the medium of their choice.

“It was up to them how they could tell a story using that one word,” explained Student Support Technician Megan Pickell, who organized the event. “It was open to interpretation. The majority did take it as the season, spring.”

Participation was optional, but the students were excited to showcase their artistic talents while adding to their portfolio.

The MAD programs teach a variety of disciplines and the 37 submissions represented almost all of them, from painting, animation and photography to podcasting, short film, music and beyond.

Once time was up, the artists assembled for a live screening event, where the impressive turnout included family and friends. Judges had the difficult task of selecting a winner, and they ultimately chose Fine Arts student Cadance Mercer’s original painting, “Foxes in a Field.” She received a $500 gift card of her choice.

Winning was a welcome surprise to Mercer, who was impressed with the quality of the submissions.

“I really wanted to win, as the only thing I get competitive with is my art,” she said. “Then I did! It was crazy and awesome.”

Creating her entry was a painstaking process, beginning with a sketch on paper before moving to canvas.

“I decided to paint a fox and her kits because to me they represent spring. I have foxes in my yard all the time, especially in the spring.”

In addition to the judge’s choice, the audience also had their say. The Audience Favourite prize went to the short film “Reminiscence” by Video Production students Sohan Maharjan, Denzel Kanhai, Ayomide Kuye and Timur Shapauov. They won a $250 gift card.

“The fact that our film was loved by most of the audience motivates me to keep creating more visual stories,” said Maharjan. “I am very thankful to the whole MAD team for organizing this challenge.”

Creating the film was a true team effort according to Kuye.

“Teamwork makes the dream work, and I couldn’t have asked for a better team,” he said.

The event was a great success according to Pickell, drawing lots of interest and giving students an invaluable opportunity to hone their skills and present their work to a discerning audience. It’s likely to become an annual tradition, and Maharjan believes students would be wise to take part.

“It creates an environment for enthusiastic students to display their talents, gain recognition from peers, and foster connections within the community.”

You can enjoy all the student art for yourself in this video.