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Catherine LaMendola and Dylan Brekka, Co-Presidents of Fridge Door Gallery

Let me introduce our Campus Celebrities of the week: Catherine LaMendola and Dylan Brekka, the co-presidents of the Fridge Door Gallery. Both are impressively involved in the fine arts community around campus and in Montreal. Catherine is a U3 Art History Honours major who is an editor for the Canvas Journal, a writer for The Main MTL and an assistant curator for the Montreal Asian Arts and Culture Festival. Dylan, too, is an U3 Art History Honours major, who is an editor for the F word and the Hooligan magazine, and a secretary for AHCSSA (Art History & Communication Studies Student Association). Read on to find out more about the Fridge Door Gallery, their awesome exhibitions for student artists, and how you can get involved! 

Belle Kim for Her Campus McGill (HC McGill): What is the Fridge Door Gallery and what do you guys do? 

Catherine and Dylan (C&D): Fridge Door Gallery is McGill’s student art gallery in lieu of a fine arts program. We show works from McGill students and alumni in a gallery space once every semester. We foster a creative community at McGill by providing an outlet for both artists and those who are interested in the arts.

HC McGill: Since unfortunately, there is no fine arts program at McGill, it’s hard to gage whether McGill would have a lot of students who partake in the submissions. Are there a lot of aspiring artists at McGill? 

C&D: I think that it’s hard to realize at first how many people at McGill are artists. We’ve received students from science, management and engineering. So, although there’s no fine arts program, a lot of McGill students are making art in their own time

HC McGill: Does FDG have some process of selection when it comes to the artworks to be exhibited?

C&D: We as a group are open to all students regardless of their artistic background of field of study. To be shown in our bi-annual show, students submit their art, and we as a collective take a selection of those pieces to create a cohesive exhibition

HC McGill: How did you guys get involved in FDG? Are you guys artists yourselves? 

Catherine: I’m not an artist myself, but I’ve always been interested in galleries and curating. I heard about FDG my first year at McGill, and thought it was a great opportunity to get some curatorial experience, and also get more involved in what seemed like a very limited fine arts community here at McGill.

Dylan: We both got involved in FDG our first year at university. I remember hearing about it through a class announcement and I came to the first selections meeting and the first show. Once winter came around I met a few of the former executive members and became more involved. I’ve submitted and had a few of my paintings put in the shows over the years starting with winter of my first year.

HC McGill: Where do the exhibitions usually take place? Is there one coming up (hopefully)?

Dylan: Yes, our coming exhibition is going to be November 20th, at 6PM at Glass Door Gallery, #1-4064 St. Laurent. Last fall, we also held our exhibition at Glass Door and in the winter we held our exhibition as a part of Fine Arts Council’s Nuit Blanche at SSMU.

Catherine:  More information on the show will be posted to our Facebook page as we get closer to the show!

HC McGill: When there isn’t an exhibition coming up what does the club usually do? 

C&D: A lot of work goes into putting on the exhibitions, so most of our semester is spent focusing on that. Other than that however, we also organize outings to art events in Montreal (like gallery openings), and we’re looking to collaborate with groups like the AHCSSA for events this year. 

HC McGill: Could you tell me about one memorable exhibition from your time at FDG? 

C&D: Hm… Well, last fall semester was the first time we had our exhibition in an off campus space, and it was incredible. We had live music, and the venue was filled to capacity almost the whole evening. That vernissage really felt like a real gallery opening. It was an awesome experience to see that many people out supporting McGill artists. Also, we have a lot of photos on our Facebook page from that exhibition if you want to check those out!

HC McGill: How can McGill students get involved in the club? 

C&D: If anyone is interested in helping with this semester’s upcoming exhibition, they should email us at [email protected]! Also, they should like our Facebook page to keep up with events we’re hosting! Next semester we’ll be putting out another call for volunteers, so they should stay on the lookout for that.

HC McGill: What are some goals that FDG would want to achieve in the future? 

C&D: Hmm good question! We definitely want to expand our audience and let more people know about who we are if they want to become a part of our group or submit artwork. We have a lot of people from the Art History department which is great but there are more creative people within McGill as a whole. 

For more information on their coming exhibition and about Fridge Door Gallery, check out their Facebook page


Images provided by the interviewees

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