CreatiValley, the Reach Gallery Museum’s nine-day celebration of local culture, proved that Abbotsford is fertile ground for the arts. Concerts, improv and stand-up, art battles, and panel discussions were among the festivities of the exhibition — one highlight being a 12-hour marathon of exhibitions, events, and performances by UFV fine arts students on Friday, October 2. One of these events was the launch of PIPE magazine, UFV’s new journal from students in the visual arts department. The Cascade spoke with Terrill Smith, PIPE’s managing editor and cofounder, to talk about the launch and the future of the magazine.
Tell me about the launch party.
The launch party happened in conjunction with creatiValley, which was a nine-day celebration of culture at the Reach. One of the days was devoted to a UFV bachelor of fine arts creative marathon, and they wanted PIPE to be involved with that because it is an important part of the visual arts department, so we decided to have the launch party at that event. The party consisted of three of the five published art history authors presenting their essays. We also had printed copies for people to look at, because the journal also includes artwork. It went very successfully — the presentations were really interesting.
Do you have any physical copies around?
We printed out three copies, just for promotional material. They weren’t professionally done. We wanted them there so that people without iPads could look at them. PIPE is, and was always meant to be, an online publication. You can certainly access it online. We are hoping, eventually, to get a couple of professionally printed copies with proper binding, just for posterity’s sake.
When did PIPE begin?
In September 2014. The editorial board was myself, [editor-in-chief and cofounder] David Seymour, and [marketing and design director, visual arts editor, and cofounder] Julie Epp. We had [layout editor] Diana Hiebert join in the last couple of weeks, to help us finish it. We put together a proposal, talked about submission guidelines, presented the idea to the visual arts department, and started getting everything together. We put out a call for papers in September, and it was slated for publication in the spring, but we were all very busy, and with three people, it’s hard to get much done when people get busy. We ended up pushing back the publication date to October. So it’s taken a little over a year, but it’s done. It feels good. We finally did it.
What kind of submissions are you looking for with PIPE?
We definitely want to see it continue, but the submission guidelines will be different for the next editorial board, I’m sure. The last edition had art history essays and visual artwork by UFV students. The point of the publication was to show what UFV visual arts students can do while they’re here, and what instruction in the visual arts department looks like. It’s pretty open in terms of the art. We accepted photography, paintings, drawing, mixed media, all sorts of things.
PIPE’s launched! Now what?
We’re looking into different options for continuing. What we need, though, are interested people within the VA department to take on the task of running PIPE, as it’s a student publication. We do eventually want to put out a call for interested people to get on the editorial board, because we’d like to see it continue.
Where do you see PIPE fitting in with other publications, like the Louden Singletree?
PIPE runs as a part of the visual arts department, unlike Louden. It’s also different from Louden in that you get credits for Louden, but PIPE isn’t like that. I’ve never seen PIPE as competing with Louden. Louden doesn’t feature academic essays, and the visual artworks in Louden aren’t typically accompanied with an artist’s statement. There’s never been any kind of competition with Louden — they do their thing, we do ours. We both deal with art, so it’s in our best interests to support each other.
What are you most proud of with PIPE?
The fact that four people were able to put together a journal that looked really polished, really professional, really beautiful. It was just the four of us that did it — I mean, we had support from other people, but it was a lot of hard work for us. I’m proud of the fact that we were able to do this in the end. We hope to have made the first of many PIPEs to come. We’re happy that everyone submitted such great artwork and beautiful essays.
PIPE can be found online at pipejournalufv.wordpress.com, issuu.com/pipejournalufv, and on Facebook (PIPE: UFV’s Visual Arts Journal).
Kodie Cherrille is a former editor of Louden Singletree.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity.