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Arts in Review

Wine, literature and visual art at the Louden Singletree launch

The fifth anniversary launch of UFV’s literary and visual arts magazine takes place April 10 on UFV’s Abbotsford campus. Artists will read and exhibit their work and guests will be treated to raffle prizes, refreshments and—most importantly—complimentary copies of the new issue.

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By Sasha Moedt (The Cascade) – Email

Print Edition: April 10, 2013

Louden Singletree No 5Ever wonder where to go to see UFV’s creative writing and visual art students come out of the woodworks? Try the Louden Singletree launch.

The fifth anniversary launch of UFV’s literary and visual arts magazine takes place April 10 on UFV’s Abbotsford campus. Artists will read and exhibit their work and guests will be treated to raffle prizes, refreshments and—most importantly—complimentary copies of the new issue.

Nicole Christian, webmaster of the Louden Singletree board, said what she’s really looking forward to is “sharing the final product with everyone at the party, particularly those who are being published.”

Having the final product is an admirable achievement, though being on the Louden board isn’t all rainbows and lollipops.

Christian explained that work began early in the year, with advertising. The board had a booth at orientation (they were the ones with the free corn and condoms that said “Read. Get laid.”). They did class visits to encourage people to submit and to become readers.

The readers are the volunteer students who first respond to the submissions – giving it a “yes” or “no” response, with a reason why. The Louden board held a few meetings to teach the readers what to look for. A single piece would move to three readers, and the ones with the most “yes” votes would move onto the shortlist, then to the final list if the board approved.

The process, Christian said, took almost two months, lots of meetings and discussions over pieces. The board is helped by faculty members.

“Andrea MacPherson has been with us throughout the year to offer advice, encouragement and occasionally deadlines,” Christian explained. “We’ve also had advice from Leslie Poh and help from Linda Dahl with the website. All three have been invaluable to us.”

The Louden board was pleased with the number of visual arts submissions this year. “Not only did we push for a significantly larger amount of artwork than any year previously, but what we received in return was a very dynamic and fascinating collection,” Christian said. Last year, the number of visual arts submissions was approximately nine – this year, the Louden received 50.

“The challenge was that we had few volunteer readers for Visual Arts (VA),” Christian said. “Those who did volunteer have my great appreciation since they accepted an intense workload and were extremely punctual with responses.”

As pleased as the board was with the improvements in VA submissions, the Louden board wants to encourage an even greater diversity in pieces. “Next year I would love to see more plays and monologues in the magazine,” Christian said. “While we made a point to visit theatre classes, we had few actual submissions. The Louden is a great outlet for creativity, and being published is wonderful for anyone’s writing portfolio; I really hope theatre students will start to take advantage of the opportunity as they become more exposed to the magazine.

The Louden launch will be an event to celebrate all the efforts of the artists, readers and board members. Nicole Christian said she’s looking forward to share the polished and complete issue with the artists.

“One of the perks of being the webmaster was informing those who were selected that their pieces would appear in the magazine,” said Christian. “The response was always excitement, so I feel especially honoured to get to share the issue with them at last.”

Christian said that the launch is going to be a little more formal this year, with a program of readers and even wine.

So come out to room A225 on the Abbotsford campus, from 7 to 10 p.m. on Wednesday, April 10. You’ll meet UFV’s finest artists, and the people that published them.

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