UBC Arts Advocate and Artist Network and Hub



Do you have a project, collaborative idea, or artistic vision or expression you want to see happen? Is the space you have identified: underutilized, drab, unrepresentative of the people and culture, and in need of some reinvigoration? Then you are in the right place!


The Vision

Imagine a university with a holistic Arts and Cultural Policy Statement that helps guides the community in coming together, building, representing and displaying beautiful works of art, culture and events that celebrate our collective values.

Imagine a redefined sense of space that is inclusive, communal and also truly representative of our values, beliefs and culture across campus.

Imagine seeing art in the smallest of places and splashed across the sides of buildings in the forms of murals, sculptures, hanging pieces and more.  Everywhere you turn there is something you didn’t see before. For the curious eyes there is art in the most unlikely of places.

Imagine a vibrant UBC campus that is more connect, more colorful, and more unique.


Perspectives of Space

Yes, UBC is generally regarded as a beautiful campus, but it lacks a more holistic approach in signifying to everyone that it is a place that represents its communities values, culture, and ideas. Unlike Vancouver, that has made an effort in recent years to increase its Arts and Culture around the city with an increase in sculptures, artworks, and murals, UBC has lagged behind.  Part of the reason Arts and Culture has taken so long to bolster and fund in most places is because it falls into the common western perceptual trappings of how we conceptualize space:

Space is empty until it is filled. It is a thing to be used and have done things in.

Wrong! Space should be a reflection of our collective values, cultures and beliefs. We need to reconceptualize how space is represented and understood.  Part of that begins by asking the questions: Why is not more being done to truly represent our unique community and our values physically in our landscape and on our buildings? Why have we undervalued a more holistic and systemic approach to Arts and Culture at UBC?

Well, we don’t know, but we want all the help we can get to make it better and along the way maybe discover why!

So let’s help realize this vision by working together!


Some things to consider

You want to do something about the dull, ill-painted, and lifeless space you study in, you go to class in, or hang around in? Do you have a vision to see it made more lively and unique? Great! Now to consider all of the nitty gritty details:


  • What space have you identified that needs some arts and cultural collaboration or a project to make it more reflective of the values and culture of the people that use it?
  • Is the space indoor or outdoors?
  • What is your vision for the project? Is it short-term or long-term? Temporary installments or permanent?
  • Who are the stakeholders involved? Will you have to involve the building administration, faculty members, or your programs administration in order to display art work? Or is it one of the student societies? Or are you looking to create a project that makes artwork out of what is already existing in the building?
  • Have you considered or looked into any necessary approval process with your undergraduate, or graduate society? Or do you only need to deal with the administration team of the building or a specific department or unit on campus?
  • What kind of timeline are you working with or envisioning? Usually things take longer than one first expects.
  • Logistically how will the work go up or be displayed? Is there enough room? Will it interfere with anything else?
  • Who is paying for this? What are the costs you may incur in doing this? What could be reasonable?


Approaching Artists, Curators and Collaborators


This hub is about project collaboration and seeing your identified space become something greater, fuller and an expression of the people that dwell within it. It is not about buying art or forcing/domineering your vision to fruition. This is about collaboration!


Below are some basic etiquette tips when approaching an individual on a proposal, idea or plan:


  • Always approach people with respect and courtesy
  • Send an inquiry email to the identified person and explain your vision or project in as much detail as possible
  • Set up a face-to-face meeting to further discuss your idea and the possibility for it to come into reality
  • Consider advertising or sending a “call out for submissions” if you want artwork that is more specific
  • Discuss the logistics of actually setting up or displaying the artwork or cultural display or event
  • Discuss any financial concerns, planning, strategies in person or in email and consider any costs and who will pay


Support and Help

Are you feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of the things to consider? Don’t worry, we get it!


That is why you should also consider contacting a collaborator! These people are sometimes facilitators, and liaisons who can help with more of the logistical side of things. Also read their title because it will indicate what they may be able to help you with.  There are curators, professors, students, and UBC units involved such as SEEDS.


Do not forget to reach out to your specific student society or association first and then the AMS for information on support resources that may already be available.  There are so many resources on campus for students and student initiatives, most of us are not even aware of the majority of them! So shoot off some emails to a few identified contacts to gain more support!  You can also email the site administrators for further tips, information and help!


To view the on-going data-base visit here.