a home, in print and code
By Andrew Westoll
THE first magazine that ever published my work was named after an invisible form of electromagnetic radiation. The mag was run by undergraduates and was housed in the student union building, which smelled of beer and chicken wings. We had launch parties at the campus pub on Tuesday nights, the only night of the week the manager was willing to give up his dance-floor to a gang of ink-stained scribblers and visual artists.
Contributors and members of the masthead held the freshly printed journal close to our chests for the next week or so, unbelieving that our names were actually, finally, gloriously in print. We hailed from every line of study: biology, neuroscience, drama, mathematics, English. Some would never make art again once they graduated. But twice a year on a Tuesday night we found a home together on campus.
That home was everything to me. Back then I was in science and playing on the varsity soccer team. For some reason I kept my writing secret from my jock friends. Perhaps I thought they would tease me, perhaps I was just insecure about wanting to be an artist. Or maybe I just thought it would be social suicide to admit that on those nights when I was conspicuously absent from this or that house party, I could have been found in my bedroom with my studio headphones on, blasting UK trance and typing sentence after sentence of a story I was working on.
That magazine was printed twice a year, it would include one of those late-night stories, and that would be enough to keep me going, to continue writing and to maintain my subterfuge.
So it is with great pride that I introduce the 2014 issue of Scarborough Fair, the literary and visual arts journal of the University of Toronto Scarborough. The past year has been a momentous one for the arts community here. The English Department launched a new Minor Program in Creative Writing. The Doris McCarthy Gallery celebrated its tenth year in operation. And this very magazine expanded online with a brand new website (scarborough-fair.ca), becoming the true artistic home, in print and code, for the entire campus.
The following pages are an attempt to distil the immense creativity that can be found all around us at UTSC — in the people, in the landscape, in the buildings that house us and in the ideas that spirit the air. The young artists I have met in my first year of teaching here — some of whom have work in this issue — possess an energy that is so proud and so meaningful that it makes me ashamed of my own subterfuge back when I was an aspiring artist. Art should not be a secret. Artists should not hold their tongues. A place for art is a place worth living in, so turn the page and make yourself at home.