Make some noise and watch something turn
April 8, 2013




Bicycle Wheel (left) is Duchamp’s first readymade, a class of objects he invented to challenge assumptions about what constitutes a work of art. In 1913, Duchamp combined two mass-produced parts—a bicycle wheel and fork and a kitchen stool—to create a type of nonfunctional machine. By simply selecting prefabricated items and calling them art, he subverted established notions of the artist’s craft and the viewer’s aesthetic experience. Above, an image illustrating Russolo's Art of Noise, also created in 1913.




Mark your calendars – NSCAD University and the NSCAD Alumni Association are bringing back Artist for a Day. The breezes will be warm and the sun shining (we earnestly hope) on Saturday, May 11 for the second annual celebration of art making in the great outdoors.

This year, coinciding with I Love Local’s Open City, Artist for a Day will take place outside of NSCAD’s Port Campus, just down from the Halifax Seaport Farmers’ Market. In case of rain, the fun will move indoors.

There are some neat hands-on activities in the works. Visitors will be able to try their hand at weaving, making a pottery bowl, linocut printing or cloth dyeing using natural ingredients. They can screen print their own T-shirt; take part in an ongoing life drawing class; add a few frames to a stop-motion animation. They can imagine themselves as a famous artist, by posing as Frida Kahlo or Vincent Van Gogh and having their portrait taken. Interested in what it’s like to be a NSCAD student? Bring your portfolio along and get an expert opinion and take a tour of NSCAD’s beautiful waterfront campus.

You can make art yourself and watch others have a go. We've invited local celebrities and politicians to take part in an art challenge—come cheer them on!

As with any NSCAD event, you can expect the offbeat. This year, on the centenaries of Marcel Duchamp’s “happy idea to upend a bicycle wheel on a kitchen stool and watch it turn” and Luigi Russolo’s Art of Noises manifesto, NSCAD professor Bruce Barber will lead a mass bike ride through the city, culminating with an impromptu Futurist Orchestra using the directions laid out in Russolo’s 1913 manifesto. The thought of bicycles got the wheels turning among NSCAD printmakers; so expect a bicycle-inspired print-making spinoff.

Last year, more than 8,000 people attended NSCAD’s inaugural Artist for a Day. This year’s free event is made possible with the generous support of Gordon Stirrett Wealth Management, the Port of Halifax, The Coast, Spectacle Group and TD Insurance Meloche Monnex.

Would you like to participate? Outline your proposal and email to

 Life drawing was a big draw at last year's Artist for a Day.