The Exchangers networking salon held at Humber College’s Lakeshore campus L Space Gallery Nov. 12 encouraged students to think outside the box and collaborate with other students in programs entirely different from theirs.
The event showcased two students, Jesse Byiers and Marta Ryborz, and discussed how they stay inspired and creative while keeping focused on their work and studies.
Byiers is a co-artistic director and co-creator of Living Room Theatre and has produced a puppet show called “c u t.” Byiers said that staying social and keeping in contact with people are the main elements that help keep him focused. “Staying inspired, to me, is to be in contact with other people. My ideas only work because I have such interesting and talented friends.”
Byiers said that broadening your focus is essential when trying to stay or become inspired. “Pull apart everything you can get your hands on,” Byiers said. “Ideas don’t just come, they come from talking to people or seeing things.”
Ryborz, originally from Poland, is studying Global Business Management at Humber and has degrees in both African Studies and International Relations. Ryborz is an optimist and prefers to see the opportunities that are hidden away underneath challenges. “You might have so many amazing ideas and inspirations but what do you do with them?”
“I have this big gap between the idea and my inspiration and (planning an) action, how can I bridge this?” Ryborz said. Staying inspired to follow your goals can grow increasingly difficult as the exam season rapidly approaches but Ryborz said it’s important stay focused on the project at hand.
L Space Gallery’s curator Tara Mazurk hosted the event and encouraged students to share with each other their projects and stories of inspiration in between speakers. The crowd mingled and then discussed what they learned about staying inspired as a group.
“For different programs, just because of the nature of the curriculum, (students are) silo-ed,” Mazurk said. “There aren’t a lot of opportunities for students to cross-connect.”
Mazurk said that she was looking for effective ways to get students to connect and The Exchangers was the perfect place to start.
“We started The Exchangers event to keep students inspired and help them learn that creativity is not just in your traditional arts and design program.
“You hear of the Surrealists and the Impressionists. Their movements were so successful because they would get together in cafes and sketch and share ideas. They built entire art history movements just out of talking to each other.”
The Exchangers provides the opportunity for students to branch out and try new things. Mazurk said there’s a large spectrum of students from different areas of the school who are taking advantage of this opportunity.
“I have people from the criminology program integrating with actors for an exhibition,” she said. “I also have people from international development going outside and working with the world food program.”
The next session of The Exchangers will be held in April 2015.