Why Hugh Mater Rules by Brian Schirk (2014)
I met Hugh Mater the first week of high school. I had recently been switched from French immersion and ended up enrolling in my neighbourhood school GCVI. I felt alien, most of the students in my grade were people I hadn’t seen in years, and I was nervous, lacked confidence, and, believe it or not, was very shy. Hugh and I had lockers in the same stretch of hallway, and it wasn’t long before we became friends. We quickly learned that our similarities extended much further than our irredeemably long, shaggy hair and love of felted wrist bands. We had complementary taste in music, books, movies, and not to mention, hilarious early 2000’s style. It was clear from early on that we were kindred spirits.
We solidified our friendship in our third period tech class, where, on a few occasions, in between conversations about classic rock, and the cute girls in school, Hugh would share with me his drawings. I felt privileged to get a glimpse into this wonderfully creative person’s world. It was apparent to me, even ten years ago, that Hugh would develop into a great artist.
It is safe for me to say that my relationship with Hugh planted the seeds for my love affair with visual art. In the ten years since those formative weeks, Hugh began his BFA at OCAD, and completed his studies at NSCAD. Since moving back to Ontario, he has worked hard building a name for himself in our hometown as an incredible printmaker and illustrator, with local print collective Raft and Map. His piece at Kazoo! Fest this year, titled, “My Own Shortcomings” is a multi media collection of text, print, photography and sculpture, or in his words “object work.” Which have been collected since his graduation at NSCAD. You can see Hugh’s work at Capacity 3 Gallery (6 Dublin Street) throughout the festival with an opening reception on Saturday April 12th.