The Malta College for Arts, Science, and Technology (MCAST) launched the 6th edition of the MCAST ICA Festival – ‘Embrace Liminality’, which will run till 31 July at Spazju Kreattiv in Valletta.
The festival showcases the creative work of final-year BA students from MCAST’s Institute for the Creative Arts (ICA). Ultimately, the MCAST ICA Festival’s goal is to celebrate the students’ creativity and hard work that came to fruition throughout their challenging but gratifying years of education and to exhibit their work to industry experts outside the formal educational context.
This year, students worked on creative projects revolving around the theme of ‘Liminality’, which is simultaneously one of the most daunting and uncomfortable parts of the creative process: the final frontier before the next great idea. With this theme, exhibitors aimed to encourage individuals not to fear the unknown but embrace this liminal space of creativity and continue pushing for innovation and expression in one’s chosen discipline.
Minister for Arts, Culture and Local Government Owen Bonnici, who inaugurated the official opening, said, “Events like this are important as we see the progress of students who will soon be working in the creative sector. We need to build new audiences that can appreciate creative work, across all areas, including graphic design, game art, fashion design and more.”
The Minister added, “This is also an opportunity for us to strengthen the different sectors, such as the performing arts. We will continue investing and strengthening vocational education. This is one of the objectives of the Strategy 2025 that Arts Council Malta will launch in the coming weeks.”
Fondazzjoni Kreattività Chairman Rupert Cefai said, “This space does not only cater for the best talent where we exhibit the best work. This is a space where one can express creativity and work on individual projects. For us, preparing and training the new generation of artists is crucial. With these activities, we are building bridges between the education of artists and the local creative sector.
MCAST Principal and CEO Professor Joachim James Calleja said that MCAST feels proud of the student talent and is now attracting more students keen to embark on a rewarding learning journey. He said, “we are confident that our students are in good hands; that their talent is being drawn out in the most inspired manner possible; that the hard work at the Institute for the Creative Arts (ICA) augurs well for creativity in Malta.”
Speaking at the festival’s opening, MCAST ICA Director Dr Martina Caruana said, “While celebrating the work of students in their final year, this year’s edition of the MCAST ICA Festival also commemorates Donald Friggieri’s contribution to education in creative arts. Earlier this year, Donald Friggieri, the first Director of what was previously known as MCAST’s Institute of Art and Design, sadly passed away. Nonetheless, his legacy lives on through lecturing staff at ICA who were former colleagues and/or students of his, and who now equally passionately pass on their love for and appreciation of the creative arts.”.
Spazju Kreattiv Artistic Director Daniel Azzopardi stated, “The past two years were challenging for the sector, and it is such a pleasure to see the energy of young people to continue seeing the sector moving forward. The work being exhibited is a celebration of the students’ work. Still, with this collaboration, Spazju Kreattiv is taking the work to a new level and launching nationally and internationally.”
Arts Council Malta also supports the Festival. Speaking on behalf of the Council, Director for Funding and Strategy Mary Ann Cauchi encouraged students to keep pursuing their ambitions to learn and work in the Creative Arts. She said that the Council is there to help all artists, including opportunities for emerging creatives. The new Strategy 2025 will continue to focus on this development to strengthen the professionalisation of the art sector.
Various study areas feature in this year’s edition, including creative media production, fashion, fine arts, game art, visual design, graphic design, interactive media, journalism, performing arts, photography, product design, and spatial design.
The festival will be open from Thursday 7 July 2022 till Friday 29 July 2022. For further information, please visit the ICA Festival website: ICA Festival.
Applications for all MCAST courses, including the Creative Arts Courses, open on 18 July.