2 min


IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL COME. Art Dyke 2001 contestants Lex Vaughn, Martha Newbigging and Nas Khan rev up the power tools for the closing night gala. Credit: Paula Wilson

Art Fag 2000, the beauty pageant cum film screening which closed last year’s Images fest, was an outrageous success.

Audience members still have images of contestant Keith Cole, dazzling in a evening jock strap, burned into their retinas.

This year, the ladies get their chance at infamy with Art Dyke 2001; their short super-8 films will explore the theme “Fix it.” Here’s what contestants had to say about the free-for-all at Innis Hall beginning at 9pm on Sun, Apr 22.

* “It’s the first time I’ve ever made anything in such a short period of time and actually had an audience,” says animator Elizabeth Littlejohn. Though she’s blasé about competing, if she wins, she says “I’ll change the very nature of arts funding. And I’d force all politicians to write with crayons.”

* Carolyn Hurren is not so blasé about the contest. “I’m dreading it,” she says. “There’s being interviewed and there’s a pageant where we have to walk in front of judges – most terrifying experience of my life to date.”

* “I’m more of an animator; I’m not used to all the hype,” says Martha Newbigging. “There’s rumour of a power tool as a prize; I’m looking forward to that.”

* For TJ Bryan, Art Dyke is “about checking out other genres. I’m primarily a writer, so I wanted to see what others are doing.” If she wins, Bryan says: “I’d probably tell my mother. She’d get a kick out of it.”

* “I’d be absolutely floored,” says art and design student Shannon Olliffe on the possibility of winning. “This is my first film ever. I guess I’d probably be a media whore and milk it.”

* Lex Vaughn says the contest is “a glorification of a high school popularity contest. It’s a chance to be petty and fun.” She pays her respects to last year’s winner when musing on her possible victory. “I’d try to follow in the footsteps of Benny Nemerofsky; keep making films and make the sisterhood proud.”

* Former Claudia’s Cage singer Suzy Richter calls Art Dyke “an opportunity for 11 fabulous dykes to indulge in artistic madness.” If she wins: “I’d shriek like a banshee, have a double vodka and tonic and work on something else (and go shopping for a new uniform).”

* Sophie Levy has different priorities. “It’s a great chance to meet attractive women.” If she wins: “I’m thinking of wearing a pink dress like Gwyneth Paltrow and strutting around, crying. I’d be like the Miss World of the lesbian community.”

* “It’s a chance to relive highschool fantasies about being popular,” says writer Zoe Whittall. Vying for Miss Congeniality, Whittall stays humble. “I don’t think I would win because I’ve never made a film before.”

* “I’m in it for the tool,” says Nas Khan, a teacher who runs the Queer Youth Digital Video Project at Inside Out. “I took a different tack by making a film on fixing drinks; it seemed appropriate for lesbian culture.”

* Obviously planning a big surprise, artist Amy Satterwaite was unavailable for comment.