Verve 2014: The Best of Times

‘Verve 2014 is an arts festival held at The Arts House on 06 December, 2014 from 10am – 10pm. An emerging arts festival, Verve is for and by the young and young at heart, presenting a new way of experiencing the whole spectrum of local artistic work by allowing its audience to pick and choose their own arts itinerary for a day.’ – Verve Arts Festival 

Verve 2014 was held at the Arts House at the Old Parliament building, presented by the Year 2 students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic’s Art Business Management course. We had the privilege to be invited by Zinnia to attend this event.

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Before reaching the Arts House, Shaw En and I had met a lovely uncle named Chong on the train and he kept us company by his wise musings that were surprising for his age. I hope he’s doing well and getting his household needs and wonton noodles at Chinatown.

The Arts House was still quite quiet when we arrived, mainly due to the dreariness that was brought about by the rain. Still, we were welcomed by enthusiastic and warm students who were eager to show us around. The Arts House was broken down into 6 main sections, namely:

  • Chamber | Music
  • Blue Room | Theatre and Literary Arts
  • Gallery and Living Room | Visual Arts
  • Playden | Dance
  • Print Gallery | Bazaar
  • Foyer | Community Arts

According to friends, the lineup for the showcases and workshops were intriguing and entertaining but I would not recommend it for people who want to cover the grounds of the festival in a short amount of time.

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Due to our tight schedule, we did not manage to attend any of the showcases and thus, we only covered the Gallery and Living Room, Print Gallery and the Foyer.


Gallery and Living Room | Visual Arts

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The Gallery and Living Room featured works by local artists including several commissioned works by the likes of Amsyar Ashaary, Danielle Tay and Matthew Sia. I thoroughly enjoyed the works of Amsyar Ashaary which was a feast for the eyes, being whimsical and insightful at the same time. We most spent our time here looking at various pieces and coming up with our own interpretations which was pretty funny. It was lovely to have ABM students guide us through the exhibition despite the faint hint of tiredness on their faces.

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Amsyar Ashaary 

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Joshua Yang 

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Guo Yi Xiu

I recommend heading there in the morning (next year) for a chill vibe and if you do enjoy space for yourself to think because it gets packed pretty quickly in the afternoon.


Print Gallery | Bazaar 

The area consisted of pop-up stores such as Booktique, Jukebox Prints and Oriole Coffee. We mainly hovered around the Booktique booth because the novels they carried has amazing covers and the lady there was great to talk to. We unfortunately did not get her name but if you are reading this, hello! It was great sharing literature experiences and lamenting over how book stores have shrunk.

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I picked this book up but Shaw En could not make up her mind so we went over to their pop up store located at CityLink, where she picked up a book as well. I highly recommend going there to purchase your books so as to support local book stores. Also, the lady and the kind man at the counter of Booktique told us that they’ll be launching new books on the 20th of December so it really is worth checking out if you do share a great love for books and their amazing covers.

We also had a cup of black coffee from Oriole Coffee each where the brew was slightly sour, according to the barista (?). We are no coffee snobs and sure enough, our palates were not ready for such intense flavours compared to the mainstream caffeine from our sugar-filled but dear Starbucks. The lemon and walnut cake slices that we picked up did contrast well with the tartness of the coffee though.


Foyer | Community Arts

The foyer mainly consisted of a project that seemed to me like an adorable pigeon service that allowed participants to post postcards to loved ones who were with them through ‘the best of times’. Located near to the museum store, I was greatly distracted by the store but did not end up going in.

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Verve is a great arts festival to attend for people who are just getting interested in the arts, it being organized by teenagers gives it a very inviting and non-intimidating atmosphere. I also understand that money from ticket sales are for a good cause and at an affordable price of $10 per person in a group of 4 or $12 individually, I’d say why not. I highly recommend this for a chill afternoon with friends and family to get a glimpse of the local art scene.

A huge thank you to Zinnia for having us and Shaw En for being such a loving and quirky friend to spend the day with.

x Cheryl

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