A Brock professor known for his contributions to arts education was honoured for his longstanding efforts at last week’s 2018 St. Catharines Arts Awards.
Visual Arts Associate Professor Derek Knight was presented the Arts in Education Award at the June 4 celebration.
“I am thrilled and humbled by this recognition, and thankful to those dear colleagues who took the initiative to nominate me,” says Knight.
“My various roles at Brock over my 30-year tenure as a teacher, art historian, curator and administrator have provided me with many opportunities to interact with the community in both profound and lasting ways.”
Knight served on the Rodman Hall Art Centre Advisory Board from 2003 to 2015, and on the User Committee in support of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.
He currently teaches courses in 20th century European and North American art history and contemporary art and theory, and works with MA students in the Studies in Comparative Literatures and Arts program.
Knight is also a past director of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.
“When I assumed the directorship, our objective then was to plan and build a state of the art facility in support of innovative studio or performance degree programs and history or cultural theory degrees,” says Knight.
“The impact of this transformative project on the University and community at large has been profound. It remains a testament to our collective efforts and to the legacy of Mrs. Walker, our remarkable benefactor.”
Knight nurtured a legacy of productive relationships among the departments making up the arts school, says current MIWSFPA Director David Vivian.
“Through all aspects of the development and building of our school and leading to the opening of the facility in 2015, Derek has been a generous, indefatigable mentor to us.”
Also presented during last week’s celebration was the Emerging Artist Award, sponsored by Brock’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.
The honour’s two recipients included Markino Jareb, a multidisciplinary visual artist and DJ whose work has been described as an “intersection of street culture, the dance floor and the gallery walls,” and Jessica Wilson, a multi-instrumentalist and singer/songwriter who has performed in theatre, as a soloist with various Canadian symphony orchestras and at various acoustic shows across Niagara.
Also recognized during the event was Shauna MacLeod, founder and director of the Willow Community, who received the Jury’s Pick Award for her exceptional commitment to the arts in St. Catharines. The non-profit arts organization, based at Rodman Hall, provides free artistic training and exhibition opportunities to community members with lived experience of mental health and addiction.
The Arts Awards have promoted St. Catharines artists and cultural industries and honoured cultural leader since 2005. Recipients receive $500 to support their work and a certificate or a hand-crafted award.