Invasive Species is set to take over the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts with a one-night exhibition on Wednesday, Jan. 17.
The showcase will feature the work of third- and fourth-year students from Donna Akrey’s 3M90 Advanced Art Practices course and will see pieces transplanted throughout the downtown St. Catharines facility.
Maps will be given out to help visitors navigate the space and discover the artwork found throughout — some more easily spotted than others.
The free exhibition, which runs from 4 to 9 p.m., focuses on themes of information, architecture, the archive, regionality, subjectivity and objectivity, death, resilience, ecology, mental health, space, the institution, invasive and symbiotic species and site-specific art. The works, all self-directed, are comprised of painting, drawing, video, projection, animation, performance and installation.
Through their work, the artists respond to the arts facility’s environment.
Visual Arts student Victoria Reid said her objective in participating in the exhibition is to “personify objects in the architecture and space around us to show our connection to the architecture.”
“I chose to do this in order to bring awareness to our relationship and contribution to the growing industrial landscape around us,” she said.
The one-night event marks the mid-year point as the course’s students progress to a final site-specific exhibition proposed to take over parts of downtown St. Catharines in April.
In order to provoke creativity and thought into this exhibition, Akrey, a visual arts instructor at Brock, asked her students to think outside of the box.
“If your work was to fit in this space (the MIWSFPA) and not a white cube, where might it go?” she questioned. “This allows students to consider their work outside of the gallery and in effect pushes research further, as well as the logistics of mounting visual art in difficult spaces. The students have risen to it and are doing a great job.”
Reid’s time working on the exhibition has helped to change her perspective of art and where it can live.
“Through the process of making this work, I learned how to step outside my comfort zone and I learned that art can be art, even when in unconventional spaces apart from the gallery,” she said.
Fellow student Isabella Domaradzki, a member of the Invasive Species organization team, said she’s looking forward to “seeing our hard work in creating our art and planning this show come to life.”
“We have learned so many valuable lessons throughout this experience that have shaped our identity as artists, and I think it will be exciting to visualize our growth and progress.”
Akrey was recently lauded for her own work, with her exhibition Also Also — featured at Rodman Hall last year — earning a nomination for the Exhibition of the Year: Budget Under $20,000 (Monographic) Award by the Ontario Association of Art Galleries. Her collaboration as a member of the Hamilton Perambulatory Unit was also recently highlighted.
For more information on Invasive Species, visit the Facebook event page.