Brock’s fourth-year student artists and Visual Arts (VISA) graduates are showcasing their contemporary artwork in a new collaborative exhibition entitled CODA.
CODA not only features the work of current students, but of VISA alumni who were unable to present their final works to the public due to pandemic-related event closures last spring.
Through the bodies of work of 14 artists, CODA is an overarching contemporary exploration of individual voices and visual languages. The exhibition considers the engagement of traditional material with unconventional installation.
Mounted at the Rodman Hall Arts Centre (RHAC), CODA is now available to view virtually through a 360 gallery tour and virtual exhibition. The show is curated by Shawn Serfas, Associate Professor of Studio Art and Chair of VISA and Sarah Martin (BA ’19), Gallery Assistant at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) gallery.
As no in-person exhibitions were held in the MIWSFPA gallery this past year, Martin understands first-hand the devasatting effects that the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the arts community.
“Being able to make this show a reality for these students was about celebrating their work and sharing that as much as possible,” she said.
The capstone studio arts course culminates in a public, professional exhibition historically featured at RHAC. In 2020, Brock University announced the sale of the RHAC property and the formation of a community-based group (RHAC Inc.) whose stewardship has ensured the art collection remains a community asset with a sustainable future.
Martin acknowledges the significance of CODA being the final exhibition to be held in the space.
“Having shown my own work in an Honours Exhibition at Rodman Hall, it is easy to say that it was the highlight of my experience at Brock. Now, being able to help put this show together feels very special and fulfilling for me,” she says.
Student Aidan Frenette expressed how meaningful it is to have her work be part of the collaborative exhibition.
“Like many of my fellow students and alumni, the VISA 4F06 culminating exhibition means a great deal to me,” she says. “The opportunity to display a year’s worth of hard work within a renowned gallery is a rewarding experience in and of itself. However, to have the privilege of participating in the final show held at Rodman Hall is an honour.”
Zachary White, an alumnus and CODA participating artist, appreciates the opportunity to engage with his art in a professional setting.
His involvement in the exhibition had him thinking critically about the production of his work.
“I had to consider the curation process, installation of the work and how to connect pieces together in a cohesive way to let each piece of art shine individually — and as part of a collection,” he said.
White added that throughout the studio art program at Brock, he worked through different styles and mediums to build his ‘artistic toolbox.’
“This exhibition gave me the opportunity to let everything I learned speak through a style that is unique to me,” he said. “Ultimately, this show does more than just exhibit work; it highlights a culmination of the studio art program and provides a bridge between the student and the professional art experience.”
CODA ran from May 12 to 26 at RHAC (closed to the public) but can be viewed virtually through the VISA website.