Acclaimed artist Michael Snow remembered with campus art

Michael Snow left an impact on Brock University.

The work of the internationally renowned artist, who died Jan. 5 at the age of 94, can be found both on Brock’s main campus and at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) in downtown St. Catharines.

An icon of the Canadian art scene, Snow worked with Mackenzie Chown Complex architect Raymond Moriyama to create a number of multimedia installations for the building in 1972.

A mirrored frame that was part of the installation Timed Images still hangs in Block D of the Mackenzie Chown Complex. When the installation was active, a video camera captured footage of people walking by the frame, which was then transmitted to a live-feed monitor further down the hall.

Snow’s Timed Images, Frame Three piece, previously installed in Block C of the Mackenzie Chown Complex, captures a moment from when the Timed Images installation was active. It features an image of then-President James A. Gibson, Professor Ian Shaw, student Anna Bernardo, Professor Peter Peach (seen as a mirror reflection) and Students’ Union Vice-President Fred Ford. They are photographed walking in front of the mirror frame that still hangs in Block D today. The piece is now featured on the second floor of the MIWSFPA.

Also found on campus, and displayed prominently on the wall in the main stairwell of Mackenzie Chown Block A, is Snow’s Photo Essay.

Lesley Bell (BA ’88), an artist and retired support staff for Brock’s Department of Visual Arts, managed the University’s fine art collection and conducted extensive research on Snow’s work. In 2021, Bell worked with MIWSFPA graduate Tracy Van Oosten (BA ’10) to produce Timed Images, a documentary film that explores Snow’s public art at Brock.

Snow’s work in film, sculpture, visual arts and music have been shown around the world, including the Venice Biennale in 1970, Toronto Eaton Centre in 1979, and what was then the SkyDome in 1988.

Snow received many honours throughout his career, including the Order of Canada in 1981 and an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Brock University in 1974.

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