Articles by author: dvivian

  • Moulding a masterpiece

    (From The Brock News, Wednesday, June 20, 2018 | by Alison Innes)

    Brock Visual Arts students have been busy pouring, carving and cutting in preparation for their sculpture exhibition taking place Wednesday, July 4. Angelina Turner, a third-year Concurrent Education student, checks the silicone mould she made for her poured plaster bottle sculpture. Students have been working with cardboard, plaster, soapstone and styrofoam over the course of the semester as they explore the fundamentals of 3D work. They meet from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. twice a week to design, construct and analyze sculptures in VISA2F05 Introduction to Sculpture. Students will be completing a final project in their chosen medium for the class exhibition at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts gallery.

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    Categories: Current Students, Department/Centre News

  • Auditions for Brock’s new Women’s Choir open to the public

    Brock’s new Women’s Choir, to launch this fall, is open by audition to Brock students and Niagara community members.

    (from The Brock NewsWednesday, June 20, 2018 | by )

    Voices from the Brock and wider Niagara community will come together in harmony this fall as the Department of Music launches a new Women’s Choir.

    The all-female ensemble will be open by audition to Brock students as well as the general public.

    “I am hoping that this choir brings together women from the University and the Niagara region to offer something very special to our local arts community,” says Rachel Rensink-Hoff, Assistant Professor of Music who will direct the new group.

    The Women’s Choir will rehearse on Thursday evenings beginning this fall, readying for performances with Brock’s Chamber Choir on Dec. 1 and March 30 at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

    The department’s established mixed-voice Chamber Choir is also open by audition to all Brock students and staff.

    Also included among Brock’s choirs, an integral part of the Music program, is the Avanti Chamber Singers. The community-based adult ensemble, also directed by Rensink-Hoff, is the department’s Choir in Residence.

    “The choirs allow students the opportunity to rehearse and perform in the fantastic FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre,” says Rensink-Hoff. “My hope is that more students from across campus and members of the public will consider joining us.”

    To audition, previous singing experience and some ability to read music are required.

    Students who successfully audition can enrol in choir for academic credit.

    For more information or to schedule an audition, please visit the Music Department’s website.

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    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Future Students, Media Releases, News

  • Youths to get taste of the arts at Brock summer camps

    Young artists have the opportunity this summer to explore art and drama through day camps hosted by Rodman Hall Art Centre and Youth University. Both organizations will be hosting art camps at MIWSFPA for the first time.

    (from The Brock News, Monday, June 18, 2018 | by  )

    Young artists will have the opportunity to experience fine and performing arts through Brock University this summer.

    Youth University and Rodman Hall Art Centre will both be hosting summer programming at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts for the first time.

    “This is a great opportunity for youth to discover the school and meet faculty, staff and members of the artistic community as they start to formulate ideas about their aspirations for study after high school,” says MIWSFPA Director David Vivian.

    Students who are entering Grades 5 to 9 in September can choose from Youth University camps in arts media, performing arts, or performance props and effects, which run at various times in July and August.

    Young artists will be encouraged to get messy and creative each day using media such as charcoal, splatter painting, clay, mixed media and paper making.

    Youth interested in theatre can develop their voice and acting techniques while exploring what it means to be on stage and how to leave an impression with an audience, or explore costume making, performance make-up, lighting, and prop and set designs using a variety of materials.

    “Our camps offer a balance of adventure, creativity and innovation, and key to this experience is the relationship they develop with our Brock student mentors,” says Michelle Leone, Program Manager of Youth University.

    “We are grateful to have developed a partnership to bring Youth University camps downtown this summer. The MIWSFPA is a stunning and inspiring facility for our young artists.”

    The camps are also an opportunity for Brock’s arts students and recent graduates to develop key professional skills as they take on instructor roles, says Vivian.

    “This is a meaningful way for the students to develop important professional and mentoring skills that will assist them in their longer-term plans for studies and professional work in the arts, culture and educational sectors.”

    For more information on the Youth University camps or to register, visit brocku.ca/kids

    While Rodman Hall Art Centre has been offering arts camps for youths for years, the art centre is also hosting digital and textile arts camps at MIWSFPA for the first time in 2018.

    Participants in the digital drawing camps, which run in July and August, will use the school’s state-of-the-art computer labs to transform traditional drawings into digital artworks.

    “This will provide our campers with the opportunity to engage with the arts in our community, in new and innovative ways,” says Camp Co-ordinator Kylie Mitchell. “I am very excited to now provide our campers with the chance to engage with a modern art practice that will allow them to experiment and explore the world of digital art.”

    Youth ages 13 to 17 also have the opportunity to experiment with textile art with artist Nancy Nigh, learning embroidery basics and weaving, and creating their own artwork using wool felting processes.

    For more information about Rodman Hall’s arts camps or to register, visit brocku.ca/rodman-hall/learn/camps

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    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Future Students, News

  • MIWSFPA to host international philosophy conference

    (from The Brock News, Tuesday, June 12, 2018 | by )

    Brock will welcome philosophers from around the world this week for a conference devoted to contemporary French feminist thinker Luce Irigaray.

    Hosted by Brock’s Department of Philosophy, the ninth annual meeting of the Luce Irigaray Circle will be held at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts in downtown St. Catharines from Thursday, June 14 to Saturday, June 16. The Circle is an interdisciplinary group of academics who produce significant scholarship on Irigaray’s philosophy and feminist thought.

    This will be the first time the event is held in Canada, making it the first Canadian conference devoted to Irigaray’s work.

    “Each meeting of the Circle is a purposively unique event, which is organized around a specific theme in order to further Irigarayan scholarship in a new direction,” says Athena Colman, conference organizer and Brock Associate Professor of Philosophy.

    “Site selection for the meeting is highly competitive and is a recognition of the organizer’s contribution to new areas of research in the field.”

    The event has previously been hosted by Stony Brook University in New York, University of Bergen in Norway and University College of London in England, among other locations.

    This year’s three-day interdisciplinary conference, titled “Horizons of Sexual Difference,” will explore scholarship and creative work inspired by Irigaray.

    The conference will look at new ways in which Irigaray’s thinking can be applied to recent philosophical and feminist discussions.

    Themes explored by the circle include analyses of contemporary social and political issues and spirituality in relation to sexual differences, as well as investigations into the role of literature and art in philosophical thinking.

    to register: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-irigaray-circle-2018-horizons-of-sexual-difference-tickets-45213383447?aff=es2 

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    Categories: Announcements, Department/Centre News, News

  • Brock prof honoured at St. Catharines Arts Awards

    Visual Arts Associate Professor Derek Knight.

    (from The Brock News,  Tuesday, June 12, 2018 | by )

    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.

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    Categories: Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News

  • NCDSB’s Young Artists Gallery on view until June 23

    The Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts proudly hosted the opening evening of the Niagara Catholic District School Board’s Young Artists Gallery on June 6th. 80 student artists were chosen to display their work in an exhibit at the school and celebrate their accomplishments with their families, teachers and friends. Mayor Walter Sendzik and NCDSB Director Jon Crocco addressed the crowd before awards were distributed to recognized students.

    The exhibit will be on display at the MIWSFPA until June 23rd. The gallery will be open to the public Wednesdays-Saturdays from 1pm-5pm for viewing.

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  • Student completes music degree started 18 years ago in Mexico

    Mexico’s Luis Gerardo Molina will graduate from Brock Friday with a degree in Music.

    (from The Brock News,  Tuesday, June 05, 2018 | by )

    For 20 years, Luis Gerardo Molina worked his way up the corporate ladder of a growing computer software firm in his home country of Mexico.

    After high school, he had made what he viewed as a responsible decision to choose a stable career in technology over a fragile one as a classical pianist, but his love of music kept pulling at him like a magnet.

    Eventually, he gave in, and on Friday, June 8, at the age of 48, his career change will be official when he graduates from Brock University with a degree in Music.

    “It means everything,” said Molina. “That was a dream that I always wanted to make happen and I really struggled to get it.”

    Born into a family of talented musicians, Molina grew up around choirs and instruments, and by the age of six it was obvious he had a gift. At nine, he started working with a piano teacher and for eight years he attended a specialized school of music that turned his hobby into a craft.

    “I finished my high school and I had that dilemma many people face — should I devote my life to music? Is that a safe path for the rest of my life?” Molina said. “I decided to follow an alternative career. I always really liked the maths, so I decided to choose engineering.”

    A literal flip of a coin at the age of 17 made Molina choose computer engineering over civil engineering, and that set in motion a software career that lasted 20 years.

    But while his career progressed to the point of becoming a manager, so did his ongoing love of music. Having never truly given up his dream of being a professional pianist, Molina went back to the University of the Americas part time in 2000, completing two years of a four-year degree before realizing the workload wasn’t sustainable.

    Luis Molina’s music career has taken him to competitions and performances around the world.

    “It was just too much,” he said.

    But an invitation to an international piano competition in Paris in 2003 ramped up his duelling interests. After beating out nearly 100 competitors from 35 countries to win the contest, he was invited to more international performances and competitions, leading to the production of his first album of live recordings.

    “I got very good support from the company I was working for. The owner was a kind guy who was also involved in music and he always felt proud to tell them he had an employee with this background in competition and music,” said Molina, who traveled to the U.S., Germany, Russia, Poland and elsewhere over the years.

    “After doing all that, I decided the music is calling me more and more,” he said. “The company I was working for was growing and every day it was getting more complicated to do both things together.”

    Finally in 2015, the door opened to make music his full-time endeavour. He was hired as a pianist with a philharmonic orchestra in Mexico and went back to university for his third year of music school.

    Then, in 2017, a trip to Canada to visit friends in Niagara led to another big change.

    “I loved the Niagara region so I thought, if I’m going for my passion in music, I found the perfect place to do it,” he said.

    A tour of Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts and a meeting with Associate Professor of Music Karin Di Bella confirmed that Brock was where Molina would finish his degree.

    “I fell in love with what I found here. And now that I’m almost done, I feel very lucky to have had this great opportunity in this great country and at this great University,” he said.

    Di Bella called Molina “the real deal.”

    “He possesses a rare combination of drive, discipline, musical maturity, technical facility, innate musicality and a true flair for performance,” she said. “Despite his many accomplishments, he is very humble and always eager to learn, making him a true joy to work with.”

    After graduating Friday in the final day of Brock’s Spring Convocation, Molina will move on to do his master’s in musical literature and performance at Western University.

    From there, a PhD and potentially a teaching career are in his sights.

    “I’ve been performing for more than 30 years and I want to continue doing that, but I’d like to share my perspectives and teach others,” he said.

    Molina credits his wife, Marcela Lagunas Burgos, herself a talented musician who plays the cello, as playing a major role in his career success.

    “We’re definitely on the same frequency. She has supported me with everything and all the decisions.”

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    Categories: Alumni, Current Students, Department/Centre News, Future Students, In the Media, News

  • MIWSFPA welcomes Elizabeth Vlossak as Director

    Associate Professor of History Elizabeth Vlossak will take on the role of Interim Director of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts on July 1.

    (adapted from The Brock News, Sunday, June 03, 2018 | by )

    Associate Professor of History Elizabeth Vlossak will be become Interim Director of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts on July 1 when current Director David Vivian begins a year-long sabbatical.

    “I’m really looking forward to continuing to strengthen our community partnerships and perhaps develop new ones,” says Vlossak. “I’m thinking of ways to bridge the Humanities so that there is more interaction and collaboration between the MIWSFPA and other departments on the main campus.”

    Being a historian, Vlossak says she loves how “the city’s past has been preserved in a way that is relevant to the present, while also looking to the future,” in terms of the MIWSFPA building. But the school isn’t just the building. “It’s the people — students, faculty and staff — doing incredible work that enriches Brock as well as St. Catharines and the Niagara region.”

    Vlossak’s research area is 20th century European history, with particular interest in cultural history during the two world wars, women’s history, gender and nationalism, and memory and the politics of commemoration.

    She is a founding member and Associate Fellow of The History Lab, a collaboration with the Niagara Falls Military Museum, Seedling for Change in History, and Associate Professor Maria del Carmen Suescun Pozas.

    Vlossak has also consulted with the Department of Dramatic Arts on two Mainstage productions, Ring Around the Moon (2006) and The Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny (2016), sharing her research specialization with students and contributing to their successful performances.

    “The executive of the school is particularly excited by Associate Professor Vlossak’s record of community engagement through undertakings such as The History Lab,” says Vivian. “We look forward to her contribution to existing programming and relationship building with our community partners, as well as her unique new initiatives.”

    “I’m very pleased that Professor Vlossak is willing to take on the role of Interim Director of the MIWSFPA,” says Faculty of Humanities Dean Carol Merriam. “Professor Vlossak is an active, energetic, and imaginative teacher and scholar, and will bring those same qualities to the work of the School.”

    Vivian, Associate Professor with the Department of Dramatic Arts, has been Director of the MIWSFPA since 2016. Previously he was Director of the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture (3 years) and Chair of the Department of Dramatic Arts (4 years). He teaches theatrical design, production and stagecraft and has designed sets and costumes for Department mainstage productions.

    “The directorship is an unusual job involving work with faculty, staff, students and external partners, and Professor Vivian has balanced all of these demands very effectively,” says Merriam. “I wish him well of his rightly-deserved sabbatical.”

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    Categories: Announcements, Department/Centre News, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • World-Renowned Photographer Edward Burtynsky to receive honorary degree at Brock’s Spring Convocation

    A global health researcher, a Canadian union leader and a world-renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky (left) will be awarded honorary doctorates from Brock University during the upcoming Spring Convocation.

    (excerpted from: The Brock News,  Thursday, May 24, 2018 | by )

    This year’s Spring Convocation will include nine ceremonies over five days from June 4 to 8 in the Ian D. Beddis Gymnasium at Brock University’s Walker Sports Complex. Ceremonies will take place at 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. each day except for Friday, June 8, when only a morning ceremony is scheduled.

    Receiving honorary degrees this year will be Dr. James Orbinski, former President of Doctors Without Borders and a respected global health researcher; Hassan Yussuff, the first-ever Human Rights Director of the Canadian Auto Workers union and now President of the Canadian Labour Congress; and Edward Burtynsky, a St. Catharines native whose industrial landscape photography has appeared in more than 60 museums around the world.

    Convocation ceremonies are open to the public and tickets are not required. A reception for graduates, family and guests will follow each ceremony.

    Friday, June 8, 10 a.m. — Edward Burtynsky, World-Renowned Photographer

    His remarkable photographs of industrial landscapes have been included in the collections of more than 60 major museums around the world, but it was in his hometown of St. Catharines that Edward Burtynsky first learned his craft.

    Known as one of Canada’s most respected photographers, Burtynsky was influenced early in his career by the images of Niagara’s General Motors plants. His images explore the collective impact we’re having on the planet, looking at the human systems we’ve imposed onto natural landscapes.

    Burtynsky received his BAA in Photography/Media Studies from Ryerson University in 1982 and a few years later launched Toronto Image Works, a darkroom rental facility, custom photo lab, digital imaging and new media computer-training centre catering to all levels of Toronto’s art community.

    While he is an active lecturer on photographic art across North America, his images have appeared in the biggest publications in the world such as National Geographic and the New York Times, and have been included in installations at the National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim, the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid and many others.

    Awarded the title of Officer of the Order of Canada in 2006, Burtynsky has also won the TED Prize, the Governor General’s Awards in Visual and Media Arts, the Outreach award at the Rencontres d’Arles, the Roloff Beny Book award, and the Rogers Best Canadian Film award.

    When he receives an honorary doctorate from Brock University on Friday, June 8, it will be Burtynsky’s ninth such degree.

    Most recently, Burtynsky unveiled his first Augmented Reality installation at Photo London, where he was honoured as the 2018 Master of Photography. The installation allows viewers to explore the recycling of automotive machine parts from a scrap yard in Accra, Ghana in 3D.

    “I like to think of photography 1.0 as the invention of photography and photography 2.0 as the evolution of photography to digital and the move from film and paper to everything on a chip,” Burtynsky said. “Now, for me, photography 3.0 is the use of the digital camera to capture an object in the third dimension.”

    He said powerful imaging software and advancements in computing power has allowed him to create installations inviting viewers “directly into the photograph to scale with the objects, even allowing them to magnify and see the detailed minutia.”

    Burtynsky’s work was recently featured in Lac/Athabasca written by Len Falkenstein and presented by the graduating Dramatic Arts students in April 2018.

    Upcoming exhibitions include Anthropocene at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO).  A co-presentation with the Canadian Photography Institute (CPI) of the National Gallery of Canada (NGC) Anthropocene is a major new contemporary art exhibition that tells the story of human impact on the Earth through film, photography, and new experiential technologies. Co-produced with MAST Foundation, Bologna, Italy, the exhibition is a component of the multi-disciplinary Anthropocene Project from the collective of photographer Edward Burtynsky and filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier. Organized by the artists in partnership with the three organizations, Anthropocene will run at the AGO and NGC simultaneously from September 2018 through early 2019.

    Listen to “Paul and Ed’s Excellent Adventure” from CBC Ideas:

    “World-famous environmental photographer Edward Burtynsky and IDEAS host Paul Kennedy both grew up in St. Catharines, Ontario. In fact, their childhood homes were less than 300 metres apart, and paperboy Paul delivered a daily dose of newspaper comic strips to eventual visual artist Ed. They return to their old home town and revisit their roots, including the site of the now-dismantled GM Plant # 1, where both of their fathers worked; and the new subdivision that’s recently replaced Meadowvale School, where they both started kindergarten, so many decades ago.”
    Ideas (January 15, 2018)

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  • New book explores the art of animal advocacy

    Associate Professor of Visual Arts Keri Cronin examines the role of visual images, such as Edward Landseer’s A Distinguished Member of the Humane Society (exhibited 1838), in animal activism in her new book,  Art for Animals: Visual Culture and Animal Advocacy, 1870-1914.

    (Source: The Brock NewsTuesday, May 22, 2018 | by )

    It was while searching for a set of lantern slides many years ago that Keri Cronin inadvertently found inspiration for her latest book.

    The slides never materialized but what Cronin, an associate professor in Brock’s Department of Visual Arts, did find was an abundance of material on animal advocacy.

    That material has helped to form her latest publication, Art for Animals: Visual Culture and Animal Advocacy, 1870-1914, which explores the use of visual art material in campaigns for animal advocacy.

    Art for Animals cover

    Art for Animals: Visual Culture and Animal Advocacy, 1870-1914 is the latest book by by Associate Professor Keri Cronin.

    Influenced in part by authors who looked at visual culture in other social justice movements, such as suffrage and civil rights, Cronin’s book explores how animal advocacy images were created, circulated and consumed, and the impact that had on ideas about the humane treatment of animals.

    “Visual culture played an important role in defining campaign goals, recruiting membership, raising funds, and, ultimately, sustaining and challenging dominant ideas about nonhuman animals,” writes Cronin.

    Her biggest challenge has been locating archival material to piece together the stories of animal advocacy.

    “For so long, the history of human-animal relationships was not a particularly valued area of research, and archival collections often reflect this,” says Cronin, who hopes the book will lead people to recognize relevant print material they might have in their own collections.

    The cheap, mass-produced pamphlets created and distributed by animal advocacy groups in the late 19th and early 20th century often weren’t considered valuable enough to save.

    The field of animal-human relations, however, has recently seen an explosion of interest both within the University and the broader public. Cronin notes that although her book deals with historical material, many of the key points have relevance for how images are used in animal advocacy today.

    “It is high time we turn our attention to how animals have always been part of our stories, histories, labour and societies,” she says.

    Art for Animals asks us to think about the ways in which visual images can both shape and challenge dominant narratives about non-human animals.”

    A public book launch will be held for Art for Animals on Wednesday, May 23 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Mahtay Café, 241 St. Paul St. in St. Catharines.

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    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Department/Centre News, Events, Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News