Alumni

  • Irigaray Circle presents Horizons of Sexual Difference, June 14

    The Irigaray Circle will hold their 9th meeting and 2018 conference “Horizons of Sexual Difference” at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts from June 14-16, 2018.

    This three-day international interdisciplinary meeting of The Luce Irigaray Circle is devoted to scholarship/creative work on, or inspired by, the thought of the contemporary French feminist thinker, Luce Irigaray. The conference theme, Horizons of Sexual Difference, brings Irigarayan scholarship into dialogue with recent discourses (i.e., trans, queer, Indigenous) in an effort to discover generative and productive sites in thinking that open up feminist thought.

    Keynote Speakers include:

    Tawny Andersen
    Gwen Benaway
    Tina Chanter
    Rachel Jones
    Emily Anne Parker

    The conference is organized by Dr. Athena Colman and is sponsored by the Department of Philosophy, Faculty of Humanities, Brock University.

    To register and for recent news see the conference registration webpage

    To download a copy of the poster

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

  • Post-Industrial Ephemera: Soundings, Gestures and Poetics exhibition catalogue published

    CATHERINE PARAYRE, BROCK UNIVERSITY /
    REINHARD REITZENSTEIN, SUNY-BUFFALO, CURATORS

    The exhibition Post-Industrial Ephemera: Soundings, Gestures and Poetics took place in 2017 at Silo-City, Buffalo, NY as a joint project funded by the Agreement for Scholarly Exchange and Collaboration between the State University of New York at Buffalo and Brock University, St. Catharines, Ontario.

    The exhibition catalogue is now available for download.

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    Categories: Alumni, Events, Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News

  • Breaking the Silence at In the Soil

    (Source: The Brock News | Wednesday, May 03, 2018 by Matthew Melnyk)

    Students from Stamford Collegiate took to the stage at the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre to present their original play, Breaking the Silence, as part of In the Soil Arts Festival on Friday, April 27. The public performance was sponsored by Brock University. The play — based on the stories of British Home Children who were torn from their families and sent to Canada for a ‘better life’ — earned Stamford the top prize at this year’s National Theatre School Drama Festival. Friday’s performance featured a quilt made up of historic photos of British Home Children.

    Stamford Collegiate at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. Seen l to r: Colin Anthes, BA (Honours) Dramatic Arts and Psychology, Minor in Philosophy, 2014; MA Philosophy (Contemporary Continental Philosophy), 2016; Certificate in Public Law (in process) is an alumnus of Stamford Collegiate, an instructor at the Department of Dramatic Arts, Artistic Director of Essential Collective Theatre and founder of Twitches & Itches Theatre; Angela Menotti, program leader of Drama at Stamford Collegiate; and Ethan Yando, who has a placement at Stamford Collegiate as he completes his BA (Honours) Dramatic Arts, Minor in English Language and Literature, BEd Teacher Education – Intermediate Senior in 2018.

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    Categories: Alumni, Announcements, Events, Future Students, News

  • Brock faculty, staff, students and grads performing at In the Soil

    (Source: The Brock News | Wednesday, April 25, 2018 by Alison Innes)

    It’s a festival born out of love for the local community and the arts.

    In the Soil, the three-day, multi-layered and multi-disciplinary festival in St. Catharines, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this weekend, and Brock has played an important role in its growth.

    The festival started as an idea sparked at a Centre for the Arts performance in Sean O’Sullivan Theatre, where Annie Wilson (BA’03), Joe Lapinski (BA’99) and Sara Palmieri (BA ’03) wondered how they help showcase Niagara talent. Three more former Brock students came on board to found the festival in 2009: Deanna Jones (BA ’02), Natasha Pedros (BA ’04) and Jordy Yack.

    They wanted to bring people together with local artists to create a shared experience and celebrate Niagara’s arts scene.

    Brock’s support of In the Soil has been important from the start, says Wilson, who studied Theatre and English.

    “To have the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts right in the downtown core is a dream come true and so is the opportunity to collaborate with so many incredible profs and friends over there,” says Wilson. “Brock University has supported In the Soil Arts Festival from day one and the ongoing investment in us has allowed us to grow it into what it is today.”

    Suitcase in Point Theatre Company, a theatre group founded by graduates from Brock’s Dramatic Arts program, took over organizing the festival in 2012. The group worked to sharpen the festival’s interdisciplinary approach and now has a tradition of showcasing the latest work in theatre, literature, music, film, comedy and site-specific installations.

    Many Brock students, staff, faculty, and grads are exhibiting and performing at this year’s festival in various venues around the downtown core, including:

    • Adrian Thiessen (BA ’10), president and creative head of Fourgrounds Media, will be showing his piece “Please Do Not Disturb the Grapes,” which gives a bird’s perspective of Niagara wine country as part of Rhizomes at Silver Spire United Church.
    • We Who Know Nothing, a theatre group centred in the Department of Dramatic Arts and led by Associate Professor Gillian Raby, will be performing a short piece on colonialism and First Nations histories.
    • Also at Rhizomes, Twitches & Itches Theatre, an ensemble made up largely of Dramatic Arts graduates, will be presenting emerging theatre voices in “The Comments Section,” a collaboration between young artists.
    • Arnie McBay (MA ’13), Visual Arts Facilities Technician at MIWSFPA, and English Professor Gregory Betts will be showing “Signs of Our Discontent” (The Textures of Our Solitude). The site-specific installation at the corner of St. Paul and Garden Park responds to the fading advertisements painted on downtown buildings.
    • Fourth-year Visual Arts student Amber Lee Williams video performance “Self Portrait As A Female Fountain” explores themes of identity and is an extension of her exhibition “Hidden Mother” on until Saturday, April 28 at the MIWSFPA.
    • Dramatic Arts student Matthew Beard is the founder of Big Chicken Improv, an improv group that includes various Brock students. They will be performing long- and short-form improv on Saturday evening.

    Prior to the festival, the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts will be hosting a special event on the evening of April 27 for students from Stamford Collegiate.
    The MIWSFPA is also a festival sponsor.

    What: In the Soil Arts Festival

    When: Friday, April 27 to Sunday, April 29

    Where: Downtown St. Catharines

    Tickets and event details: inthesoil.on.ca


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  • Art exhibit receptions to mark International Women’s Day

    The opening reception of “Silent Areas: The Spaces in Between,” Cat Stambolic and Sarah Martin, takes place Thursday, March 8 at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

    Brock’s arts community will mark International Women’s Day on Thursday, March 8 with two art exhibition receptions.

    On display at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts Visual Arts Gallery and student exhibition space, “Silent Areas: The Spaces in Between” features the work of third-year Visual Arts student Sarah Martin and recent Brock Visual Arts graduate Cat Stambolic (BA ’17).

    The exhibition, which initially opened Feb. 15 and runs until Saturday, March 24, explores the disconnect between mind and body, deemed ‘silent areas.’

    Exploring the theme separately through their previous work, the pair came together to create the exhibit, which investigates “connections between mind and body; specifically, what happens if and when that connection is interrupted,” explained Stambolic.

    Both women are strong advocates of mental health.

    “Our work hangs in conversation with each other’s,” Stambolic said, and is “truly representative of the open dialogue we need to create regarding mental illness.”

    Her work featured in the show is directly related to her own sensory experiences, which resulted in feeling a disconnect from her physical body.

    “The process of making these pieces was a way to resolve these sensations and emotions, re-envisioning them as tangible sculptures,” she said.

    Martin uses her photographs to create visual representation of “restlessness and unconsciousness, how feelings of anxiety can create out-of-body experiences and feelings of existentialism.”

    Her work in this exhibit depicts women exclusively in order to “refocus the narrative of women creating work featuring women, instead of from a male perspective,” she said. “Using the female figure in a powerful way reclaims ownership of the female body and creates a new narrative of empowerment and self-reflection.”

    Both artists will be at the exhibition’s reception to discuss their work on Thursday, March 8 from 5 to 8 p.m.

    Also that evening, from 6 to 8 p.m., is the opening reception of “Expressions of Today/Expressions d’aujourd’hui” at the Niagara Arts Centre, 354 St. Paul St.

    Featuring work from Brock’s Studies in Arts and Culture, and French Studies students, the exhibit explores contemporary expressions in art and literature, with pieces creating unusual stories mixing narrative and art-making.

    “Expressions of Today/Expressions d’aujourd’hui” will be on display at the NAC until Friday, March 16.

    For information on upcoming events, visit the MIWSFPA website.

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    Categories: Alumni, Current Students, Events, In the Media, News

  • Exhibition – Silent Areas: The Spaces in Between, opens Feb. 15

    Brock Visual Art student Sarah Martin and Brock Visual Arts Alumna Caterina Stambolic present photographs and sculptures investigating the interruptions between mind and body.

    Exhibition: Thursday Feb. 15 to Saturday Mar. 24

    Regular visiting hours are Tuesday through Saturday 1-5 pm.

    Opening Reception: Thursday Mar. 8, 5 – 8 pm

    Location: Visual Arts Exhibition Space, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, Brock University

    15 Artists’ Common, St. Catharines, ON

    This is a free community event!

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    Categories: Alumni, Current Students, Events

  • Two new exhibits open at Rodman Hall, including the work of curator and alumna Emma German

    Always Vessels, an exhibit by nine contemporary Indigenous artists, runs Jan. 27 to March 11 at Rodman Hall. Pictured is Nadya Kwandibens’ work — Emergence Series: Sugar Bush Sessions.

    (Source: The Brock News | Friday Jan. 26, 2018 by Alison Innes)

    The works of nine Indigenous artists will be featured in one of two new exhibits opening at Rodman Hall Art Centre on Saturday, Jan. 27.

    Curated by Alexandra Kahsenni:io Nehwegahbow, Always Vessels features nine contemporary Anishinaabek and Haudenosaunee artists who express their art through a range of media, from beads to photography.

    Using a blend of traditional and modern approaches, the artists explore the processes of learning, making and analyzing how knowledge is transferred and made. The work, informed by contemporary translation of traditional knowledge, offers insight into the range of skills, techniques and knowledge unique to Anishinaabek and Haudenosaunee cultures.

    The exhibit explores how belongings and possessions are meaningful objects that have the ability to carry, hold and transmit memory across time and space.

    Nahwegahbow will speak about the exhibit Saturday at 2:30 p.m. as part of Rodman’s Hot Talk series.

    Also opening on Saturday is Up close and in motion, an exhibit from Rodman’s permanent collection of nearly 1,000 works dating back three centuries. Curated by Brock alumna Emma German (BA ’14), the year-long, regularly changing exhibit will highlight the collection’s purpose as a tool for research, study and interpretation.

    The first installation of this exhibit focuses on recent acquisitions of contemporary Canadian art, many of which will be displayed for the first time.

    What: New exhibits opening: Always Vessels and Up close and in motion.

    Where: Rodman Hall Art Centre

    When: Saturday, Jan. 27, 2 p.m.

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  • World-class photographer with a Brock connection

    “One of Them Is a Human #1” by Maija Tammi won third place in this year’s Taylor-Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. Tammi studied photography at Brock in 2008-09 with Visual Arts professor Amy Friend. (Image copyright Maija Tammi; Used by permission).

    (Source: The Brock News | Friday Dec. 15, 2017 by Alison Innes)

    At first glance, the photo is a portrait of a young woman.

    On closer inspection, the ‘woman’ isn’t human at all. It is, in fact, an android called Erica, developed by Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratories in Osaka University, Japan.

    The photograph, taken by Finnish artist Maija Tammi and titled “One of Them is a Human #1,” won third prize in this year’s prestigious Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize.

    The photograph also has a surprising Brock connection.

    Finnish artist Maija Tammi, who studied at
    Brock University in 2008-09

    Tammi spent a year studying film and art at Brock University in 2008-09. Although she already had a background in photojournalism, her experience at Brock, and in particular a course with Professor Amy Friend, encouraged her towards art photography.

    “The Visual Arts program at Brock offers an abundance of opportunity for one-on-one interactions in class with students and professors,” says Friend.

    Such interactions allow for personalized and concentrated instruction that allow students to reach their potential.

    “Maija flourished in this environment and took advantage of the surrounding community with her interactive installations and thought-provoking course projects,” says Friend.

    Tammi cites the film Five Obstructions, which she first saw in Friend’s course, as particularly influential.

    The 1967 film shows the remaking of the same story five times, each with a different obstruction. This process of rethinking and reframing inspired Tammi.

    “Once you have thought of a concept,” she explains, “you rethink it several times from different perspectives.”

    Tammi was immediately interested in the ways obstructions can encourage creativity and used the idea in her class project, redoing the same photograph multiple times with different obstructions.

    This experience in Friend’s course influenced her approach to photography. She gives herself obstructions, such as limiting her camera gear, to encourage her own creativity.

    Tammi is particularly attracted to portraiture, which she says tells us more about ourselves as viewers of the photograph than the subject of the photo as we project our stereotypes on them.

    One of Them is a Human #1 has attracted a lot of attention in the arts community. Although the Taylor Wessing contest rules state that the subject needs to be alive, Tammi’s photograph was accepted because it raises important questions about what it means to be human.

    “I’m very excited about the conversation that has arisen,” Tammi says. “It is time to think about what it means to be alive.”

    Tammi doesn’t shy away from difficult subjects; she is currently completing a practise-based PhD exploring representations of sickness in art photography.

    “I like topics that are very difficult and people don’t like to talk about,” she says.

    Friend, who exhibited work in the same show as Tammi in New York in August 2015, has been watching her former student’s success closely.

    “Her success is indicative of the connections that many students make with classmates and professors,” Friend says. “When I see opportunities that fit her areas of expertise I send them her way. These are the types of extended interactions that happen when we are given space to know our students.”

    Tammi’s work was one of three finalists chosen from more than 5,717 submissions. Selected submissions, including the shortlisted portraits and competition winner, are on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London, England.

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  • Exhibition: Permanent Vacation

    This exhibition will showcase a select group of recent Brock University Alumni: Katie Mazi, Jenn Judson, Matt Caldwell, Alex Muresan, Jessica Wright and Ben Mosher. As these emerging artists expand ideas and develop new work, they continue to recognize the value of the St. Catharines arts community and the impact it has on their practice. It was here at Brock University that their first investigations began and it was at Rodman Hall (2014/2015 & 2015/2016) that their first professional group exhibitions came to fruition. These artists will exhibit new and exciting work they have been producing as they navigate and emerge into the art communities locally and beyond the region. The exhibition will be curated by Asta McCann Brock alumni (Studies in Arts and Culture).

    Additionally, Alumni music students: Grace Snippe, Annie Slade, and Kurt Dunn will be performing for the night of the reception.

    Exhibition: Saturday, November 4, 2017 to Friday, December 1, 2017

    regular visiting hours for the Exhibition Space are Tuesday through Saturday from 1-5 p.m
    for additional times see: gallery webpage    gallery facebook page

    Opening Reception: Friday, November 10, 2017, 7:00 – 10:00 p.m.

    Location: Visa Gallery, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, Brock University

    A free community event.

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  • Material Girls opens at Rodman Hall

    Soheila Esfahani is one of 25 artists featured in Material Girls, an exhibition that opened Sept. 14 at Rodman Hall. She is pictured with her work, Cultured Pallets: Persian.

    (originally published in The Brock News on WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 20, 2017 by Alison Innes)

    Women have claimed the spotlight at Rodman Hall this fall with a new large-scale exhibition.

    Material Girls — all about women taking up space — brings together work by 25 Canadian and international artists from across all artistic disciplines and cultural backgrounds. The exhibition, which opened Sept. 14, explores how material processes and ideas of excess relate to the feminized body and gendered space.

    “At Rodman Hall, we strive to be an agent of social change, presenting exhibitions that have resonance within our community, while engaging with dialogues beyond it,” says Rodman Hall Curator Marcie Bronson. “Among the issues our curatorial team took into consideration when planning to present Material Girls is the reality that our community is ranked one of the worst places in Canada to be a woman.”

    Niagara is considered one of the worst places in the country for women to live. A 2016 review by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives ranked St. Catharines 19 out of Canada’s largest 25 metropolitan areas in terms of women’s education, health, personal security, economic security and positions of leadership.

    Women who are working in Niagara are earning 75 per cent of what men make for the same work. Out of all the communities surveyed, Niagara has the lowest level of full-time female employment, despite women being more likely than men to have completed higher education. Women are also underrepresented in leadership roles in government and business.

    “It is our hope that this exhibition and related programming will spark not only dialogue, but more importantly, action to affect the positive and lasting change that is necessary to close the gender gap and reach our city’s vision of being dynamic, innovative, sustainable and livable,” Bronson explains.

    Hosting the exhibition in Rodman’s historic domestic space is particularly meaningful.

    “The show Material Girls has inserted itself into the house, and has re-imagined this domestic space in a way that pulls the focus towards women,” explains Gallery Assistant Lauren Regier. “This is especially significant as there is little known about the Merritt women — Mary Benson Merritt and Maud Hudson Merritt — both of whom seem to have resided in the house longer than their respective husbands.”

    Rodman Hall has partnered with YWCA Niagara to present an outreach program that invites girls in Grades 10 to 12 to explore visual arts materials within the themes of taking up space and the feminized body. Participants in Power Girl Material Girl will create a collaborative installation that will be on view at Rodman Hall beginning Nov. 17 and wrapping up alongside the full Material Girls exhibition Dec. 30.

    The exhibition, for which tours are available Saturdays at 2 p.m., is curated by Blair Fornwald, Jennifer Matotek and Wendy Peart of the Dunlop Art Gallery, a unit of the Regina Public Library.

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