In the Media

  • Book publishing division launched by Brock’s Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture

    Brock’s Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture is launching two new books, Inland and The Quarry, through the new Small Walker Press.


    Brock’s Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture (STAC) has partnered with The Salon für Kunstbuch in Austria to launch an international book publishing division.

    The new Small Walker Press will celebrate the publication of its first two books at an official launch event on Thursday, May 9 from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. The event will take place in the main lobby of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) at 15 Artists’ Common in downtown St. Catharines.

    This year’s books were published under the theme of environmental degradation and include Inland, by Associate Professor of Visual Arts Shawn Serfas with creative writing by Atlanta-based New York Times journalist Richard Fausset and an essay by Associate Professor of Visual Arts Derek Knight, and The Quarry, by Associate Professor Adam Dickinson and artist Lorène Bourgeois.

    Noelle Allen, Publisher for Hamilton-based literary press Wolsak and Wynn, will be the guest speaker for the event.

    The launch is free and all are encouraged to attend.

    “The University is the ideal place to promote book culture,” said STAC Director Catherine Parayre. “Working with different authors and artists to bring about the completion of a book project is a fully interdisciplinary challenge that is rewarding intellectually, but also a wonderful opportunity to work with expert graphic designers.”

    Headed by STAC, the Small Walker Press addresses the research and creative interests of faculty members at Brock’s MIWSFPA and engages with authors, artists and academics alike to produce small, innovative publications.

    Funded by the generous support of the Walker Cultural Leader Series and the late Marilyn I. Walker, the press publishes collaborative work that brings together authors and artists from the Niagara region, as well as those across Canada and internationally.

    Parayre and Knight serve as its editors; Bernhard Cella, from The Salon für Kunstbuch in Vienna, Austria, is the press’s book designer.

    Inland provides two distinct reflections on pollution and the consequences of human intervention on natural resources. It features work created by Serfas for his 2016 exhibition Inland, curated by Stuart Reid at Rodman Hall Art Centre, and creative writing by Fausset, whose work includes extensive coverage of the devastating environmental and socio-economic impacts of Hurricane Katrina.

    The Quarry offers a reflection on a walk that Dickinson and Bourgeois embarked upon through the Glenridge Quarry Naturalization Site on the Niagara Escarpment in 2018. Dickinson contributes a poem for the book, which is accompanied by drawings by Bourgeois.

    “We are very much looking forward to sharing these books with the public at the launch on May 9,” Parayre said.

    The Small Walker Press is predicated on, and values, interdisciplinary co-operation, the exploration of image and text, and seeks to contribute to and participate in the promotion of book culture.

    Publications will include exhibition catalogues, artist’s books, chapbooks, short essay format and creative writing as well as online art folios or editions, and recorded sound work or interviews.

    Publications may be in English, French or other languages and books will be available for purchase at the launch.

    They will also be available at Rodman Hall Art Centre, the Brock Campus Store, and The Salon für Kunstbuch in Vienna, Austria.

    Learn more about the Small Walker Press by visiting the STAC website.

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

  • Celebrating the arts downtown

    Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School for Fine and Performing Arts.


    (From University Affairs, Wednesday, December 19, 2018 | By: Erika Thorkelson)

    In his 1919 “Bauhaus Manifesto,” German architect Walter Gropius laid out his plan for the revitalization of the visual arts. He believed that the salon system of art education had grown elitist and stagnant because it had lost touch with craftsmanship. Among his central principles, Gropius called for “contact with public life, with the people, through exhibitions and other activities.” While Gropius’s ideas remain influential in art and design schools, many universities in Canada have largely resisted that principle until now.

    In the past few years, a number of small to medium- sized universities – which tend to be more geographically and culturally sequestered from urban landscapes than their larger counterparts – have sought to bridge the gap between arts education and the community by moving downtown. Following in the footsteps of Simon Fraser University, which opened its School for the Contemporary Arts in Vancouver back in 2008, Brock University, Laurentian University, MacEwan University and the University of Windsor have all unveiled new arts-related facilities in city centres. Each seeks in its own way to revitalize its surrounding community while taking advantage of the unique pedagogical opportunities of its new central location.

    Preserving the past while building the future

    In 2015, Brock University opened its long-anticipated Marilyn I. Walker School for Fine and Performing Arts in St. Catharines, Ontario. Part of the city’s plan to build a “creative cluster” in its sleepy downtown, which had been emptied out by decades of deindustrialization and suburbanization, the opening was hailed as a catalyst for the rebirth of the whole city centre.

    To house its new facilities, the university chose the dilapidated Canada Hair Cloth Company Building, a former textile mill that had sat disused and in disrepair for years – a reminder of St. Catharines’ industrial past. Starting in 2008, the university undertook a massive renovation of the building thanks to a donation of $15 million from the building’s namesake, philanthropist and artist Marilyn I. Walker.

    Elizabeth Vlossak, the facility’s interim director, sees the school as a way to preserve St. Catharines’ industrial history (most recently, as a hub for auto-parts manufacturing) while moving the city toward a post-industrial future. “The building is symbolic not just of the place of the arts in the university, but the place of the arts in a community and a city, and also in the Niagara region,” she says.

    Dr. Vlossak sees the development of the creative cluster, which also includes the new FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, a partnership between the city and Brock that sits adjacent to the new satellite campus, as a push toward an “orange economy.” The term has gained a great deal of traction in South America to describe how the arts and entertainment industries can become huge economic drivers in areas that have lost their traditional industries.

    Victoria Reid was one of the first students to take advantage of the brand-new facilities that now house Brock’s dramatic arts, music, visual arts, and arts and culture studies programs. She was in her second year of a bachelor’s degree in studio art when the buildings opened, and she remembers it changing her whole relationship to the city. “Before, I kind of avoided going downtown,” she remembers. “I found it kind of scary.”

    But as students inhabited the new space, graffiti was replaced by murals and new businesses were drawn to the area. During her time there, Ms. Reid, who is now working on a master’s in library and information sciences at Western University while continuing to make art, had many chances to take part in exhibitions at those local businesses. “It gave me experience I don’t think I would have gotten removed from the downtown area,” she says. “I had a lot that I could put on my resumé.”

    Read the full article here.

    Categories: In the Media, 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

  • 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

  • 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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    Categories: Announcements, Events, In the Media, News

  • 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

  • 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

  • Dramatic Arts TA recipient of multiple awards

    Brock’s Three Minute Thesis winner Kaitlyn Kerridge, and award winners Shasha Hu and Jonathan Brower all spoke at the Graduate Student Awards and Donor Recognition Celebration on Thursday, May 10.

    (adapted from: The Brock News Monday, May 14, 2018 | by )

    It wasn’t until he started at Brock University that Jonathan Brower was able to marry his passions: theatre, LGBTQ2 studies and spirituality.

    During the Graduate Student Awards and Donor Recognition Celebration held on campus Thursday, May 10, the Master of Social Justice and Equity Studies student spoke about how the University and its donors have made a difference in his life.

    An actor, playwright and producer, Brower told the more than 100 guests in attendance about how support from donors allows him to focus on his research and continue artistic pursuits, without having to worry about financial pressures.

    “For research to truly be enriched, you need to be able to immerse yourself in it completely,” he said. “Support from donors allows me to focus my creative energy on academia, rather than having to worry about how my bills are being paid. Every layer of support I have received lifts me closer to success.”

    Brower was the recipient of multiple awards at the celebration: a Bluma Appel Graduate Entrance Scholarship for Excellence in Social Sciences, the Scotiabank Graduate Award and a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council CGS Master’s Scholarship.Hosted by the Faculty of Graduate Studies, the awards event celebrated student success and thanked donors for their generous support of graduate students.

    Brower came to Niagara from Calgary, where he co-founded and ran a queer theatre company and wrote and produced a play, oblivion, about the struggle to reconcile faith and sexuality. The production toured Canada over three years, visiting major cities including Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto, with a stop in St. Catharines last year.

    Starting his master’s at Brock seemed a fitting next step for the student researcher, whose work explores “queer religious agency through narrative inquiry and applied theatre.”

    “My own experience as a queer person in the Christian faith was marginalized, which led to the creation of oblivion,” Brower said. “This thesis project takes things a step further using collective theatre creation to bring the experiences of queer individuals from different faith backgrounds into conversation.”

    In 2017-18 Brower was a teaching Assistant in the Department of Dramatic Arts for the courses DART 1F91 Introduction to Theatre and Performance (Dr. Jacqueline Taucar, Instructor) and DART 4F56 Advanced Studies in Theatre (Professor Gyllian Raby).  He recently collaborated on WE WHO KNOW NOTHING ABOUT HIAWATHA ARE PROUD TO PRESENT HIAWATHA as part of the Rhizomes for the 2018 In The Soil Festival.

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    Categories: Current Students, Faculty & Instructors, Future Students, In the Media, News

  • Brock calendar packed with high school events

    Port Colborne High School students were taken on a tour of campus Tuesday, May 8.

    (excerpted from: Brock News Tuesday, May 08, 2018 | by 

    Now that Winter Term has come to an end, it’s high season for high school students on campus.

    Brock has been buzzing with activity over the past two weeks, with secondary students from across Niagara and the GTA taking tours, listening to presentations, participating in lab demonstrations and getting a taste for life on campus.

    That jam-packed lineup continues this week, with the addition of the popular Scientifically Yours event May 10 and 11, and the Ontario Classics Conference May 10 to 12.

    “For many high school students, University campuses can seem very intimidating at first,” said Jamie Mandigo, Brock’s Vice-Provost, Enrolment Management and International. “Some have never set foot on a University campus while others may be the first in their family to apply and attend University. Providing students with a welcoming first impression of Brock is critical to reassuring them that they will have a positive student experience during their time with us.”

    Included in the many high school events that have happened recently at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts are:

    • April 27 — Stamford Collegiate performed at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) as part of In the Soil Arts Festival.
    • May 5 — The Department of Dramatic Arts held its invitational and weekend tours for high school students.
    • May 7 — About 500 students from the District School Board of Niagara rehearsed at the MIWSFPA for Music Monday, before performing at the Meridian Centre that evening.
    • May 8 — About 60 Grade 10 and 11 students from Thorold High School, Eastdale Secondary School and Port Colborne High School visited for campus tours, presentations and a Dramatic Arts activity with Professor Joe Norris and his improv students; The Grade 9 drama students from Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School performed their original self-produced children’s play in the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre for elementary and secondary school students of the NCDSB.
    • May 9 — Niagara Catholic District School Board students rehearsed and participated in workshops at the MIWSFPA for Music Day before performing at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines.
    • May 10 — The Grade 9 drama students from Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School performed their original self-produced children’s play in the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre for elementary and secondary school students of the NCDSB

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  • Symposium to focus on depictions of animals in literature, art and society

    Visual Arts Professor Donna Szoke will be awarded with the Faculty of Humanities Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity at the HRI Spring Symposium on Tuesday, April 17. Szoke’s work with animals includes her current piece, Midst, which uses video projectors and fog machines to create animations of large animals on a wall of fog.

    (Source: The Brock News, Monday, April 09, 2018 by Alison Innes)

    The Elephant in the Room will be the topic of discussion next week at the annual Humanities Research Institute (HRI) Spring Symposium on Tuesday, April 17.

    This year’s theme, “The Elephant in the Room: Making Space for Animals in Our Research and Teaching” explores the use and depictions of animals in history, literature, art and society. Faculty members from the Faculties of Humanities and Social Science will share their work on critical animal studies and human-animal studies.

    Symposium organizer Associate Professor Keri Cronin hopes this year’s topic will bring together researchers from across the University to start important interdisciplinary conversations and make the work already being done more visible.

    “Brock is, in my opinion, the place to be for animal studies,” says Cronin. “But because those of us researching and teaching these topics are so spread out and scattered across campus, it’s hard to get a sense of just how deep this research runs.”

    These HRI events are essential to maintaining the Faculty of Humanities’ sense of community, says Michael Carter, Associate Dean of Humanities and Director of the Humanities Research Institute.

    “The symposia provide wonderful opportunities for interaction and mutual support of our diverse research and creative agenda,” he says.

    The HRI was created to encourage the development of research programs and initiatives within the Faculty, as well as to generate public awareness of the diversity of humanities research by faculty and graduate students.

    This year, Visual Arts Associate Professor Donna Szoke will be awarded the 2017 Faculty of Humanities Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity at the symposium. Szoke’s artistic work includes media art, interactive animation, installation and printmaking.

    Szoke’s multidisciplinary work has included creating a free smartphone app, “Invisible Histories,” which maps nuclear waste at the Niagara Falls, N.Y. Storage Site, where more than 270,000 mice used in radioactive experiments have been buried.

    More recent work by Szoke has included “Bold as Love,” a site-specific response piece at Rodman Hall Art Centre, and “Knitting Cigarettes,” an ongoing performance art piece of public knitting.

    The 2017 HRI Spring Colloquium will be held at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts on Tuesday, April 17. The full schedule is available online.

    What: HRI Spring Symposium, “The Elephant in the Room: Making Space for Animals in Our Research and Teaching”

    Where: Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts

    When: Tuesday, April 17, 1 to 4:30 p.m.

    Limited parking available on site. Members of the Brock University community and guests are welcome to park on a first-come first-served basis. City parking lots are available nearby.
    See www.stcatharines.ca/en/livein/ParkingLotsGarages.asp

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