In the Media

  • Brock University shines brightly at the 2017 St. Catharines Arts Awards

    2017 Arts Awards Recipients photographed following the evening presentations.

    The Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing arts celebrates the nominees and award winners of the 2017 St. Catharines Arts Awards.

    The evening of June 03, 2017 brought the arts and culture community together for the presentation of the awards in a special ceremony at the Cairns Recital Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre. This is an annual celebration of the arts of St. Catharines, a night to say thank you, to honour excellence and to reflect on the many achievements of local artists and cultural
    workers. All of this year’s Arts Awards nominees are helping to build a dynamic, inclusive arts community in our city that will thrive for years to come.

    The Rodman Hall Art Centre of Brock University was nominated for the Arts in Education Award, sponsored by the Pen Centre. This award celebrates an individual, collective or organization that has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to engaging St. Catharines residents through arts education activities.

    The team at Rodman Hall Art Centre.

    The team at Rodman Hall Art Centre

    Serving Niagara since 1960, Rodman Hall Art Centre was designated a national exhibition centre for the Niagara region in 1975. The Gallery has received seven Ontario Association of Art Gallery awards and two St. Catharines Standard Readers Choice awards since 2010. The talented staff at Rodman Hall Art Centre, led by Acting Director and Curator Marcie Bronson, connect our community with contemporary art through a year-round program of thought-provoking exhibits, special events and art classes for all ages. They are the leading centre for visual arts education and creative expression in St. Catharines. Rodman Hall’s arts education programs promote art making as a healthy activity that cultivates and enhances an appreciation for the arts. Their programs and community partnerships have inspired creativity in thousands of children and adults and helped to develop the talent and skills of Niagara residents. Congratulations, Rodman Hall Art Centre!

    Kasia Dupuis

    Kasia Dupuis

    Also nominated for the Arts in Education Award was Kasia Dupuis. Kasia is an educator, artist, mother, wife and arts advocate who blends art, creativity and education. Kasia studied Arts and Culture at Brock University and successfully completed her diploma in Primary Education at the University of Edinburgh. She has led adult workshops and community projects including Art Night events at local schools. Kasia has been spreading her love of art with this community since 2011, when she opened the 4Cats St. Catharines Studio. She has been a part of Culture Days, offers educational workshops with the DSBN and happily organizes birthdays, scouting, and guiding group art activities. 4Cats remains a hive of creativity under her leadership where she encourages all students to “love what you do and make good art.” Congratulations, Kasia!

    Sponsored by the St. Catharines Downtown Association, the Making A Difference Award celebrates a St. Catharines arts entrepreneur, arts administrator, arts organization, arts animator or volunteer in the arts whose leadership and innovation have significantly contributed to the growth and development of arts and culture in St. Catharines. The 2017 award was presented to Marcie Bronson, curator of the Rodman Hall Art Centre of Brock University.

    Marcie Bronson

    Marcie Bronson

    Marcie has played a central role in the transformation of Rodman Hall Art Centre into the nationally recognized institution of excellence that residents of St. Catharines now enjoy. Her curatorial accomplishments — both exhibitions and publications — are outlined in her curriculum vitae, but what cannot be captured on paper is the esteem with which she is regarded in the arts community and beyond. She has steadfastly promoted local artists throughout her curatorial career – half of her exhibitions have been by local artists. She has fought tirelessly for the future of Rodman Hall with her nuanced understanding of how it affects community on many levels and her commitment is evident not only through Rodman Hall but also at Brock University with students and faculty. The excitement expressed by students when Bronson attends and shares her appreciation of their work is important to their growth as young artists. She is a remarkable mentor and highly respected by students and staff alike. Congratulations, Marcie!

    Also nominated for the Making A Difference Award was Gregory Betts, Professor in the Department of English Language and Literature.

    Gregory Betts

    Gregory Betts

    The poet and author has been publishing cutting edge literature for 18 years and has released seven books and 18 chapbooks from the best avant-garde presses across North America. Not only is he a successful author, Betts is a genuine activist for the literary community in St. Catharines. Since arriving in 2006 to teach at Brock University, Betts has organized events that have brought hundreds of the best authors from around the world to St. Catharines. Gregory has been a tireless advocate for literature and has helped to foster and create a robust literary community in the city, working as an artist, volunteer, and organizer of all things cultural. His work has culminated in the establishment of a new literary festival of which Betts is artistic director. The Festival of Readers is a three-day literary extravaganza that brought over 40 authors to the city in October 2016 and attracted over 400 people. With this festival, not only has he built a stage for the best literature in the country, but he has insisted that the focus of that stage be for developing and encouraging readers in the city of St. Catharines.

    Gregory was awarded the Jury’s Pick Award, presented at the Jury’s discretion to an individual, collective or organization nominated but not receiving an award in any other category. This individual, collective or organization must have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the arts in St. Catharines, and cannot have received an Arts Award in the past. It is the Jury’s choice to determine, on a yearly basis, whether or not the Jury’s Pick Award will be presented. Congratulations, Gregory!

    Danielle Wilson

    Danielle Wilson

    Professor Danielle Wilson of the Department of Dramatic Arts was nominated for the Established Artist Award sponsored by Meridian Credit Union. This award is presented to a professional St. Catharines artist in any discipline who has received recognition for excellence in their art practice in St. Catharines and beyond.

    Danielle holds an MFA in performance and a graduate Voice Teaching Diploma, both from York University. She is a full-time faculty member in the Department of Dramatic Arts (DART) teaching voice and performance. Danielle is an actor who has worked across Canada with such companies as Repercussion Theatre, Manitoba Theatre Centre, Magnus Theatre, Tarragon Theatre and The Georgian Theatre Festival. She is co-founder and co-Artistic Director of Stolen Theatre Collective, collaborating on the company’s shows The Diaries of Adam and Eve and The Nona which toured to the London Fringe Festival. Danielle directed The Dumb Waiter by Harold Pinter and recently, she co-created and performed in the original production of The Ash Mouth Man which was re-mounted for the In the Soil Arts Festival in April. For the DART, she has directed Blood Relations by Sharon Pollock, Lion in the Streets by Judith Thompson, codirected Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare with her colleague Gyllian Raby and directed Good night Desdemona (Good morning Juliet) by Ann-Marie MacDonald. Congratulations, Danielle!

    Gordon Cleland

    Gordon Cleland

    Also nominated for the Established Artist Award was Gordon Cleland. Principal cellist of the Niagara Symphony, Gordon has performed across North America. He has appeared as soloist with the Niagara Symphony (Schumann Concerto in A minor and Vivaldi Double Concerto in G minor with Gisela Depkat), for the Debut Series in Montreal, and with Mercredi Musique (Boccherini Bb Major). He has extensive experience as a chamber musician, has broadcast frequently for CBC FM Radio and has performed on
    TV5, the international French television network. Gordon teaches cello at Brock University and is an instructor with Suzuki Niagara and the Niagara Youth Orchestra. He has been a featured performer for the Concertino Program of Jeunesses musicales, whose artists are carefully chosen for their pedagogical skills and their ability to communicate with young people. His strong interest in contemporary and Canadian music is reflected in the repertoire he performs. Congratulations, Gordon!

    Twitches and Itches Theatre

    Twitches and Itches Theatre

    Twitches and Itches Theatre shared the Emerging Artists Award with comedian David Green. For this award two emerging St. Catharines artists working in any discipline are recognized, celebrating current accomplishments and future potential. The award is sponsored by the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, Brock University.

    Colin Bruce Anthes and Tom DiMartino founded Twitches and Itches Theatre in 2009. The company includes alumni of Brock University’s Department of Dramatic Arts. In September of 2014, Twitches and Itches began a new initiative called Open Creation Labs (a series of workshops guided by Anthes) that became a way to introduce St. Catharines theatre artists to accessible, yet challenging devising methods. From The Creation Labs emerged a core ensemble that began creating two shows: Once (2015) and Time, Again (2016). Both pieces premiered at St. Catharines’ In the Soil Festival to glowing praise and large audiences. In 2015, Twitches and Itches led a 24-hour play creation as part of the Culture Days celebration, and hosted a free vocal workshop in 2016. Twitches and Itches has just completed its most recent show, The Bacchae and will premiere an original piece, September Songs, this fall. Congratulations, Twitches and Itches!

    Jo Pacinda

    Jo Pacinda

    Other nominees for the Emerging Artist Award include Jo Pacinda and Lauren Regier. Jo has a degree in Dramatic Arts with a Concentration in Production and Design from the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, Brock University. Recent credits include Costume Design Assistant for The Fighting Days, Poor and Falling: A Wake with Essential Collective Theatre (ECT). Jo has served as Wardrobe Assistant on ECT’s The Drawer Boy, Yellow Door Theatre’s The Little Prince and The Foster Festival’s Halfway to the North Pole. Jo designs custom costumes and clothing for select individuals and regularly works or volunteers as a designer and assistant designer for many local theatre companies, demonstrating her commitment to her artistic practice and to local St. Catharines arts. Congratulations, Jo!

    Lauren Regier

    Lauren Regier

    Lauren Regier graduated from Brock University’s Visual Arts program in 2014. Interested in the dynamic relationship between nature and machines, she investigates this subject though photography, video, performance and installation art. She participated in the annual STRUTT Wearable Art Show in 2011 and 2013. In 2012, she participated in a two-week social justice trip in Peru volunteering in a children’s art class . Her experience was later channeled into a performance piece at St. Catharines’ Market Square in the show, Time and Space. In 2015, Lauren was hired by Rodman Hall to provide gallery assistance on weekends, she currently assists with exhibition and historical tours for visitors and groups. Lauren has exhibited her work at various venues throughout St. Catharines including Mahtay Café and Market Square and has been featured in both the Brock News and The Sound. Congratulations, Lauren!

    First presented in 2005, The St. Catharines Arts Awards recognize and celebrate excellence in all areas of artistic creation. The Arts Awards seek to increase the visibility of St. Catharines’ artists and cultural industries, honour cultural leaders and their achievements, and cultivate financial and volunteer support for the arts sector. Arts Award recipients demonstrate St. Catharines’ breadth of talent and commitment to the arts. Since 2005, fifty-one awards have been given to artists, businesses, individuals and organizations to recognize their contributions to the cultural vitality of our community. The City of St. Catharines produces the Arts Awards, which are supported by the St. Catharines Arts & Culture Advisory Committee and produced by staff from the Parks, Recreation and Culture Services department.

    The Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts congratulates all the faculty, staff, students and alumni recognized for their profound contribution to arts and culture in St. Catharines!

    Information about the awards, the nominees and the award winners was gleaned from these sources:

    City of St. Catharines Arts Awards

    St. Catharines arts community in the spotlight: Awards handed out at FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.“ Niagara This Week – St. Catharines: WhatsOn June 06, 2017 by Melinda Cheevers,

    Rodman Hall curator wins St. Catharines Arts Award.” The Brock News. June 12, 2017 by Danny Custodio

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

  • Award winner stresses mountains worth climbing to capture dreams

    (Source: The Brock News, Friday, June 09, 2017 | by Maryanne Firth. Photo caption: “Jessica Vickruck, Aniqah Zowmi, Annika Mazzarella and Grant Yocom were each honoured with a Board of Trustees Spirit of Brock award during Friday’s faculties of Humanities and Math and Science Convocation ceremony.”)

    Annika Mazzarella’s university years were filled with many ups and downs, all which contributed to an important life lesson.

    When the 22-year-old St. Catharines native focused her studies on History of Art and Visual Culture, as well as Medieval and Renaissance Studies, she encountered people along the way who were discouraging, some even disapproving, of her chosen career path.

    It was her time at Brock that taught Mazzarella the importance of striving to achieve her dreams, regardless of any obstacles in her way.

    The naysayers she encountered were offset by the optimistic community at Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts and at Rodman Hall Art Centre, where Mazzarella always felt included and supported to pursue her career ambitions.

    The experience caused her to develop a new sense of self-confidence, refusing to back down from the goals she has set for herself.

    That determination, among other impressive qualities, earned Mazzarella the Board of Trustees undergraduate student Spirit of Brock award for the Faculty of Humanities, presented during Friday’s Convocation ceremony — a joint celebration for the faculties of Humanities and Math and Science.

    The morning event also saw Grant Yocom recognized as the Humanities graduate student Spirit of Brock recipient, and Aniqah Zowmi and Jessica Vickruck honoured as the undergraduate and graduate student recipients respectively for Math and Science.

    Mazzarella said her Brock experience, both inside of and beyond the classroom, provided her with a “solid foundation” to support her future career path as an art curator.

    In addition to studying abroad in Italy last spring through International Plus, Mazzarella joined several Brock organizations, including Brock Dance, Brock Niagara Lifesaving Club, Brock Niagara Masters, Brock Student Leadership Network, and Brock’s Medieval and Renaissance Society.

    She also represented the University as a student delegate at the 2016 Canadian Conference on Student Leadership.

    “With each involvement I had different experiences, however, they proved to me that you can do anything you put your mind to and that there is always something new to learn,” she said.

    Mazzarella plans to move to Ottawa this fall to pursue her master’s degree in Art History with a concentration in Art Exhibition and Curatorial Practices.

    Her advice for incoming students, in the words of Henry David Thoreau, is to “go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you imagined.”

    For Zowmi, earning the Spirit of Brock designation meant accomplishing her final university goal.

    “I have been fortunate to have had so many great opportunities,” said the passionate advocate of youth civic engagement, who is known as a leader in the Brock community.

    “One of the best things about Brock is that it is a small community and you feel very much supported,” Zowmi said. “It is also a place that encourages you to develop yourself both professionally and personally.”

    Zowmi is the first Brock student to win a 3M National Student Fellowship Award for her efforts to empower youth and encourage equality in education.

    She served on the University’s Human Rights Task Force, was a member of the Canadian Youth Delegation to the Commonwealth Youth Forum in Malta, where she addressed more than 700 youths at the UN Headquarters, and was a Youth Advisor to the Canadian Commission to UNESCO.

    Zowmi, a National Youth Ambassador for Passages Canada, also co-founded BrockU Talks, a speaker’s series for students to promote their engagement on global issues such as peace and sustainability.

    Both Spirit of Brock graduate recipients were also recognized for their hard efforts on and off campus.

    Yocom has been a leader among graduate students of the new PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanities in its formative years.

    He twice served as the graduate student representative on the council in order to provide a student voice as the program structured its regulations and established the format for its comprehensive examinations.

    Described as an inspirational leader, Yocom brought students together and has helped to make the PhD in Interdisciplinary Humanities the exciting and innovative program that it has become.

    Vickruck has demonstrated exemplary leadership in her research group and among graduate students in Biological Sciences.

    Her Master’s of Science produced three published manuscripts on pygmy carpenter bees, and her PhD will produce four major papers on the subject.

    She has also worked with a research scientist at the Canadian National Insect Collection in Ottawa, a collaboration that led to offers from scientists at several other Canadian and American universities.

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    Categories: Alumni, In the Media, News

  • Brock alumni, faculty and staff among St. Catharines Arts Awards nominees

    (Source: The Brock News, Monday, May 01, 2017 | by Alison Innes)


    Several members of the Brock community are being recognized for their impact on the local arts scene.

    Brock alumni, staff and faculty have earned a number of nominations for this year’s St. Catharines Arts Awards, which recognize outstanding contributions to the arts in the Garden City.

    Visual artist Lauren Regier (BA ’14), costume designer Jo Pacinda (BA ’13) and the Twitches & Itches Theatre group, run mainly by alumni, are among those in the running for the 2017 Emerging Artist award.

    Gordon Cleland, a professor with Brock’s Department of Music and principal cellist with the Niagara Symphony, and Brock dramatic arts professor Danielle Wilson, co-founder and co-artistic director of Stolen Theatre Collective, have both been nominated for the Established Artist Award.

    Earning a nomination in the Making a Difference category is Gregory Betts, a poet and professor with the Department of English Language and Literature, and Marcie Bronson, Acting Director and Curator at Rodman Hall Art Centre.

    Rodman Hall itself has also been nominated in the Arts in Education category.

    Seeing that high level of recognition bestowed upon members of the Brock community creates a sense of pride in anyone affiliated with the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA), said MIWSFPA Director David Vivian.

    The accomplishments of alumni help to reaffirm the work that staff and faculty of the arts school are doing to support the arts in Niagara, he said.

    Regier, a graduate from Brock’s Department of Visual Arts, feels participation in the local arts scene is key.

    “Some of the best people and institutions in St. Catharines have positioned themselves to be generously receptive of new ideas, artwork and dialogue,” she said.

    “When it comes to contributing to the arts community post-graduation, it’s our willingness to attend talks and shows by people we don’t know, or to introduce and guide newcomers — that truly makes one an accessible and valued member of the cultural community.”

    Regier is being recognized for her work, which explores the relationship between nature and machines through photography, video, performance and installation art.

    Pacinda, a Brock theatre graduate and aspiring costume designer who works with a number of theatre companies in Niagara, has always dreamed of not just starting but building her theatre career in the region.

    “This nomination means I’m headed on the right path with that,” she said.

    Her recent work includes company costumer and design assistant for Essential Collective Theatre and wardrobe assistant for Theatre Project, Foster Festival and Twitches & Itches.

    Pacinda said her Brock experience has helped to to get involved and give back to the local arts community.

    “The overall support the school has for its current students, alumni and staff is really fantastic,” she said. “It’s with all this support that alumni are able to contribute and help build the St. Catharines art scene.”

    The Arts Awards were first presented in 2005 to celebrate artists and supporters in St. Catharines, while also cultivating support for the arts sector.

    Awards are given out in five categories: Arts in Education, Emerging Artist, Established Artist, Making a Difference and Patron of the Arts.

    This year’s recipients will be announced during an evening of performances on Monday, June 5 at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

    A full list of nominees and more information on their work and contributions is available online.

    Tickets for the awards ceremony and arts celebration are available at the centre box office by calling 1-855-515-0722.

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

  • Brock puts support behind In the Soil Arts Festival

    (Source: The Brock News, Wednesday, April 26, 2017 | by . Photo Caption: “St. Catharines artist Amber Lee Williams hosts a session during the 2016 Rhizomes project held at Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts as part of the In the Soil Arts Festival. (Photo credit: Lauren Garbutt)”)

    Brock University is deeply woven into the roots of In the Soil Arts Festival — and the partnership between the two entities continues to grow.

    The celebration of creativity, organized by Suitcase in Point Theatre Company, takes over a portion of downtown St. Catharines, as well as Brock’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, from Friday, April 28 to Sunday, April 30 with a mixture of music, theatre and performance art.

    The University has come on board as a Premium Harvester sponsor of the festival, and has also put support behind Gnaw, a creative retelling of Hansel and Gretel being put on by students of A.N. Myer Secondary School in Niagara Falls.

    “As a community leader in Niagara, it’s important for Brock University to be engaged and involved with major events happening in our region,” said Gord Hunchak, Brock’s Associate Vice-President, External Relations. “In The Soil has demonstrated its importance to the local arts scene, and we want to ensure we play a role in building the festival’s presence and ongoing growth.”

    Gnaw is being touted as a highlight of the festival’s opening night, taking the stage Friday at Robertson Theatre in the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre beginning at 6 p.m.

    “We thought this was an excellent opportunity to welcome these new, young theatre-makers to Brock and to St. Catharines,” said David Vivian, Director of the School of Fine and Performing Arts.

    “We hope we will see some of them in the halls with us when they make a choice to pursue undergrad studies.”

    For the second consecutive year, the Marliyn I. Walker school will play host to the festival’s Rhizomes project, a series of curated artistic experiences set-up for crowds throughout the property.

    “It joins together artists in the community and artists from MIW, faculty and students, allowing them to be involved in this village of creative cultural production,” Vivian said. “It’s also a chance for us to invite people into the building to see what we’re about, what we’re doing.”

    In addition to the many students and faculty who are volunteering their time and showcasing their work at the festival, Suitcase in Point — with many Brock alumni members — has created a new opportunity this year called the AMP (Arts Mosh Pit) It Up technical internship program.

    Through the program, three Brock students earned paid internship positions with the festival.

    Rodman Hall Art Centre, in partnership with artist and MIW faculty member Donna Akrey, will be participating in this year’s festival with an interactive workshop.

    Assemble, Assembly takes place on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in the Mahtay Café Community Room, 241 St. Paul St. The free drop-in event, open to all ages and abilities, will see participants transforming common and discarded materials into assembled sculptures.

    The workshop concludes a month-long series of artist-led events that take their inspiration from Akrey’s exhibition, Also Also, which is on display at Rodman Hall until April 30.

    Festivalgoers are also encouraged to take in ‘BBBLURRR,’ an evening of contemporary poetry featuring readings by Christopher Dewdney, Phoebe Wang, Sarah Pinder and Moez Surani.

    The event, co-hosted by Brock Interdisciplinary PhD students Julia Polyck-O’Neill and Andrew McEwan, takes place Friday beginning at 7:30 p.m. at the Niagara Artists’ Centre, 354 St. Paul St.

    For more information on In the Soil and a full festival lineup, visit

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    Categories: Announcements, In the Media, News

  • Brock prof earns prestigious fellowship

    (Source: The Brock NewsWednesday, April 26, 2017 | by . Photo caption: “Visual Arts associate professor Keri Cronin. Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur / We Animals”)

    The animal advocacy movement has a rich visual history, and for her ongoing contributions to the movement, Brock University art historian Keri Cronin has been made a Fellow with the prestigious Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics.

    The Visual Arts associate professor is particularly interested in the ways those working for animal advocacy in previous eras used images in campaigns.

    “It’s really important to think about the relationships that exist between images and animal ethics because representations of animals shape how we think about them, how we treat them,” says Cronin, who is also a Faculty Affiliate in Brock’s Social Justice and Equity Studies graduate program and a founding member of the Social Justice Research Institute. “Images can have real-world consequences for actual flesh-and-blood animals.”

    “My work asks people to consider what happens if we think about these images as part of the larger cultural narrative about how we treat animals, how we decide what counts as ‘cruel’ or ‘humane’ treatments and how those ideas shift over time.”

    Cronin’s research has lead her to archives across North America and the U.K. in search of material such as leaflets and handbills, which often have not been catalogued or preserved in the same way as material on other topics.

    The Visual Arts professor has published several books on visual culture and activism and has recently curated an exhibit, “Be Kind: The Visual History of Humane Education” for The Animal Museum.

    She has also launched a new multimedia project with Jo-Anne McArther of We Animals called Unbound: Women on the Front Lines of Animal Advocacy.

    Cronin’s forthcoming book, Do Not Refuse to Look at These Pictures: Visual Culture and Animal Advocacy 1870-1914, is due out this year and she hopes it sparks conversation and awareness about the visual culture of early animal advocacy.

    The Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, now comprised of more 100 international scholars, draws together academics from the humanities and sciences, including subjects as diverse as philosophy, theology, law, biology, history, social sciences, literature and politics.

    Membership is by invitation only and only a small portion of those nominated are eventually selected. The lengthy and painstaking selection process recognizes those have made outstanding contributions to the field of animal ethics.

    Cronin is the second Brock professor to join the Centre; Sociology professor Lauren Corman is an Associate Fellow in recognition of her interdisciplinary work on animal rights, posthumanism, feminist, critical race, labour, and environmental theories and practices.

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  • Brock, SUNY art show set to open in Buffalo’s Silo City

    (Source: The Brock NewsThursday, April 20, 2017 | by Maryanne Firth. Photo caption: “Buffalo’s Silo City will play host to a joint art exhibition including the work of students and faculty from Brock University and the State University of New York at Buffalo. (Photo: Derek Knight)”)

    Brock University and the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo have joined forces to showcase artists on both sides of the border while also highlighting a landmark area on the Buffalo River.

    After two years of planning, Post-Industrial Ephemera: Soundings, Gestures, and Poetics will open Saturday, April 22 at Buffalo’s Silo City — an industrial space filled with repurposed grain elevators and other structures built in the first half of the 20th century.

    Several silos will play host to the free art exhibition until Saturday, April 29.

    The exhibition’s opening reception will run from 2 to 5 p.m. and includes, in addition to the artwork of both Brock and SUNY students and faculty, performances by the Harmonia Chamber Singers, Reinhard Reitzenstein, Lauren Regier, Continuous Monument, Catherine Parayre and Jim Watkins.

    Parayre, event co-curator and an associate professor in Brock’s Studies in Arts and Culture as well as Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures, said the event developed from like minds coming together through networking opportunities at Brock’s Rodman Hall Art Centre.

    It was co-curator Reinhard Reitzenstein, an associate professor of sculpture at SUNY-Buffalo, that introduced Parayre to Silo City, the inspiration for the showcase.

    “Everyone is mesmerized because the structures there are stunning,” Parayre said of the area that is filled with buildings worn by weather and time.

    The event, she said, is to encourage people to “reflect on the notion of dispersal.”

    “Silos are built to maintain large networks of commodity exchange for human and animal sustenance. Here, however, the workers are gone; the buildings are exposed to inclement weather; the projects we bring with us will disappear, be dispersed or displaced.”

    Silo City, she said, invites visitors to “become more perceptive to the transience of human endeavours.”

    The exhibition is an opportunity to reflect on the aging structures, their history and nature’s efforts to reclaim the partially vacant space, she said.

    Participating artists come from various disciplines including sculpture, arts, comparative literature, English studies, visual arts, studies in arts and culture, and French studies.

    The showcase features an array of installations, neon signs, readings, paintings, prints, videos and sculptures.

    Brock provided funding for the project through a longstanding research agreement in place between the two institutions, in addition to funding provided through Brock’s Dean of Humanities office.

    “We’re very grateful for Brock’s support,” Parayre said.

    Parking for the event is available onsite and guests are advised to dress warmly as temperatures within the silos remain brisk.

    More information on participating artists and performance schedules for the opening reception is available online.

    A one-day symposium held to relive the exhibition is scheduled to take place in September at Rodman Hall Art Centre in St. Catharines.

    see recent news about the published catalogue

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  • City reveals nominees for St. Catharines Arts Awards

    (Source: Brock University Humanities, via Facebook)

    The list of St. Catharines Arts Awards nominees was released Monday and our faculty is very well represented! Congratulations to our staff, faculty, and alumni who have been nominated for an award!

    Rodman Hall Art Centre has been nominated for the Arts in Education award and is described as a “leading centre for visual arts education and creative expression in St. Catharines, with talented staff who connect the community with contemporary art through exhibits, special events and classes.”

    Nominees for the Emerging Artist award include a number of graduates and faculty from Brock’s visual arts, dramatic arts and music programs:

    • Jo PacindaBrock University Dramatic Arts graduate, works as a costume designer with local theatre companies.
    • Lauren Regier, a visual arts graduate, explores the relationships between plants and machines through her photography. (Brock University Humanities featured her on their blog and in Brock News earlier this year.)
    • Twitches & Itches Theatre features a number of Brock dramatic arts graduates and is a “multi-disciplinary artist ensemble devoted to creating new theatre works through a collaborative process.” (Their production of The Bacchae with director Colin B. Anthes was featured in Brock News.)
    • Gordon Cleland teaches cello with Brock University Music, plays principle cello with the Niagara Symphony, and works with the Niagara Youth Orchestra.
    • Danielle Wilson, a professor with Brock University Dramatic Arts, is co-founder and co-artistic director of Stolen Theatre Collective.
    • Gregory Betts, a professor with the Department of English Language and Literature and The Centre for Canadian Studies, has been nominated for the “Making a Difference” award. Betts is a poet and advocate for literature. He is the artistic director and founder of St. Catharine’s Festival of Readers.
    • Marcie Bronson, acting director and curator of Rodman Hall Art Centre, has also been nominated for the “Making a Difference” award for “playing a central role in the transformation of Rodman Hall into a nationally recognized institution of excellence that promotes local artists.”

    Read more about the nominees and the St. Catharines Arts Awards at

    Congratulations and good luck to all!

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

  • Federal board now led by Brock faculty member

    (Source: The Brock News, Wednesday, January 11, 2017. Photo: Sharilyn J. Ingram, Assistant Professor in the Brock University’s Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture and former director of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, was recently appointed Chair of the Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board.)

    The Canadian Cultural Property Export Review Board is now being led by a Brock University faculty member.

    Sharilyn J. Ingram, Assistant Professor in the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture and former director of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, was recently appointed Chair of the federal board for a three-year term.

    The independent administrative tribunal, which reports to Parliament through the Minister of Canadian Heritage, determines whether cultural property is of outstanding significance and national importance.

    The board aims to protect and preserve significant examples of Canada’s artistic, historic and scientific heritage.

    Ingram’s appointment was announced Jan. 7 by Canadian Heritage Minister Mélanie Joly.

    Congratulations, Sharilyn!

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  • Acclaim keeps coming for design of Marilyn I. Walker School

    (Source: The Brock NewsWednesday, November 30, 2016 | by )

    An American design journal is the latest admirer to bestow an architecture award on Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts in downtown St. Catharines.

    Designed by world-renowned Diamond Schmitt Architects, the Walker School’s striking blend of new construction and restored 19th-century industrial buildings has been turning heads and spurring acclaim — from juries and from area residents — since the $45-million complex opened just over a year ago.

    Last month the Walker School project won a national Cornerstone Award from the National Trust for Canada, which recognizes extraordinary restoration projects.  Earlier in the year it received the Niagara Community Design Award in the adaptive re-use category.

    Now the Walker School has received a silver medal in the 2016 Reconstruction Awards from Building Design and Construction Magazine. For more than three decades, the Chicago-based magazine has given annual awards to honour leading North American projects in terms of renovation, adaptive re-use and preservation work.

    The challenging Walker School project included the restoration of an old textile mill into a beautifully repurposed complex of teaching and learning spaces for disciplines from fine art to photography, music and dramatic arts.

    “The five-story brick-and-beam structure is an adaptive reuse of the Canada Hair Cloth Building, where coat linings and parachute silks were once made,” states the magazine’s announcement. “Diamond Schmitt Architects led the repurposing of the original 1888 structure and the design of a 35,000-sf addition that supports a new 280-seat studio theatre.

    “The project consolidates the university’s fine and performing arts facilities in a single downtown location for 500 students. All work had to meet the university’s strict Facility Accessibility Design Standards. A former raceway water channel for the looms was preserved as a pedestrian path. The contractor (the aptly named Bird Construction) even made sure not to disturb the chimney swifts that were nesting in the old factory.”

    The Walker School shares the silver designation with other marquee projects including Lovejoy Wharf in Boston, the Bay Area Metro Center in San Francisco and the structural refitting of New York’s famous St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

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  • Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts wins National Trust Award

    The Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts was honoured with one of five National Trust for Canada national Cornerstone Awards for building restoration! Read more about it at Niagara This Week.


    The National Trust noted the Marilyn I. Walker centre’s transformation of the old hair cloth factory dating back to 1888 — along with a 35,000 square-foot addition — is a “key element” of the broader downtown revitalization plan and was done while retaining many elements of the historic building’s interior such as wooden floor beams, metal columns and stone and masonry walls.

    Scott Roper, project manager for Brock, said in the university’s Brock Press publication that Brock had “utter success” in creating a stand-out academic entity while being a trigger for the social, economic and urban revitalization of downtown St. Catharines.

    “While Brock has constructed several substantial buildings over the past two decades, the creation of the Marilyn Walker School represented a bold step into the downtown, integration with the surrounding community, and into the unfamiliar area of adaptive re-use,” Roper said.

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