In the Media

  • Work of Visual Arts prof featured on Diana Krall tour

    The artwork of Brock Fine Arts Assistant Professor Amy Friend is being featured on the international tour of renowned Canadian musician Diana Krall.

    (Source: The Brock News, Thursday, November 2, 2017 | By: Maryanne Firth)

    When the e-mail popped into Amy Friend’s inbox, she was certain it couldn’t be real.

    But a feeling inside prompted the Brock Fine Arts assistant professor to respond to the inquiry, which asked about her artwork and whether she’d consider collaborating with renowned Canadian musician Diana Krall.

    It was soon after that Friend found herself on the phone with the Grammy Award winner discussing possibilities for her upcoming tour.

    Friend’s experimental photography has since helped Krall to set the scene on stage, acting as her backdrop as she captivates crowds in venues across North America and Europe.

    Brock University Fine Arts Assistant Professor Amy Friend.

    Friend’s work has been featured on the jazz singer’s international tour since June and the partnership is expected to continue through to the summer.

    The project, which includes art pieces from three different bodies of work, has been “particularly fulfilling,” Friend said.

    She has enjoyed the challenge of working with Krall to find pieces that fit the mood and message of individual songs, while also complementing the title of the tour and Krall’s most recent album, Turn Up the Quiet.

    “It’s about trying to respect your own work, while also seeing how you can accommodate a vision that will fit within the repertoire they’re working with,” she said.

    Friend is currently working to select new pieces for Krall’s Canadian tour dates, including a Nov. 24 show at Massey Hall in Toronto that she plans to attend.

    “I’m looking forward to seeing her perform and to seeing my work filling the stage in a concert hall where I have heard musicians like Johnny Cash, Tom Waits and Nick Cave perform,” she said.

    Krall’s latest repertoire will include a cover of Bob Dylan’s Simple Twist of Fate, which Friend is particularly excited to find a piece to accompany.

    “Much of my work revolves around ideas of memory, impermanence, history and time,” said Friend, who has worked at Brock for the past decade. “I am less concerned with capturing a ‘concrete’ reality. Instead, I aim to use photography as a medium that offers the possibility of exploring the relationship between what is visible and non-visible.”

    Work featured on the tour includes hand-manipulated photographs, pieces featuring floating handkerchiefs once belonging to Friend’s grandparents, and artwork inspired by snippets of film from her childhood.

    Over the past few months, Friend and Krall have shared many inspiring conversations about family, creativity and women in the arts.

    “She has been so great to work with, you could almost forget her status in the music world,” Friend said.

    Krall often emphasized the need to respect Friend’s work and always checks in with the artist to ensure she’s pleased with the end results of each tour stop.

    Friend called it “refreshing” to be able to engage with other artists.

    “It exposes you to experiences that have commonalities and, at times, interesting variances,” she said. “It’s also wonderful to see how my work found a place to exist far beyond my initial intentions.”

    The team responsible for the on-stage initiative also included Judy Jacob, a video and visual content director, and Paul Normandale, a lighting designer, who Friend said “took the project to the next level.”

    In addition to her work with the tour, Friend has been busy over the past year with international exhibitions in Spain, Korea, Poland, Portugal and France. She has shows coming up in Boston and Italy and plans to release a new book in the near future.

    Amy Friend's work featured on Diana Krall's tour

    The artwork of Brock Fine Arts Assistant Professor Amy Friend is being featured on the international tour of renowned Canadian musician Diana Krall.

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    Categories: Department/Centre News, In the Media, News

  • Donna Szoke’s work featured in New Media Caucus.

    Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Visual Arts, Donna Szoke’s work is discussed in the on-line journal New Media Caucus in an article by Lisa Moren, Professor of Visual Art and Graduate Program Director of Intermedia + Digital Art, MFA Program at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County [UMBC]. Her interactive video installation and all watched over by machines of loving grace is a humorous intervention in the dystopian reality of contemporary dataveillance and societies of control.

    Image courtesy of Tim Nohe.

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    Categories: Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News

  • Brock co-led research to study police training in mental illness

    Dr. Natalie Alvarez, an associate professor in the Department of Dramatic Arts

    (Source: The Brock NewsWednesday, September 13, 2017 | by Cathy Majtenyi)

    It’s the heat of the moment. A person in mental health distress is waving a knife in the air, yelling or screaming or perhaps even silent. A police officer is on the scene.

    What happens next?

    It’s a question that undoubtedly will come up in Toronto police Constable James Forcillo’s appeal trial, which started Monday. Forcillo was convicted of attempted murder for the 2013 shooting of 18-year-old Sammy Yatim on a Toronto streetcar.

    It’s also a question that Brock University researchers Natalie Alvarez and Yasmine Kandil are exploring in their research on how to use theatre to train police officers.

    Dr. Yasmine Kandil

    Dr. Yasmine Kandil

    Alvarez, an associate professor in the Department of Dramatic Arts, along with Yasmine Kandil, an assistant professor in Dramatic Arts, are co-leading a study that will create and evaluate the effectiveness of a type of scenario-based police training grounded in problem-based training methods the team refers to as ‘forum scenarios.’

    In forum scenarios, a scene is played out for an audience. The scene is then performed again, but an audience member can step in to intervene by making different choices, creating a different outcome and changing the way a particular issue is viewed or dealt with. It’s a form of teaching and learning that promotes the principles of procedural justice.

    Theatre educators Alvarez and Kandil of Brock’s Department of Dramatic Arts, and Wilfred Laurier forensic psychologist Jennifer Lavoie, alongside their cross-Canada team with specializations in mental illness and de-escalation training, are partnering with the Durham Regional Police and collaborators from the Ontario Police College.

    The federal government’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council has awarded the team a $310,960 grant to carry out the four-year study.

    “Experiential learning through forum methods is much more effective in integrating knowledge, being able to apply that knowledge and retain it long term,” says Alvarez. The study builds on Alvarez’s upcoming book that examines the use of immersive simulations in a variety of training and educational contexts.

    Experts involved in the scenarios aim to teach police officers how to recognize behavioural characteristics of various mental illnesses that may present barriers to communication in high-stakes encounters, the impacts and consequences that certain actions will have on the person in crisis, and how to de-escalate volatile situations.

    “We want to recreate situations where the officer perceives a situation where there’s an imminent threat, they’re under extreme stress, and they have to make refined, ethical judgments in that moment of stress,” says Alvarez.

    The team will also address mental health stigmas and misconceptions.

    For Alvarez, the research is not just academic.

    “My oldest sister suffers from schizophrenia and she’s become an advocate for the rights of people living with mental illness,” says Alvarez, adding that her sister frequently gives talks to RCMP officers on the subject.

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

  • 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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    Categories: Alumni, Department/Centre News, In the Media, News

  • Teutloff loved art — and how it looked on Brock’s campus

    Pathfinder: In 1990, The Path of Possibilities was installed at Brock, the first sculpture of what would become the Teutloff Collection.

    This article was originally published by Kevin Cavanagh in the Brock News on Friday, August 25, 2017.

    Lutz Teutloff made his mark on Brock University’s landscape like few others have ever done.

    The philanthropist and art collector died in Germany this month at the age of 79, leaving a remarkable legacy that included populating the Brock campus with major pieces of contemporary sculpture that today are landmarks as familiar as the Schmon Tower.

    Lutz Teutloff in 1990: He saw Brock’s campus as an ideal place to display public sculptures.

    The Teutloff Collection is 12 art pieces that made their way to Brock during the 1990s, works owned by Teutloff but created by such international artists as Ilan Averbuch, Buky Schawrtz, Pit Kroke, Fabrizio Plessi, Grimsby resident Reinhard Reitzenstein and others.

    The artwork’s destiny for Brock can be traced to a campus tour that Teutloff had with then-president Terry White in 1988. Teutloff, who had homes in Germany and in Niagara-on-the-Lake, thought the campus’s natural setting was an excellent showcase for strong artwork. They worked out a plan in which Teutloff and his wife Hannelore would loan sculptures that the young University could put on public display.

    The first piece arrived in 1990, when Averbuch’s The Path of Possibilities was installed in front of Schmon Tower. In 2015 it was moved to its present site near the busy pedestrian mall between Cairns Research Complex and Chown D Block.

    Other pieces followed, two of the most high-profile being Kroke’s Gran Golar, placed in the traffic circle of University Road East; and Averbuch’s She Wolf, the huge copper sculpture that resides in Isaac Brock Circle, and which has enjoyed a special status with many students over the years.

    In 1997, Hannelore Teutloff told Brock’s Collections Coordinator, Lesley Bell, that the idea for the Brock collection started in 1987, when her husband acquired Path of Possibilities at the Chicago Art Fair.

    The sculpture Gran Golar welcomes campus visitors at the Glenridge Avenue entrance.

    “He was fascinated by the expression of this work,” said Hannelore, “but had no place for the work at that time. That same year he met former President Terry White who toured him through the Brock campus. Lutz was fascinated from the power and engagement behind Brock, and the different nations of the students impressed him. So Lutz asked Terry White and later, (White’s successor) President David Atkinson …. who was thrilled to bring Ilan’s work in front of the Schmon Tower. So it started – very pragmatic.”

    The Teutloffs chose works specifically for a student audience, and when Lutz Teutloff received an Honorary Doctorate from Brock in 2003, he told the Convocation audience that Path of Possibilities “signals the possibilities open to you who are studying here, the opportunities and privilege you should make the most of.”

    Visual Arts Associate Professor Derek Knight worked with Teutloff to produce the 2002 catalogue The Teutloff Collection at Brock University: Nature, Spirit, Matter, available in Brock’s James. A Gibson Library.

    “It was Mr. Teutloff’s penchant for sculpture that drew him to Brock,” said Knight.  “He saw the potential of the University environs, its broad green spaces and pedestrian concourses, as an ideal context in which to display a collection of public sculpture. To the University’s credit, it was a willing partner in bringing a dozen unique works of contemporary art to Niagara. It is a cultural legacy that Mr. Teutloff intended us to enjoy in perpetuity.”

    Born in Berlin in 1938, Teutloff had been a successful fashion entrepreneur, enabling him to pursue his passion for art. He eventually left fashion behind, accumulated pieces by artists and photographers around the world, and opened galleries in Cologne and in the German town of Bielefeld-Theesen.

    In reporting Teutloff’s death this summer, the website Neue Westfalische noted that (translated from German), “In his ‘second home’ Canada, he donated 12 sculptures from renowned artists to Brock University, Ontario.”

    The Brock sculptures were originally installed on loan, but in 2008 the University began a process to acquire the works permanently. They now belong to Brock.

     

    The artists, works and current locations for the complete Teutloff Collection are:

    Ilan Averbuch:

    • She Wolf (1991) — Isaac Brock Circle
    • The Path of Possibilities (1988) — East pedestrian mall
    • The Endless March (1991) — on extended loan off campus
    • Bleeding Harp (1989) — Thistle West corridor

    Reinhard Buxel:

    • Das Tor [The Gate] (1989) — Isaac Brock Blvd N.

    Pit Kroke:

    • Gran Golar (1987) — traffic circle, University Rd. E.

    Fabrizio Plessi:

    • La Stanza della Parole (1992) — Academic South corridor

    Reinhard Reitzenstein:

    Buky Schwartz:

    Unterbezirks Dada:

    • Fin de Siècle (1994-97) — University Rd E

     

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  • Visual Arts Professor Amy Friend exhibits in Provence, France.

    AMY FRIEND, INCONNUS FAMILIERS / Familiar Strangers

    “Amy Friend est une photographe canadienne. «Dare alla luce» («apporter à la lumière») est un travail où l’artiste mêle vieux clichés familiaux et photos glanées au hasard de ses promenades. Une fois perforées et rétro-éclairées, la lumière révèle une seconde fois le cliché. Grâce à ce procédé, Amy peut donner une seconde vie à ses photographies. Des notions telles que l’histoire intime, la mémoire, la présence et l’absence traversent tout son travail.”
    from www.liberation.fr/photographie/2017/08/21/amy-friend-inconnus-familiers_1590958 

    Amy Friend is a Canadian photographer. In “Dare alla luce” (bringing to light), she collects old family portraits and photos gathered in her walks. Once perforated and backlighted, the light reveals the images a second time. Through this process Amy gives a second life to her photographs. Notions of privacy, memory, presence and absence cross-pollinate her work.
    [translation by C. Parayre]

    for more information and to see her work:

    www.liberation.fr/photographie/2017/08/21/amy-friend-inconnus-familiers_1590958 

    https://www.facebook.com/recitsphotographiques/

    Récits Photographiques
    August 24 > September 30, 2017
    Abbaye De Silvacane, La Roque D’Antheron
    Les Terrasses Du Chateau, Lauris
    Provence, France

    Assistant Professor Amy Friend holds a BFA honours Degree and BEd from York University and an MFA from the University of Windsor. She has received grants from Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council. In 2015 Amy was awarded the Clarke Thompson Award for Sessional Teaching at Brock University.

    For more information about her creative and research work see her faculty profile.

     

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  • Singing to National Success!

    Dr. Brian Power is seen here (wearing a red bow tie, centre-right) singing with Pax Christi Chorale at the Christmas concert for 2016.

    Dr. Brian Power, Associate Dean of the Faculty of Humanities, Professor in the Department of Music and tenor in the Pax Christi Chorale (Toronto) sung to national success when the Pax CC Chamber Choir won first place in the chamber choir category of the 2017 CBC Choral Competition, announced Sunday.

    Says Dr. Power, “Some of Canada’s finest choirs participated in this event. The competition was stiff and the rules were strict, so we’re feeling quite satisfied with the result.”

    The biannual National Competition for Canadian Amateur Choirs  is ‎a project of Choral Canada in partnership with the CBC and the Canada Council. A treasured Canadian choral tradition, the National Competition for Canadian Amateur Choirs inspires choirs to strive for excellence, provides visibility for amateur choirs of all ages, and encourages the creation and performance of Canadian works. The Competition is open to all Canadian amateur choirs and attracts diverse participants from coast to coast. The finalists and winners are selected by a national jury of esteemed Canadian choral conductors. Each choir that enters the Competition must perform an original Canadian piece and prizes are given for the Best Performance of a Canadian Work and the Best Performance of a Canadian Contemporary Work. Cash prizes are awarded for the top performances in each category. The national jury may also award special accolades to outstanding choirs. Seventy choirs from across the country participated in the 2017 competition.

    Pax Christi Chorale is known for presenting dramatic choral masterpieces, performing with passion, conviction and heart. Past Artistic Director Stephanie Martin’s imaginative programming engages audiences with dramatic story-telling through oratorio and rarely-heard masterworks. Since its inception in 1987, the choir has grown to over 100 singers, and has performed ambitious works including the North American première of Parry’s 1888 oratorio Judith and Elgar’s masterpiece The Kingdom at Koerner Hall, Berlioz’s L’enfance du Christ, and Britten’s Saint Nicolas. The Pax Chamber Choir also participated in R. Murray Schafer’s monumental 1000-performer extravaganza Apocalypsis at the 2015 Luminato Festival. Martin’s final concert, capping 20 years at the helm of Pax Christi, took place in April, 2017: the Canadian première of Elgar’s The Apostles. Stephanie Martin is an Associate Professor in the Department of Music of the Faculty of Arts at York University.

    The intense recording project by the Pax Christi Chorale was prepared by Stephanie Martin over a period of many months and submitted to the jury in March, 2017. The winning entry featured “How sweet the moonlight sleeps” (text from Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice), a new work by emerging Toronto-based composer Jared Tomlinson. Recordings made by the Pax Christi Chorale for the 2017 competition can be heard on their Soundcloud channel. Winners were announced on CBC Radio 2’s Choral Concert on June 25th, 2017.  Choral Concert, hosted by Katherine Duncan, presents great choral music from the Renaissance to the present day, sung by the top choirs from Canada and around the world.

    BRAVO! To Dr. Brian Power and the Pax Christi Chorale!

    prepared with material supplied by Choral Canada, Pax Christi Chorale  and CBC Radio 2.

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  • 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