Current Students

  • ‘Someone Lives Here’ – Free Community Screening and Panel Discussion

    SOMEONE LIVES HERE – Free Community Screening & Panel Discussion
    presented by Rad Snax and hosted by the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts

    Saturday, November 18, 7:00 pm

    Marilyn I Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts
    15 Artists’ Common, St. Catharines, ON L2R 0B5,
    Room MWS 156.

    Ground level with elevator and accessible washrooms. Event is free. No childcare. If you have additional accessibility needs, please reach out to us.

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    Throughout the COVID pandemic, Toronto has seen a catastrophic increase in homelessness. Sick of seeing his city unable to care for its unhoused people, Khaleel Seivwright quit his job as a full-time carpenter and dedicated himself to building insulated shelters—called “tiny shelters.”

    Innovatively using body temperature for heating, Khaleel’s efforts garnered international media attention, leading Toronto to propose a possible partnership—only to reverse its decision a week later.

    Capturing the ups and downs of Khaleel’s brilliant intervention, Someone Lives Here also features the voices of those experiencing homelessness, including the articulate and philosophical Taka. The film poignantly captures the City of Toronto’s costly $1.9 million clearance of Toronto’s park encampments, asking all the right questions: What makes Toronto unable and unwilling to address this humanitarian crisis? Why are people like Khaleel being prevented from trying to find solutions?

    Who do we prioritize in this city? A sobering and maddening watch.
    Film description by Hot Docs programmer Aisha Jamal.

    https://www.imdb.com/title/tt27366407/

    Winner – Rogers Audience Award for Best Canadian Documentary, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, 2023

    Winner – Bill Nemtin Award for Best Social Impact Documentary, Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival, 2023

    —- This presentation is organized by Rad Snax with the participation of community partners.

    Guests include Khaleel Seivwright who will participate in a panel discussion after the film with:

    Patty Krawec, an indigenous author and activist, moderator

    https://www.cbc.ca/player/play/2107428931725

    Alicia Marshall, a local social service provider and advocate for unhoused folks
    https://twitter.com/Aliciaadvocate

    Sabrina Shawana, Anishinaabe Nation, Eagle Clan, tireless advocate for her People, and who established the Strong Water Singers in 2015.

    Brock grad and researcher Sarah Lukaszczyk, who has just returned from the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness conference, previously with Housing Help Centre, and who has written about the City of St. Catharines rhetoric of compassion, exposing participation in the Compassionate Cities movement as hollow municipal marketing.

    among others.

    See the FB posting for more info: https://fb.me/e/1ANjJFyH9


    Approximately 100 people participated in the evening program.  Seen below (l-r) are Sarah Lukaszczyk, Alicia Marshall, Khaleel Seivwright, Sabrina Shawana and moderator Patty Krawec during the post-screening discussion. Thank-you to Hilary of Game Theory Films for the opportunity to share this film with the community.

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    Categories: Alumni, Announcements, Current Students, Events, Faculty & Instructors, Future Students, In the Media, Media Releases, News, Uncategorised

  • STAC at the Makerspace with workshops to teach creative technologies skills

    Makerspace Assistant and fourth-year Studies in Arts and Culture student Christy Mitchell removes a model from a 3D printer. The Brock community is invited to participate in an Intro to 3d Printing workshop on Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 1 p.m. in the Makerspace.

    published in the Brock News on Friday 03, November 2023

    The Brock University Library Makerspace is providing students, staff and faculty with opportunities to develop new skills in 3D printing, modelling and animation as well as podcasting through a series of upcoming introductory workshops.

    The free in-person sessions, held in RFP 203, are intended to help participants build their confidence working with 3d Studio Max, a professional 3D modelling, animation and rendering application, and Blender, an open-source 3D creation suite.

    “All of the workshops teach participants from scratch,” says Makerspace Technician and Facilitator Zak Mason. “No previous experience is required; however, for optimal learning, we recommended participants commit to doing both in the same week when sessions are offered in two parts.”

    Also offered this semester are drop-in times for miniature painting and musical jam sessions.

    “Come hang out with like-minded people and make some new friends,” says Mason. “We supply everything you need except the appetite to learn new skills.”

    Upcoming workshops include:

    Introduction to Podcasting

    • Monday, Nov. 6 at 11 a.m.
    • Monday, Nov. 20 at 11 a.m.
    • Monday, Dec. 4 at 11 a.m.

    3D Modelling in Blender – A two-part series

    • Part 1: Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 1 p.m.
    • Part 2: Wednesday, Nov. 15 at 1 p.m.
    • Part 1: Tuesday, Nov. 28 at 1 p.m.
    • Part 2: Wednesday, Nov. 29 at 1 p.m.

    Introduction to 3d Studio Max

    • Part 1: Tuesday, Nov. 7 at 1 p.m.
    • Part 2: Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 1 p.m.
    • Part 1: Tuesday, Dec. 5 at 1 p.m.
    • Part 2: Wednesday, Dec. 6 at 1 p.m.

    Introduction to 3D printing

    • Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 1 p.m.

    Miniature Model Painting

    • Friday, Nov. 17 at 1 p.m.
    • Friday, Dec. 1 at 1 p.m.

    Jam Sessions

    • Thursdays Nov. 9, 16, 23, 30 and Dec. 7 starting at 1:30 p.m.

    To learn more or to register for a workshop visit ExperienceBU.

    Drop-in hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday.

    Additional learning resources, such as self-directed tutorials and an online tour of the Makerspace, are available on the Brock University Library Makerspace website.

    Questions about workshops and the Makerspace can be emailed to makerspace@brocku.ca

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  • Join us on Nov. 2 for Lan ‘Florence’ Yee: Sharper Tools for Unripe Fruit

    Image: Lan ‘Florence’ Yee

    Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture and Walker Cultural Leader Series:

    Lan ‘Florence’ Yee: Sharper Tools for Unripe Fruit

    Online and onsite artist talk
    STAC 2P93 — Critical Practice in the Fine & Performing Arts
    Thursday, Nov. 2 from 7 to 9 p.m.

    Spanning media from textiles to signage, Lan “Florence” Yee’s interdisciplinary practice uses text and labour-intensive creation. Inspired by the socio-political and personal history of Cantonese displacement, Lan explores what Desmond Wong calls “the intersection of filiality and arrival.”

    The public is invited to join us in MWS 156 to attend Lan Yee’s virtual presentation or to join us on zoom.
    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine & Performing Arts
    Art and Val Fleming Smart Presentation Classroom
    MWS 156, MIWSFPA , 15 Artists’ Common, St. Catharines

    The presentation is also available to view online,
    please register ahead of time via Zoom.

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  • Derek Knight: PLACES, A Flâneur’s Eye opens October 27 at the MIWSFPA

    Photo credit: Derek J.J. Knight, Gaston Lachaise, Floating Figure, 1927 (cast 1935), Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA (© dk 2018).

    Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture presents

    Derek Knight: PLACES, A Flâneur’s Eye
    October 27, 2023 to January 13, 2024

    Exhibition opening: Friday, October 27 from 5 to 7 p.m.
    Museum in the Hallway / Boîte-en-valise
    (2nd floor by the Theatre entrance), MIWSFPA
    15 Artists Common, St. Catharines

    Museums and galleries draw prestige from their architecture, geographic locale or historical significance, while compelling works of art, performances, and public expressions of creativity galvanize the diversity of art both within sanctioned institutional spaces and the ‘non-spaces’ that have the capacity to take on resonance.

    Derek Knight: PLACES, A Flâneur’s Eye documents Knight’s museum visits over the last decade in North America and Europe.

    Curators: Catherine Parayre and David Vivian
    Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture

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  • An excellent year of learning for students in Studies in Arts and Culture

    Faculty and instructors teaching courses in the STAC program are planning for an exciting year of courses in the fall/winter 2023-24 sessions, including those offered by the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture and those offered by affiliated programs, namely Canadian StudiesCommunication, Popular Culture and FilmDramatic ArtsGeography and Tourism Studies, Goodman School of BusinessHistoryModern Languages, Literatures and CulturesMusicSociology, and Visual Arts.

    If you are seeking full-time or part-time learning opportunities beginning in September, please reach out to the academic advisor Elizabeth Maddeaux rmaddeaux@brocku.ca or the Director of the Centre, David Vivian dvivian@brocku.ca for more information.

    Many of the courses on offer have minimal prerequisite requirements, and in every case we are happy to provide permission to register for students who bring appropriate alternate learning and experience to the courses.

    We look forward to meeting our students in September!


    Spectating the arts in Niagara – Fall 2023

    STAC 2P93 Critical Practice in the Fine and Performing Arts, is an interdisciplinary approach to key ideas about music, art, dance and drama through critical readings and guided exposure to selected public fine and performing art events. 2023 brings an exciting return to the galleries, theatres and concert halls in St. Catharines, the region and online.

    A blended course, with online and onsite events.

    Prerequisites: Prerequisite(s): one credit from CANA 1F91, DART 1P91, 1P92 (1F91/1F93), IASC 1F01 (1F00), STAC 1P50, VISA 1Q98,1Q99 or permission of the Centre.

    Crosslisting: also offered as CANA 2P93, IASC 2P93 and MLLC 2P93

    When? ASYNC online in D2 and with onsite programming Thursdays at 1900-2100

    Calendar link: https://brocku.ca/webcal/2023/undergrad/stac.html#STAC_2P93

    STAC 3P01 Media Transformations in The Creative Arts
    The trajectory and influences of new media on the development of and discourses in the 20th and 21st c.

    Prerequisites: Prerequisite(s): two STAC, COMM, ENGL, IASC,MLLC, VISA, WRDS (WRIT) credits or permission of the instructor.

    Crosslisting: also offered as IASC 3P01, MLLC 3P01 and VISA 3P01

    When? ASYNC online in D3.

    Calendar link: https://brocku.ca/webcal/2023/undergrad/stac.html#STAC_3P01

    STAC 4P01 Creating Social Value from Material Culture
    Theory and practice of creating social value from material culture.

    Restrictions: students must have a minimum 10.0 overall credits or permission of the instructor.

    Crosslisting: also offered as IASC 4P01, MLLC 4P01 and VISA 4P01

    When? At the MIWSFPA in D2 on Wednesday at 1000-1130 and with ASYNC online content.

    Calendar link: https://brocku.ca/webcal/2023/undergrad/stac.html#STAC_4P01

    STAC 3P41 Approaches to Curatorial Practice
    Practical application of curatorial methods.

    Prerequisites: Prerequisite(s): VISA 1Q98 and 1Q99, one credit from second- or third-year VISA or STAC courses, or permission of the Centre.

    Crosslisting: also offered as VISA 3P41

    When? At the MIWSFPA in D2 on Monday at 1800-2100 and with ASYNC online content.

    Calendar link: https://brocku.ca/webcal/2023/undergrad/stac.html#STAC_3P41

    STAC 3P42 Methods and Principles of Curating
    The museum and the role of the curator in society. Critical approaches to the presentation of cultural artifacts, artworks and new forms of media.

    Prerequisites: Prerequisite(s): VISA 1Q98 and 1Q99, one credit from second- or third-year VISA or STAC courses, or permission of the Centre

    Crosslisting: also offered as VISA 3P42

    When? At the MIWSFPA in D3 on Monday at 1800-2100 and with ASYNC online content.

    Calendar link: https://brocku.ca/webcal/2023/undergrad/stac.html#STAC_3P42

    Become a culture producer – Fall 2023

    STAC 3P93 Producing a Performance Event, examines the planning and organization for a performance-based cultural event, such as a festival, rave, poetry-slam or community choral fundraiser. This popular course includes special guest presentations by leaders in regional arts production and management, and fieldtrips to unique cultural events. The highlight of the course is a ‘Dragons Den’ with cultural producers and presenters.  A blended course, with online and onsite events.

    Restrictions: students must have a minimum of 10.0 overall credits or permission of the Centre.

    Crosslisting: also offered as DART 3P93

    When? At the MIWSFPA in D2 on Thursday 1000-1300 and with an ASYNC online lab

    Calendar link: https://brocku.ca/webcal/2023/undergrad/stac.html#STAC_3P93

    click to open PDF

    The beauty of making books – Winter 2024  *NEW COURSE

    STAC 3P97 Publishing: Creative Elements and Editorial Process. Working in publishing encompasses a wide variety of skills, such as editing, design, media relations, marketing, and copywriting. This new course will take introduce you to the facets of editing and publishing in our contemporary world, with experiential learning and skills-rich practice based upon the creative publishing program of the Small Walker Press.
    NEW COURSE, offered online.

    Restrictions: students must have a minimum of 8.0 overall credits or permission of the instructor.

    When? Online in D3, ASYNC and with an online SYNC component Wednesday 1500-1700

    Calendar link: https://brocku.ca/webcal/2023/undergrad/stac.html#STAC_3P97

    STAC 4P41 Arts Management
    Effective management of arts organizations. Programming, Marketing, Financing.

    Restrictions: open to STAC, CANA, DART (single or combined), DART (Honours)/BEd (Intermediate/Senior), VISA (single or combined) and VISA (Honours)/BEd (Intermediate/Senior) majors until date specified in Registration guide.

    Prerequisites: Prerequisite(s): students must have a minimum of 12.0 overall credits or permission of the instructor.

    Crosslisting: also offered as DART 4P41 and VISA 4P41

    When? Thursdays in D2 1300-1400 at the School, and with ASYNC online content

    Calendar link: https://brocku.ca/webcal/2023/undergrad/stac.html#STAC_4P41

    STAC 4P68 Arts, Heritage and Culture:
    Public Policy and Governance Intervention in and support for the fine and performing arts and their cultural production.

    Restrictions: open to STAC, CANA, DART (single or combined), DART (Honours)/BEd (Intermediate/Senior), VISA (single or combined), SPMA and VISA (Honours)/BEd (Intermediate/Senior) majors until date specified in Registration guide. Students must have a minimum of 12.0 overall credits or permission of the Centre.

    Crosslisting: also offered as CANA 4P68, DART 4P68 and VISA 4P68

    When? Thursdays in D3 1300-1400 at the School, and with ASYNC online content

    calendar link: https://brocku.ca/webcal/2023/undergrad/stac.html#STAC_4P68

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  • Audio tour explores historic art of Mackenzie Chown Complex

    Lesley Bell (BA ’88), former Learning Commons Co-ordinator at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA), has researched the history of Michael Snow’s Timed Images installation at Brock. She is pictured here with Frame Three, which now hangs in the School.

    posted on the Brock News on TUESDAY, MAY 09, 2023 | by 

    Getting lost in Mackenzie Chown Complex is a familiar experience for many Brock students, and it’s easy to miss the artistic significance of the building in the rush to get to class on time.

    A new self-guided audio tour produced by Foreword, a podcast from the Faculty of Humanities, hopes to encourage a new appreciation for a complicated space and the art it contains on the 50th anniversary of its installation.

    The audio tour guides the listener through the various locations of Michael Snow’s 1972-73 art installation Time Images and considers how the building’s unique architecture plays with the space and light.

    Snow was invited by renowned architect Raymond Moriyama to create an art installation as part of the design for Brock’s new Academic Staging Building, now called the Mackenzie Chown Complex. His installation consisted of a series of mirrors, still images and live video situated throughout the building from Pond Inlet to A Block.

    Elements of the installation can still be seen, and the audio tour has an accompanying web page featuring historic photographs, artist sketches and architectural plans collected by Lesley Bell (BA ’88), an artist and retired support staff for Brock’s Department of Visual Arts, during her research on Snow.

    Snow, who died in January, was a widely acclaimed Canadian artist. His many honours included Officer of the Order of Canada (1981), Governor General’s Award in Media Arts (2000) and an honorary Doctor of Law degree from Brock University (1974). He is also known for his Canada geese sculpture, Flight Stop (1979), that hangs in Toronto’s Eaton Centre and his piece The Audience (1989) on the exterior of the Rogers Centre.

    The Foreword podcast’s two-part final episode of series four also features an interview with Bell by host Alison Innes, Strategic Initiatives and Outreach Officer in the Faculty of Humanities. Bell became interested in Snow’s art at Brock while she was working with the Department of Visual Arts. She went on to research and produce a short documentary on Snow and his collaboration with Moriyama at Brock with Tracy Van Oosten (BA ’10) in 2021.

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  • Spotlight on STAC 3P93: Producing a Performance Event

    STAC 3P93 Producing a Performance Event prepares students for careers in business and the arts by focussing on the practises and procedures to produce a professional performance event.  Collaboration through teamwork and adaptability to the creative, dynamic and stimulating conditions of cultural production are just two important skills that students develop in this intensive 12-week course. 

    In a recent capstone event, each student group pitched their ideas to a trio of panellists in a time-limited competition for producing success. The presentations included a conceptual outline of the cultural experience, supported by the planning, operating, funding, marketing, staging and production components of a successful audience and community engagement event.  

    Canadians recognize that the performing arts improve their quality of life and acknowledge the impact of the arts on the social and economic health of their communities. Events that imagine storytelling, music, dance and visual arts in different spaces of community engagement, such as theatres and cafes are often proposed by the students in this course. The students share a concern for improved mental health, sustained housing security and the well-being of the individual and the community, and they propose cultural experiences that will contribute to these outcomes.

    “Do not be afraid of the art!” – Colleen Smith, CEO, First Ontario Performing Arts Centre. 

    pictures of Colleen Smith (FOPAC) and Steve Remus (NAC)

    Colleen Smith (FOPAC) and Steve Remus (NAC)

    The guest panellists, invited for their breadth and depth of experience in their professional fields, share their wisdom learned from many years of successful leadership in the arts and culture sector. In recent years this has included the CEO of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (FOPAC), Colleen Smith, the Minister of Energy, Minds and Resources at the Niagara Artists Centre (NAC), Stephen Remus, and the Director of the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, David Vivian.  

    Students conceptualize the events through an examination of the complexities of planning and creating public productions. Each group integrates the technical and business demands with the creative experience. And what was the overwhelming advice from the panelists at a recent presentation? Keep the production – the art – at the centre of the plan. 

    Art is the most important part of an artistic event, and I realized that it’s easy to lose sight of that in all the technicalities and logistics of planning, but it’s important to always come back to it.
    Hannah Cain (Student, STAC 3P93, Winter 2022). 

    Impressed by the enthusiasm and originality of the students’ proposals, the panelists encourage students to further explore their ideas and make suggestions of how to take their work from the classroom into the community. Some students have received invitations to pursue the projects with the community partners.  

    Fleshing out a fully comprehensive plan, and then having the opportunity to pitch our performance event not only created an opportunity to apply my learning from the myriad of lesson materials but also gave me the experience of working with a team of other passionate peers whom I could see myself working with in the future…theory alone cannot teach the valuable life lessons that occur when you get your hands dirty and create something that excites you.
    Skye Rogers (Student, STAC 3P93, Winter 2022). 

    STAC 3P93 Producing a Performance Event will be available for registration in the Fall session of 2023-24. 

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  • Spirit of Mali: Kosar’s Corner – Part 2

    Professor David Vivian, Director of the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture (STAC) and the students of DART 3F61 Design: Theatrical Design visit Stève Viès and the exhibition. photo: Paul Jams.


    In my previous post, I provided some general information about The Spirit of Mali exhibition, including the backstage production and specific events. In this post, I intend to examine the exhibition critically and discuss its importance and contribution. 

    The Spirit of Mali brought a diverse community together for a celebration of Malian art at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, St. Catharines, from the 1st to the 10th of February, 2023. The exhibition presented textile art, sculpture, puppets, masks, musical instruments, games, and wooden crafts and immersed its audience in the art and culture of Mali. Visitors could enjoy a variety of arts and were welcomed with lectures, individual guidance, live music, dance, food, and an opportunity for socialization in an artistic space. One of the main components of this exhibition was the textiles, some of which are intended to narrate historical and mythological stories which were mentioned in my previous post. Throughout the exhibition, Stève Viès, the curator of this exhibition and a multidisciplinary artist, told the stories upon which the textiles were created. The audience, however, was invited to make their own reading from the works in the exhibition. “Not everyone connects with an artwork the same way”, said Dr. Jean B. Ntakirutimana, a professor in the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures at Brock University, a lead partner in the production of this exhibition. In the round table discussion on February 3rd, Dr. Ntakirutimana shared the profound feeling he had when he entered the space for the first time and talked about one of the objects in the exhibition, the crocodile mask.  He stated that the aesthetics of the crocodile which was hung on a piece of white fabric stood out for him initially. He mentions that aside from the symbolism of the crocodile, which represents strength, power, and friendship, one can have their own interpretation when seeing the artifact. He encouraged the viewers to see the artifacts and feel. He added that artworks are stimuli to provoke “vibrations”, and the vibrations are different for each person. He later mentioned that for him, the exhibition connected him with a motherly source.

    Dr. Jean B. Ntakirutimana (left) and Stève Viès discuss last minute planning before the guided visit and round table discussion. Photo: Paul Jams.

    Nafée Faigou, a St. Catharines artist, poet and community leader, the former artistic director of SOFIFRAN, talked about the expression of every component of a work of art, saying the process of making a textile from a plant is “itself a story, which is the story of life”. She continued that “life is not just the matter, but also the spirit”. She mentioned that in this exhibition, the spirit was put into a material space. She stated that the spirit of Bogolan art is fluid and can be described in many ways and may resonate differently for everyone.

    Nafée Faigou shares her insight during the roundtable discussion. Photo: Paul Jams.

    For me, the exhibition was remarkable in the range of meaning that it offered. It encouraged the personal and symbolic interpretation of the artworks. It provided its audience with information about the artworks but asked them to reflect upon the artworks. What stood out for me in some of the textiles was the use of patterns as a way of coloring some parts of paintings. Some of the patterns, however, symbolized concepts, values, and elements. To me, the patterns seemed like the creation of an intertext in the artwork that connects it with other stories. By providing visual hints to the viewers, they also seemed to be presenting a lens to see the image, suggesting how to interpret the story that the composition depicts. The work, Spiritualité Bambara, for example, depicts an aspect of Bambara culture –  the idea of care in a community that is not limited only to humans. A community is formed by interactions between humans and other living entities. In this textile, we see patterns that symbolize marriage, a subtheme for this composition. According to Stève Viès, marriage in Mali culture is not just between two individuals;  with the tie of marriage, one becomes responsible for all their new family members. This care and responsibility is not limited to family but can also be seen in the workplace.

    From left, Maman Fété Ngira-Batware Kimpiobi, Justine Djoléi Gogoua and Stève Viès welcome the guests during the opening night ceremonies. Dr. Jean B. Ntakirutimana is seen far right. Photo: Paul Jams.

    According to Stève Viès, some of the objects such as masks and puppets presented in the exhibition are used for storytelling in performing arts traditions in Mali. They contribute to the transmission of knowledge in Malian culture. The puppets presented in the exhibition are designed by Torri Diarra for the play The Legend of Bogolan, a musical that was written and performed by Stève Viès and Isabelle Garceau. Torri Diarra has made hundreds of puppets and masks to educate young audiences on the importance of preserving nature, protecting endangered species, and planting trees.

    In the opening and closing celebrations of the exhibition on February 4th and 10th, 2023, the audience were immersed in the culture of Mali through music, dance, and food. The organizers of the project from Brock University, Dr. Jean B. Ntakirutimana (Modern Languages, Literatures, and Cultures) and  Prof. David Vivian (Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture/Department of Dramatic Arts) engaged the audience in meaningful conversations about the artworks. The group dance exercise was a joyous practice of community building. The celebration ended with notes about collective identity, a sense of belonging, and the importance of the improvement of the self. Community engagement was one of the purposes and outcomes of this exhibition, according to Dr. Ntakirutimana. 

    “After the closing ceremony”, Dr. Ntakirutimana remarked, “I started feeling a separation like the anxiety a child feels after being weaned.” He referred to Africa as a mother figure for him and the arts presented in the exhibition as the spirit of that continent. The exhibition was a moment for individuals of all ages to see art, appreciate it, discuss it, make connections, dance, and play.

    Stève Viès demonstrates a musical instrument in his collection. Photo: Paul Jams.

    In order to share the art of Mali with a larger audience, Stève Viès will continue to tour the exhibition and develop a website at impressionsdeterre.com. He presents the art of Mali culture with a “positive vibration” and looks forward to bringing the artists, whom he calls brothers and sisters, to future exhibitions so that they may spark intercultural conversations and knowledge transmission.

    Museum in the Hallway / Boîte-en-valise, a project of the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture, situated on the second floor of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, continues a small exhibit of art and objects from Mali until the closing reception on March 3, 2023.

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  • Spirit of Mali: Kosar’s Corner – Part 1

     

    The Spirit of Mali was brought to St. Catharines to celebrate Black History and African Heritage Month. Opening on February 3rd, 2023, in the Robertson Theatre of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Center, the exhibition presents textile art, sculpture, puppets, masks, musical instruments, games, and wooden crafts.

    Stève Viès, the curator of this exhibition and a multidisciplinary artist based in Montreal, celebrates and honours the work of the artists and craftsmen Boubacar Doumbia, Mamoudo Nango, Tiorri Diarra, and Abou Konan.  The exhibition will provoke excitement and curiosity in its audience, inspire artists with the aesthetic forms practiced in Mali, and spark conversations about different ways that art explores spirituality and brings a community together.

    According to Stève, exhibition preparation takes years. The completion of some artworks in the exhibition has taken more than a hundred hours of work.  The collection of the objects has required multiple travels to Mali.  This exhibition was first planned for February of 2022 but was cancelled due to the COVID-19 risk management policies in place at the time.  The installation of the exhibition, alone, took almost 22 hours! Lighting, sound and technical professionals, managers, supervisors, publicity and hospitality teams from the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, and students, staff and faculty from Brock University came together to make this event happen.

    The process of preparing and installing the exhibition began late on a Sunday evening and soon after the arrival of the collection from Montreal. The first pieces to hang were the large format textiles, some measuring as large as 11’ x 19’.  These artworks tell the histories and myths of Soumaoro Kanté, a king of the Sosso people; Sunjata Keita, the first ruler of the Mali Empire; the Battle of Kirina, a battle between the Sosso king Sumanguru Kanté and the Mandinka prince Sundiata Keita. The patterns on the textiles include stories, symbols, and patterns, all painted with natural dyes and colors. The textiles were installed individually and as the background for the masks that would follow. During the guided visits of the exhibition we learn about the important role of these textiles in the presentation of objects like masks and puppets. Proper installation and effective lighting in this non-traditional exhibition space were an important part of the process. The installation planning and coordination was led by Professor David Vivian of the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture/Department of Dramatic Arts, assisted by students from the Department of Dramatic Arts, staff from the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture, and myself!

    On February 3rd, Stève Viès led us on a guided tour by followed by a mini symposium hosted by Professor Jean Ntakirutimana of the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures of Brock University. This was followed by an opening celebration on February 4th, resplendent with dance, musical performance, and discussions in theatre, accompanied by food and beverages from Mali.

    The Spirit of Mali is on exhibition until the 10th of February, with a public celebration on the closing night. Smaller elements are installed at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts as part of the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture project: Museum in the Hallway / Boîte-en-valise. You may visit this exhibition on the second floor of the MIWSFPA, near the entrances to the MIW Theatre.

    In my next posting about the Spirit of Mali I will talk about some of creative and critical responses to the work in the exhibition, and the important work that is done when we invite our community to experience new and remarkable experiences from diverse places and cultures in the world.  See you soon!

    For more information: https://brocku.ca/miwsfpa/stac/2023/01/16/spirit-of-mali-visits-st-catharines/

    This is the first in a series of short postings by the STAC curatorial assistant Kosar Dakhilalian, recently a student of the Master of Arts in Studies in Comparative Literatures and Arts at Brock University.  Kosar will introduce you to the backstage and onstage experiences of making meaning in material culture at the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture.

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  • Spirit of Mali visits St. Catharines

    The Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture, with the support of the Departments of Dramatic Arts, Music, and Visual Arts at the MIWSFPA, in collaboration with the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures and with the support of Brock International, Social Justice Research Institute, Department of History, Brock University Faculty Association, and the Office of Human Rights and Equity, are collaborating with Solidarité des femmes et familles interconnectées francophones du Niagara (SOFIFRAN, Welland sofifran.org ), the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (FOPAC, St. Catharines firstontariopac.ca ), and Impressions de Terre ( impressionsdeterre.com ), under the patronage of the Embassy of Mali in Ottawa, to produce an exhibit on art and culture from Mali, accompanied by live music performances and documentary films:

    Spirit of Mali

    with Stève Viès, multidisciplinary artist

    February 1-10, 2023
    Robertson Theatre, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, St. Catharines ON

    Exhibition hours
    Wednesday, February 1 and Thursday, February 2: 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm
    Friday, February 3: 12:00 pm to 9:30 pm
    Saturday, February 4: 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm
    Sunday, February 5 thru Thursday, February 9: 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm
    Friday, February 10: 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm

    Guided Tour & Discussion / Visite guidée & table ronde: Friday, February 3, 2023,
    7:30 pm to 9:30 pm
    featuring a guided tour of the exhibition by Stève Viès, curator, followed by a panel discussion about the exhibition and the art, with contributions by Gertrude Brew (graduate student, MA in Studies in Comparative Literatures and Arts (SCLA), Brock University), Nafée Faigou (St. Catharines artist, poet and community leader), Olatunji Ojo (Historian, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of History, Brock University), Jean Ntakirutimana (linguist and language teacher, Associate Professor of the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Brock University).  They will offer reactions, commentary, personal experiences and celebrations of the art on exhibit. This will be followed by a brief Q&A.
    All are welcome!

    Opening/Vernissage for the arts and cultural program: Saturday, February 4, 2023,
    5:30 pm to 8:00 pm, including cocktail reception at 7:00 pm
    with guest artist Amadou Kiénou

    Closing: Friday, February 10, 2023
    6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, closing reception
    with guest artists Justine Djoléi Gogoua and Amadou Kiénou

    The exhibit and special events are free and open to the public.
    The exhibit and special events are drop-in, no tickets or registration is required.
    Programming will be offered in French and in English.
    See the event listing at the FOPAC for more information.


    thumbnail of a youtube video to click and start in a new page

     

     

     

    See the video produced by Impressions de Terre in our youtube channel.


    Listen to the interview by Karl Dockstader of CKTB 610 with Professor Jean Ntakirutimana, Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures, Brock University.

    www.iheartradio.ca/610cktb/audio/the-drive-with-karl-dockstader-jean-ntakirutimana-associate-professor-of-the-department-of-modern-languages-literatures-and-cultures-brock-university-1.19173483?mode=Article


    Listen to the interview by Isabelle Ménard of CBC/Radio-Canada with Stève Viès, artist, educator and curator of the exhibit.  (en français)
    Le mois de l’histoire des Noirs : Exposition Esprit du Mali
    https://ici.radio-canada.ca/ohdio/premiere/emissions/dans-la-mosaique/segments/entrevue/431062/exposition-esprit-mali-steve-vies


    Read the article in Le Régional (Welland, en français. click to open PDF)
    Voici l’écho francophone de l’événement : https://leregional.com/sofifran-presente-la-diversite-culturelle-du-mali/


    See the gallery of photographs from the opening events on the SOFIFRAN website.


    Exhibition as presented at TOHU of the Cité des arts du cirque in Montreal, QC.

    The exhibition

    The Spirit of Mali exhibition is the culmination of a remarkable collective effort, orchestrated by Stève Viès and produced by several great master craftsmen of Mali: Boubacar Doumbia, Mamoudo Nango, Tiorri Diarra and Abou Konan

    Bogolan textile art and sculptural art are a national pride. Bogolan means ‘the action of clay on fabric’. Earth-colored dyes are made from foliage and bark. Sculpture plays a significant role in cultural tradition and story­ telling. The puppet is used for street theatre and in folk festivals. The Dogon mask dance, or funeral dance, is a sacred and mysterious practice within the rich cultural heritage of Mali.

    The Spirit of Mali Exhibition is committed to valuing and preserving traditional knowledge. More than ever, this diverse and beautiful collection of Malian culture expresses an awareness of deep wisdom and rich spirituality. It transmits to us the strength of action in solidarity, weaves the creative web that unites our differences and reminds us of the importance of cultivating peace to make room for prosperity.

    The exhibition will be installed in the Robertson Theatre of the FOPAC with smaller elements and digital media to be installed at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts as part of the STAC project: Museum in the Hallway / Boîte-en-valise.

    About Stève Viès

    Originally from La Loire, France, Stève Viès is a Montreal based artist and educator whose work celebrates the rich cultural heritage and diverse artisan traditions of West Africa.

    It was in 2008, in Mali, with his meeting of two great masters of textile art, Boubacar Doumbia and Mamoudou Nango, that his vision to preserve and share this great cultural tradition became clearer.

    The Spirit of Mali exhibition is representative of 20 years of passion and exchange for the art and culture of Mandé.

    Please check this webpage regularly for program updates. See also the event listing at the FOPAC for more information.

    This project is supported by the Faculty of Humanities Dean’s Discretionary Fund and the Social Justice Research Institute at Brock University, as well as Brock International, the Department of History, the Brock University Faculty Association, and the Office of Human Rights and Equity, as well as government and community partners.

    A short teaser video of the exhibition including images from when presented at TOHU of the Cité des arts du cirque in Montreal, QC, and including the guest artists Justine Djoléi Gogoua and Amadou Kiénou.


    part of:

    Festiv’Ébène 2023

    produced by SOFIFRAN


    A short teaser video about the artists performing at the closing festivities for Festiv’Ébène 2023 on February 25, 2023, at École secondaire catholique Saint-Jean-de-Brébeuf 620, chemin River Welland (Ontario) L3B 5N4.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     


     

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