Articles tagged with: Brock University

  • Brock prof and alumna explore circus performance in joint publication

    Associate Professor of Dramatic Arts Karen Fricker and MA graduate Hayley Malouin at the conference Circus and its Others II in Prague this past August. The two have recently published a special double issue of Performance Matters, titled “Circus and Its Others,” exploring questions around circus performance and gender, difference and dis/ability. (Photo by David Konecny)


    (From The Brock News, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018 | by Alison Innes)

    For many people, the circus is a place of mystery and wonder, filled with the extraordinary, unusual and strange.

    But what does it mean to be different and what does it mean to perform those differences?

    For Associate Professor of Dramatic Arts Karen Fricker and Brock alumna Hayley Malouin (BA ’15, MA ’17), these questions have led to a joint publication in the emerging field of circus studies.

    The pair launched a special double issue of the journal Performance Matters, titled “Circus and Its Others,” Aug. 28 in Prague at the similarly named Circus and Its Others II conference.

    Inspired by the inaugural Encounters with Circus and its Others conference organized by Fricker with assistance from Malouin in 2016, the publication features contributions from established scholars, graduate students and circus artists from around the world. Many of the contributors were in Prague to participate in the second conference and celebrate at the launch.

    The conference series brings together scholars from around the world to explore questions about the place of difference and “otherness” in contemporary circus.

    “We’re asking questions about circus in a way that allows people who have been working at these questions from different perspectives and different places to jump on board,” says Fricker.

    Malouin, who has an undergraduate degree from Brock in Dramatic Arts, explored ideas of public performance, political protest and public performance of the grotesque as part of her MA in Studies in Comparative Literature and the Arts.

    “Circus is an interesting cultural touchstone because it reflects societal norms about people, community and politics. This is in contrast to the image of circus – which circuses themselves cultivate – as existing on the margins of society,” says Malouin.

    The special issue of Performance Matters was her first foray into academic publishing. In addition to co-editing the issue with Fricker, Malouin worked with other circus scholars, including Brock student Taylor Zajdlik (BA ’15, MA ’17), on a section of the journal exploring questions of queerness and freakery in the circus.

    “It was a great experience to establish myself as someone with those skills,” says Malouin. “I really care about the work, I feel it’s important. It’s a substantial contribution to an emerging field.”

    The special edition also includes work by DART Associate Professor David Fancy on disability and the circus, making reference to a creative research project in which he participated involving intellectually disabled survivors of institutional abuse.

    The questions Fricker and Malouin are researching have application beyond the circus to culture as a whole.

    “What we’re looking at is how questions about difference and otherness play out in certain practices in the contemporary moment,” says Fricker. “And more broadly we’re asking, how do we work to make culture more inclusive?”

    The full issue can be read online for free.

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    Categories: Alumni, Events, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • New grad honoured for textile artwork

    Victoria Reid was recently honoured for her artwork, which was on display at Rodman Hall Art Centre as part of the Turnin’ this Car Around exhibition in April.

    (From The Brock News, Wednesday, June 20, 2018 | by Alison Innes)

    The eye-catching pieces were hard to miss.

    Made from everyday materials, the headless human forms could be seen cascaded down a wall within Rodman Hall Art Centre, drawing attention and sparking conversations among visitors.

    Created by Victoria Reid, the pieces were featured during the VISA 4F06 Honours exhibition, Turnin’ this Car Around, in April, but continue to earn the young artist praise.

    Visual arts graduate Victoria Reid has been awarded the inaugural Marilyn I. Walker Textile Art Award. (Photo: Jimmy Limit)

     

     

    The June graduate was chosen to receive the inaugural Marilyn I. Walker Textile Art Award for her work. The honour is given to a graduating student for a piece of textile art and is intended to support the student’s continued artistic development.

    Reid’s figures, made from yarn, fabric scraps, plaster and packing tape, challenge the viewer to see bodies as objects taking up space.

    “The bodies are not human without their contents,” says Reid. “These sculptures embrace the oddity and the awkwardness of the human body, focusing on the fact that we are weird masses of matter and, together with soul, we become beings.”

    Reid says for as long as she can remember, she has been intrigued by textiles.

    “They have so much personality and can be handled with a variety of different methods to morph them into something new,” she says.

    It was her grandmother who taught her how to weave, stitch, sew, knit and crochet at an early age.

    Reid applied these more traditional ways of working with textiles to new ideas to create her award-winning work and cites Walker’s own work as inspiration.

    “Marilyn I. Walker’s piece in the first floor hall inspired me greatly this year with the variety in colour and texture, and the stitching together of different fabric patterns and materials,” she says.

    Reid’s pieces are cast from her own body and lend drama to the philosophical question of the mind-body dichotomy, writes Associate Professor Derek Knight in the exhibition catalogue.

    “References to the human body are rarely benign and Reid is no different when she describes her plaster figures as symbolizing the existential dilemma between spiritual life and physical existence,” he writes.

    Reid will be continuing her arts education this fall at the University of Western Ontario, where she is enrolled in a Master of Library and Information Science program to study Collections and Archive Management.

    “I want my future career to work with, influence and inform my art practice,” says Reid, who continues to create, show and sell her art. She is also working with Brock Visual Resources Librarian Lesley Bell for the summer.

    “Being awarded the Marilyn I Walker Textile art award means so much to me,” Reid says. “Working with textiles in my art is what I do and being awarded for something that I have worked hard on and put so much energy into is a great feeling. It makes me feel not only proud of myself, but thankful for all of the friends, family, peers and instructors who have helped and supported me along the way.”

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    Categories: Alumni, Announcements, Department/Centre News, News

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    What: In the Soil Arts Festival

    When: Friday, April 27 to Sunday, April 29

    Where: Downtown St. Catharines

    Tickets and event details: inthesoil.on.ca


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    Categories: Alumni, Current Students, Events, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Choral season to wrap with final show

    The Avanti Chamber Singers, under the direction of Rachel Rensink-Hoff, will close out the 2017-18 Department of Music season on Saturday, April 28 at St. Thomas Anglican Church.

    The curtain will close on Brock’s 2017-18 Music season with a final performance by the Avanti Chamber Singers.

    Boundless, the last concert of the academic year, will be presented by the Department of Music and the Avanti Chamber Singers on Saturday, April 28 beginning at 7:30 p.m. at St. Thomas Anglican Church, 99 Ontario St., St. Catharines.

    The show features celestial-inspired music, exploring the harmony and mystery of the universe with a range of primarily 21st-century works.

    The program includes pieces such as Gloria Patri by Urmas Sisask, And Einstein Said by Trent Worthington, Stars by Eriks Ešenvalds, and the centerpiece of the program, Lux Aeterna by Morten Lauridsen.

    The Avanti Chamber Singers is a mixed chamber choir comprised of experienced choral singers from across the Niagara region. The group performs under the direction of Artistic Director Rachel Rensink-Hoff, who is also conductor of the Brock University choirs, Director of Choral Activities and Assistant Professor of Music Education at Brock University.

    “It has been a wonderful year,” she said when describing the choral and concert season as a whole. “We are seeing more and more people from the local community coming to our concerts, which is so exciting and motivating for our performers.”

    Looking forward to the 2018-19 Music season, there will be new choral opportunities for students and the community. The Brock choirs are being restructured to feature two ensembles: a mixed chamber choir and a women’s choir. Both are open by audition to all Brock University students, staff and faculty. New for this year, the women’s choir will also be open to the wider Niagara community “in hopes that it will function as a bridge between Brock’s music program and the wider singing community here in St. Catharines,” Rensink-Hoff said.

    Women’s choir rehearsals will be on Thursday evenings from 6 to 8:45 p.m. in the Cairns Recital Hall of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre. Interested singers from the community are encouraged to contact Rensink-Hoff by email at rrensinkhoff@brocku.ca for an audition.

    Advance tickets for the last choral concert of the season are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and $5 for students and under the eyeGo program. They can be purchased at Thorold Music, 289 Glendale Ave.; Booksmart, 350 Vine St.; online through Eventbrite; or through members of the Avanti Chamber Singers.

    Tickets will also be sold at the door for an additional $5.

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    Categories: Department/Centre News, Events

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • Rodman Hall hosts Visual Arts honours exhibitions

    The opening reception for the first instalment of the honours exhibitions on Friday, March 23 drew a large crowd to the Rodman Hall Art Centre. Photo: Danny Custodio.

    Graduating students from the Honours Studio course (VISA 4F06) have been busy all semester creating their pieces for the two-part Brock University Department of Visual Arts Honours Exhibition. Students were mentored by Rodman Hall Art Centre gallery staff and Visual Arts Professors Donna Szoke, Shawn Serfas, Derek Knight, and Donna Akrey.

    The first instalment of the honours exhibition: Just Resting My Eyes is currently on display at the Rodman Hall Art Centre (109 St. Paul Crescent). The current exhibition features work from students: Denise Apostolatos, Victoria Morinello, Jill Newman, Jacob Primeau, and Aaron Thompson.

    These honours exhibitions are vital to students’ education in the Brock Visual Arts program because “the nature, purpose and intended outcome of Honours Studio is that once the students graduate from the art program, they become practicing artists. Art making, as a practice of research-creation, is inherently experiential learning” says Szoke.

    The collaboration with the professional team of the Rodman Hall Art Centre is a essential learning experience for Brock Visual Arts students. Akrey says the Rodman Hall staff’s “consultation with each student teaches them the importance of the entire process of art making and exhibiting, and the importance of their individual work in a collaborative event.” Serfas adds that the importance of having Rodman Hall embedded into the Bachelor of Arts program is that “it gives our students a distinctive experiential learning opportunity.”

    Knight says that the audience can expect to see “broad cultural themes with emphasis on the impact of mass media, environmental or social issues” throughout the work created by these honours students in this two-part exhibit.

    The second instalment, Turnin’ This Car Around, is set to be exhibited from Saturday, April 14 to Sunday, April 29, with the opening reception on Friday, April 13 from 7 to 9 p.m. This upcoming exhibit will feature pieces by Rachel Dove, Lauren Mucciarone, Victoria Reid, Brittany Thomas-Clapp, and Lorraine Zandvliet.

    For more information about Rodman Hall Art Centre and their programs see brocku.ca/rodman-hall


    see the article by John Law in the St.Catharines Standard: Brock’s top art students gather for one last show

    see the video report by Stephen Parr for YourTV Niagara

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    Categories: Current Students, Events, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Three exhibits this week for Visual Arts

    This is a busy week for exhibitions under Brock’s Department of Visual Arts (VISA).

    From April 2 to 6, students in the VISA department are presenting three exhibitions: CORESITE-SEER, and (un)hidden.

    Now open in the Rodman Hall Art Centre is the exhibit CORE. VISA students will have their smaller works in Rodman Hall’s Flex Space, which will be imagined as a larger site and a centre from where the work branches out to the other destinations in the show. CORE is open to view at Rodman Hall from now until April 13. Gallery hours can be found on their website and admission is by donation, but free for members and students.

    When visiting Rodman Hall be sure to see the Brock University Department of Visual Arts Honours Exhibition: just resting my eyes, on display until April 8.

    The second exhibit, SITE-SEER, is an extension of the first. SITE-SEER is a one-night exhibition being held Wednesday, April 4 from 4 to 9 p.m., where the downtown area of St. Catharines will serve as gallery space. Students from Donna Akrey’s Advanced Art Practices course are taking their creations from the CORE exhibit and dispersing them throughout downtown St. Catharines in hopes that their pieces will lure locals into seeing sites in a new way.

    Participating artists for both CORE and SITE-SEER include: Hani Ahmed, Jess Angelevski, Teresa Badgley, Jessica Bradley, Tom Denton, Isabella Domaradzki, Kylie Haveron, Emma Hutchison-Hounsell, Laura Levesque, Avery Mikolic-O’Rourke, Amanda Misale, Anna Podvalni, Victoria Reid, Kourtney Spadoni and Desiree Veino.

    Maps with more information about the artworks, their locations and times will be available at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts on Wednesday night when SITE-SEER is held.

    Change, a contemporary exploration of Hidden Mother photography. One of many polaroid emulsion lifts featured in the upcoming show (un)hidden by Amber Lee Williams.

    Change, a contemporary exploration of Hidden Mother photography. One of many polaroid emulsion lifts featured in the upcoming show (un)hidden by Amber Lee Williams.

    A third show, (un)hidden by Brock Visual Arts student Amber Lee Williams, opens in the Visual Arts Exhibition Space of the MIWSFPA on Thursday, April 5 with a reception from 5 to 9 p.m. Williams is both a student and a mother of two, who gave birth to her second child while preparing for this exhibit. She is now in the process of installing her show while carrying her two-month-old baby in a sling.

    In the (un)hidden exhibit, Williams presents photographs, sculptures and installations investigating motherhood, relationships within the family and loss. (un)hidden will be open at the MIWSFPA until Saturday, April 28. Regular gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m.

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

  • Music@Noon season to end on high note

    Sherry Yu is one of six pianists who will perform in the last Music@Noon concert of the 2017-18 season on Tuesday, April 3.

    The curtain will close next week on this season’s RBC Foundation Music@Noon Recital Series.

    The final performance of the 2017-18 season takes place Tuesday, April 3, with first- and second-year Bachelor of Music piano students taking the stage at Cairns Recital Hall.

    Short videos of this season’s Music@Noon performances are available on the Department of Music Instagram page.

    The free recital series will return to the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in late September.

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    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Department/Centre News, Events, In the Media, News

  • HRI Spring Term Symposium: The Elephant in the Room

    Image: Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals.

    The Humanities Research Institute will be hosting its Spring Symposium on Tuesday, April 17, 12:30 to 4:30 pm at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts room 406. The public is welcome to attend! No registration required.

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

    Opening remarks: Michael Carter, Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies, Faculty of Humanities

    Session I: 1:00 p.m.

    Chair: Keri Cronin (Visual Arts)

    • John Bonnett (History), “Turns, Convergences and De-Stabilization: Is the Animal turn the next Big Thing in History?”
    • Barbara Seeber (English Language & Literature), “Animals and the Country House Tradition Revisited in Mary Leapor and Jane Austen”
    • Elizabeth Neswald (History), “Feeding the Dog”
    • Adam Dickinson (English Language & Literature), “Anatomic: Microbes, Chemicals, and Metabolic Poetics in the Anthropocene”

    Coffee/tea break: 2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

    Session II: 2:45 p.m.

    Chair: Keri Cronin (Visual Arts)

    • Kendra Coulter (Labour Studies), “The Elephants are Working: Animals, Labour, and Care”
    • Keri Cronin (Visual Arts), “Surveillance or Sanctuary?: The Power and Potential of Live Cams for Humane Education”
    • Lauren Corman (Sociology), “Vile Creatures: Abject Animals at the Limits of Society and Culture”

    Presentation of Faculty of Humanities Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity to Professor Donna Szoke

    Donna Szoke (Visual Arts), “Invisible Animals”

    Closing remarks: Carol Merriam, Dean, Faculty of Humanities

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

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  • Dramatic Arts students explore the theme of Expectation and Reality

    The popular One Act Festival is coming back to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts this weekend. Pictured is the performance of All by Myself from the 2017 One Act Festival directed by Naomi Richardson, designed by Chelsea Wilson and featuring Rebecca Downing, Jessica Johnson, Alex Boychuk, Lauren Reed and David Poirier.

    The popular One Act Festival is returning to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts this weekend.

    Students from the Dramatic Arts Directing II course (DART 3P54) have been hard at work developing their plays under the supervision and guidance of instructor Neil Silcox and teaching assistant Kevin Hobbs. The experiential course offers students practical and real-world experience as directors, dramaturges, performers, designers and theatre technicians, often for the first time.

    Silcox says “Brock does a great job of balancing out the theoretical and experiential aspects of dramatic arts” compared to the other programs he’s worked for.

    “Developing a strong understanding of theories and then being able to get on your feet and actually do it is the only way to learn to do performing arts,” Silcox says.

    Directing II students are responsible for selecting a script, auditioning a cast, rehearsing, designing the show and co-ordinating with the dramatic arts production team on all technical needs.

    This year, the festival is presenting six shows under the theme “Expectation and Reality.”

    Silcox says he discovered the theme “after reading through each of the students’ chosen acts side by side.”

    “We didn’t offer this theme to the students and make them try to select something,” he says.

    This process allows the students to have full control and individuality with their acts, but also challenges them to tweak their shows in a way that highlights the theme more.

    “Although it may seem cliché, audience members should expect the unexpected,” says Silcox.

    The shows range from century old to extremely contemporary, absurdism to strongly political, all exploring this year’s theme from a unique angle.

    Shows being presented this year include Articulation by Alicia Richardson, Your Mother’s Butt by Alan Ball, Echo by Joseph T. Shipley, The Little Stone House by George Calderon, The Lesson by Eugene Ionesco, and The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre by Allan Knee.

    All shows take place in the Marilyn I. Walker Theatre of the MIWSFPA on Saturday, March 24 and Sunday, March 25 starting at 7 p.m. each night. Admission is pay-what-you-can and limited paid parking is available nearby. For more information on the 2018 One Act Festival, visit the Dramatic Arts website.

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