Articles tagged with: walker cultural leaders series

  • Lecturer uses theatre to tackle social justice issues

    Director David Psalmon will travel to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts from Mexico as the next presenter in the Walker Cultural Leader Series on Jan. 10 at 7 p.m.


    (From The Brock News, Wednesday, January 2, 2019 | By: Sarah Ackles)

    A night at the theatre can elicit fits of laughter and bring audiences to tears, but can it also serve as a tool for promoting social and political change?

    In a week of workshops and talks hosted at Brock this month, international director David Psalmon will blur the lines between actor and spectator as he explores unique performance-based problem-solving solutions to social justice issues.

    Born in France, Psalmon currently resides in Mexico where he is the director, producer, editor and founder of the multi-awarded theatre company Teatro sin Paredes (Theatre Without Walls).

    Brock Associate Professor David Fancy said Psalmon’s years of experience teaching and directingperformances around the world will make him a “rich addition to this year’s Walker Cultural Leaders Series at Brock.”

    “Psalmon is a real self-starter who moved from France to Mexico 15 years ago and now runs one of the largest theatre companies in the country,” said Fancy. “He is committed to theatre as a means of vibrant social engagement, and always takes the broadest possible view when undertaking his theatre productions.”

    Psalmon’s Theatre Without Walls project has been utilizing Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressedmethodology since 2001, with the audience and actors working together to perform scenes that tackle a diverse array of social issues such as gender violence, discrimination and racism, and workplace violence. In these workshops, the actors present a problem that needs to be solved and then work collaboratively with the audience to improvise and alter the scene to act out potential scenarios that could address the problem at hand.

    Psalmon will discuss this methodology and his experience working for theatre companies worldwide at a public lecture on Thursday, Jan. 10 at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. He will also spend two days leading immersive workshops for Brock Dramatic Arts students, where he will explore collaborative theatre-making practices that Fancy said will be extremely beneficial to students honing their craft.

    “Psalmon’s theatre company runs on a collective basis — meaning all members of the company create their theatre productions collaboratively — and allowing our Brock students to see the success of his power-sharing collaborative model will inspire them to create theatre in new ways,” Fancy said.

    The Walker Cultural Leaders Series brings leading artists, performers, practitioners and academics to Brock’s MIWSFPA.

    The sessions, which are generously funded by Marilyn I. Walker, celebrate professional achievement, artistic endeavour and the indelible role of culture in society.

    All of the events are free and open to both students and the broader community. The series offers unique opportunities for the public to experience the work of leading international artists and students to work closely with experts in their fields.

    David Psalmon presents: Towards a Contemporary Political Theatre
    Public lecture, Thursday, Jan. 10 at 7 p.m.
    Marilyn I. Walker Theatre, MIWSFPA

    Workshop for Dramatic Arts students:
    Saturday, Jan. 12 and Sunday, Jan. 13
    11 a.m. to 4 p.m., MIWSFPA

    Learn more about the Walker Cultural Leaders Series on the MIWSFPA Website.

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    Categories: Current Students, Events, News, Walker Cultural Leader Series

  • Public talk and exhibition explore selfies and homeownership

    In his exhibition running until Nov. 7, Alejandro Cartagena has curated a selection of Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s vast collection of publicly shared selfies. (Photo courtesy of Alejandro Cartagena, from the official website of the office of the President of Mexico)


    (From The Brock News, Friday, Oct. 5, 2018 | by Sarah Moore)

    While acclaimed artist Alejandro Cartagena’s work focuses mainly on suburban life in Mexico, the themes expressed in his photographs bear uncanny resemblances to issues also currently impacting Canadians.

    Brock Visual Arts Professor Amy Friend said it’s that universality that made Cartagena’s work so appealing and was why she invited him to this year’s Walker Cultural Leaders Series at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA).

    Alejandro Cartagena, an international award-winning artist, self-publisher and editor who lives and works in Monterrey, Mexico, will present a lecture and exhibition as part of the Walker Cultural Leaders Series Oct. 17. (Photo courtesy of Alejandro Cartagena)

    “I’ve seen Cartagena’s work making an impact in how he is able to question political issues, mostly focused in Mexico, but I think there is a really universal message in what he is presenting,” she said. “It’s also important for students and the public to interact on a personal basis with a successful, working artist. To see that these are real people making real work in the real world — and it’s creating a dialogue.”

    Cartagena is presenting an exhibition, Presidential Guide to Selfies, and giving a public lecture titled Visualizing space and some ideas of homeownership 2006 to 2018.  The exhibition opening reception and the lecture both take place on Wednesday, Oct. 17 and are free and open to the public.

    Hosted in the VISA Gallery and Student Exhibition Space, Presidential Guide to Selfies asks people to question the motives behind Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto’s vast collection of publicly shared selfies.

    Cartagena has curated a selection of these selfies (currently posted to the President’s Official website) as a means to examine whether these images are being shared to show the Mexican President’s engagement with the people of his country, or whether it is merely an exercise in vanity as he ‘poses with his fans.’
    Cartagena has also created an accompanying photobook for this exhibition in which he details the events surrounding each selfie.

    Friend noted that in an age of cell phones and social media, and with Canada’s own Justin Trudeau often affectionately and critically called ‘Prime Minister Selfie,’ the exhibition’s exploration of politics, social media connectivity and celebrity culture is exceptionally timely.

    Following the gallery opening, Cartagena will explore the interdependence of humans and landscape in the face of urban expansion in a lecture drawing from his own body of work.

    Carpoolers, for example, is comprised of a series of photographs taken of migrant workers travelling around Mexico in the beds of pickup trucks.

    In his public lecture on Oct. 17, Alejandro Cartagena will explore issues of home and ownership through the use of his work such as Carpoolers, which documents migrant workers riding in the back of vehicles. (Photo courtesy of Alejandro Cartagena)

    The images of hardworking labourers travelling from job to job during the harvest season can conjure connections to Niagara’s own large migrant worker population.

    In Ontario alone, tens of thousands of migrant workers come to farms, orchards and greenhouses as part of the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program every year. They work and live in communities in the Niagara Fruit Belt, often spending six to eight months working in the agricultural hub of the province.

    “The idea of ownership floats around in Cartagena’s work, looking at suburban Mexican homes, border issues, migrant issues, issues of poverty and wealth,” said Friend. “It’s quite poignant now, in particular with what is happening with migration issues worldwide, and it also makes us question how we treat our own migrant workers. How do we decide how housing is built? Do we even know what is happening here in Canada?”

    The lecture is being held in the Robertson Theatre at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

    Steve Solski, Executive Director, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, said hosting the event in conjunction with the MIWSFPA is another example of the close community partnership between the two establishments.

    “The FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre and our neighbours at the Marilyn I. Walker School have together truly become the cultural hub for our city and region,” said Solski. “The synergy between bringing together the very best artists from across our country and world paired with nurturing and developing local artists and young creative minds, is key to our thriving arts community.”

    Tickets to the lecture are free, but registration is required by visiting the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre website.  The exhibition runs until Nov. 7.

    Presidential Guide to Selfies
    Exhibition opening: Wednesday, Oct. 17, 5 p.m., VISA Art Gallery and Student Exhibition Space, MIWSFPA
    Exhibition runs: Oct. 4 to Nov. 7

    Visualizing space and some ideas of homeownership 2006-2018
    Wednesday, Oct. 17, 6 p.m., Robertson Theatre, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre

    The Walker Cultural Leader series brings leading artists, performers, practitioners and academics to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts at Brock University. Engaging, lively and erudite, these sessions celebrate professional achievement, artistic endeavour and the indelible role of culture in our society. Please join us. This education program is generously founded by Marilyn I. Walker.

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    Categories: Events, Walker Cultural Leader Series

  • Vocalist Fides Krucker to open Walker Cultural Leaders Series

    Internationally acclaimed artist and vocalist Fides Krucker, far right, will be the first presenter in the 2018-19 Walker Cultural Leaders Series, presenting on Sept. 19. (Photo by Cam MacLennan)


    (From The Brock News, Wednesday, Sept. 12, 2018 | by Sarah Moore)

    An innovative lecture and performance by renowned vocalist Fides Krucker will open the annual Walker Cultural Leaders Series when it returns to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) on Wednesday, Sept. 19.

    Krucker, a teacher, interdisciplinary artist and singer, will present in Studio C, located in room MWS 251 of the MIWSFPA.

    Working across Canada and internationally, Krucker has devoted 35 years to contemporary vocal practice. Her experience as a singer of contemporary opera and her interest in non-verbal human sound textures, as well as her strong belief in sustainable vocal practices serves as the basis for her emotionally integrated voice teaching method.

    Brock Assistant Theatre Professor Danielle Wilson is especially looking forward to bringing Krucker to the series this year, as her own research on voice and embodiment techniques in the rehearsal process has links to the work Krucker does.

    “I am excited for her to share her unique perspective on the connectivity of breath, voice, body and creative impulse,” said Wilson. “I had heard of Fides for years as a pioneer of voice work and when I saw In This Body, her show at Canadian Stage this past spring, I knew I had to work with her.”

    In her lecture and performance, Krucker will explore voice through non-verbal vocalization. She offers a unique opportunity for connection through breath; to slow down and connect to the deeply felt, unseen parts of body and mind.

    Wilson and Brock Associate Theatre Professor Gyllian Raby had the opportunity to work with Krucker once before on Sabina’s Splendid Brain, a production opening Friday, Sept. 14 at the Walker School.

    That collaboration further cemented Krucker’s well-deserved place as the series’ opener this year.

    “The connection to breath is at the heart of life,” Raby explained. “Fides is an acting teacher who can sing in five octaves and knows the human shape of poetry. I am honoured and inspired to see her work with our students.”

    Krucker’s concert and demonstration is free and open to the public.

    Seating is limited and is being offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

    The concert marks the first event in another great lineup of workshops and performances in this year’s Walker Cultural Leaders Series, bringing leading artists, performers, practitioners and academics to Brock’s MIWSFPA.

    Elizabeth Vlossak, Director of the Walker School, said the series aims to engage students and the community with outstanding programming and cultural opportunities.

    “Our dynamic and impressive lineup of professionals in this year’s series will present content that is engaging and lively while also being challenging and thought-provoking,” she said. “These sessions celebrate artistic endeavour and achievement, as well as the indelible role of culture in our society.”

    2018-19 Walker Cultural Leader Series:

    Alejandro Cartagena

    Public lecture: Oct. 17, 6 p.m., Robertson Theatre, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre
    Exhibition opening: Oct. 17, 5 p.m., VISA Art Gallery and Student Exhibition Space
    Exhibition runs: Oct. 4 to Nov. 7

    Christine Cucciniello

    Zine-making workshop: Oct. 18, 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., MWS 229A (inside the Learning Commons).
    To reserve a spot, please contact Catherine Parayre at cparayre@brocku.ca

    David Jalbert

    Masterclass for piano students: Nov. 16, 2:30 to 4 p.m., Cairns Recital Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre
    Public recital (part of the Encore Series): Partridge Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, at 7:30 p.m.

    David Psalmon

    Public talk and workshop: Towards a Contemporary Political Theatre
    Jan. 10 at 7 p.m., Marilyn I. Walker Theatre

    Alinka Echeverria

    Public lecture: Looking Back to Look Forward: The History of Photography in Contemporary Image-Making
    March 7 at 6 p.m., Robertson Theatre, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre
    The Road to Tepeyac: Opening Reception March 7 at 5 p.m., VISA Gallery
    Exhibition runs March 5 to 26

    Walker String Quartet

    Vera Alekseeva and Anna Hughes (violin), Faith Lau (viola) and Gordon Cleland (cello)
    RBC Music@Noon performance: March 5, Cairns Recital Hall, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre

    Adam Dickinson

    Author’s talk: March 18 from 1 to 2 p.m., MWS 156

    Shawn Serfas, Adam Dickinson and Lorène Bourgeois

    Serfas, Dickinson and Bourgeois will be celebrated during a book launch through Small Walker Press, which publishes books by professors and students at the MIWSFPA and in the Humanities.
    Guest speaker: acclaimed artist/critic John Kissick
    TBD, week of May 6, MWS 156

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    Categories: Announcements, Events, News, Walker Cultural Leader Series