Exhibitions

  • Students transform trash into treasure for new art exhibit

    (From The Brock News, June 24, 2019 | By: Sarah Ackles)

    In a world where both packaging and products are marketed as disposable, Brock Visual Arts students have been challenged to rethink the concept of materialism.

    As part of instructor Donna Akrey’s Sculpture VISA 2F05 course, students were tasked with collecting various everyday items to be used as the basis for their final art projects.

    Everything from Styrofoam packing material to masking tape was fair game as students sculpted their works, which are featured in the upcoming exhibition Material World, on view from Friday, June 28 to Friday, July 19.

    In the process of creating, experimenting and working with their hands, students questioned society’s relationship to disposable materials. They also explored the often-overlooked aesthetics of simple, everyday objects, while being conscious of how everyday “stuff” is treated.

    Artist Caroline Holroyd, for example, repurposed an old speaker and plastic hockey stick handle for one of her pieces.

    “It’s an important topic because there’s so much waste all around us,” she said of working with found objects for this exhibition. “We’re showing creative ways to reuse that waste in this exhibition, but there is still so much more that we can do to combat this serious issue of waste in our society.”

    The 67-year-old Visual Arts major has been completing her degree on a part-time basis and said that working on projects like Material World alongside other artists is one of her favourite parts of the program.

    “They make me feel young,” she said with a laugh.

    Other participating artists in the show include Lindsay Allen, Meagan Benner, Kendra Bosse, Peri Goodman, Erica Greshuk, Rea Kelly, Ang Li, Sarah Martin, Ami Okafor, Harvind Sekhon, Taylor Sorensen, Miles Stanley, Jamie Tomao-Martin and Jessica Turk.

    Material World runs from Friday, June 28 to Friday, July 19 in the VISA Gallery and Student Exhibition Space at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

    An opening reception will take place Friday, June 28, from noon to 3 p.m.

    The exhibition and reception are free and open to the public.

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    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Events, Exhibitions, News

  • Visual Arts students share creative Modus Operandi in new exhibition

    Connor Playfair, a Brock Visual Arts student in the 3M90 Advanced Art Practices course, will show his work on wood blocks at Modus Operandi, beginning Saturday, April 13 at the Niagara Artists Centre.


    (From The Brock News, Thursday, April 4, 2019 | By: Sarah Ackles)

    Under the mentorship of instructor Donna Akrey, Brock Visual Arts students spent the last semester working in the studio to hone their craft and develop their own unique artistic identities.

    The end result, and the process they underwent to get there, will be on display in their final exhibition, Modus Operandi, on view at the Niagara Artist Centre (NAC) from Saturday, April 13 to Wednesday, April 24.

    The contemporary art show features the work of students in the 3M90 Advanced Art Practices course at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA).

    Brock Visual Arts student Zach White works away at the pieces he will be showing as part of Modus Operandi, a contemporary art show at the Niagara Artists Centre beginning Saturday, April 13.

    The artists tackle themes of environment, sexuality, mental health, identity and joy through a wide range of methods and materials such as wood, paper, installation, photography, zines, sculptured wire and clay, audio and research into optics via mirrors, virtual reality, video and performative work.

    Artist Lindsay Allen said she was “inspired by seeing everyone’s work together.”

    “Modus Operandi is a collection of hard work and progress made throughout the year, and each artist worked towards having a solid grasp on their subject matter and materials,” she added.  “It required a lot of research and experimentation, but I think we all learned a lot and have become better artists through this experience.”

    The course is structured, so the artists are given the autonomy to develop a mature and individual body of work with the end goal of producing a final exhibition for the public.

    For some students, such as Angelina Turner, this is the first time they have exhibited their work outside of the MIWSFPA.

    “I am very excited to get my work out there and to further my career,” she said.

    Fellow artist Connor Playfair agreed, adding the experience gives students a “real taste of having a professional art show.”

    “We are involved in every step of the planning and execution process and are making work that is without guidelines or restrictions using the skills that we have developed over our past four years at Brock,” he said.

    In addition to Allen, Turner and Playfair, artists featured in the exhibition include: Chelsea Dietrich, Amy Doan, Renz Baluyot, Alona Nyforovska, Lillianna Pagliaro, Curt Richard, Zach White and Evan Wiens.

    Modus Operandi will run from Saturday, April 13 to Wednesday, April 24 at the Niagara Artists Centre, 354 St. Paul St. in St. Catharines.

    There will be an opening reception Saturday, April 13 from 7 to 9 p.m.

    Visit the Niagara Artists Centre website for additional gallery hours.

    Eleven visual artists in Brock’s 3M90 Advanced Art Practices course will have their work on view at a show titled Modus Operandi, hosted at the Niagara Artists Centre in St. Catharines beginning Saturday, April 13.

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  • New art exhibition the product of student collaboration

    Quality Family Time (and Space), a piece by Brock alumna Emily Andrews (BA ’11), is part of the new Erasures exhibit that will run from April 2 to 27 in the VISA Art Gallery and Student Exhibition Space at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. An opening reception is set for Thursday, April 4 from 5 to 8 p.m.


    (From The Brock News, March 27, 2019 | By: Jaquelyn Bezaire)

    While they’re known for correcting errors, erasures are signs of progress and an expanding imagination.

    Students in Brock’s Visual Arts (VISA) and Studies in Arts and Culture (STAC) programs will explore this theme in a new collaborative art exhibit on view from Tuesday, April 2 to Saturday, April 27.

    The exhibit, Erasures, will be open to the public in the VISA Art Gallery and Student Exhibition Space at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) in downtown St. Catharines.

    An opening reception will be held in the gallery on Thursday, April 4, from 5 to 8 p.m.

    Led by Shawn Serfas, Associate Professor of Visual Arts, and Catherine Parayre, Director of the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture, students enrolled in VISA 4P03/4P04 and STAC 3P01 worked together to create a show that features paintings and text that thematize different types of erasures.

    The work ranges from the exploration of scenes lacking important elements, simplified adaptations of existing artworks and abstracted forms of figurative objects.

    Short written statements commenting on well-known recent artworks accompany the paintings to provide further context.

    Serfas and Parayre frequently bring students from different backgrounds together to collaborate on creative endeavours.

    “It has been an enriching learning experience, for both the students and the instructors,” Parayre said of working with the students on Erasures.

    The exhibition evokes transformations and process, an important theme in both Serfas’ senior studio courses and Parayre’s Media Transformations in the Creative Arts course.

    Whether in visual expressions or in texts, Parayre added, erasures are invitations to scrutinize, read and interpret, which is exactly what the public is encouraged to do at the upcoming exhibition.

    Erasures runs from April 2 to 27 in the VISA Art Gallery and Student Exhibition Space at the MIWSFPA in downtown St. Catharines. The gallery is open to the public Tuesdays to Saturdays from 1 to 5 p.m.

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  • Artistic alumni to host vacation-themed exhibition downtown

    Brock grads Katie Mazi (BA ’16), Jenn Judson (BA ’16), Matt Caldwell (BA ’16), Ben Mosher (BA ’15) and Alex Muresan (BA ’16) make up the art collective Permanent Vacation. The artists will be exhibiting new work in All Expenses Paid, opening on Thursday, Jan. 31.


    (From The Brock News, January 29, 2019 | By: Sarah Ackles)

    The Permanent Vacation art collective is inviting the public to experience the sights and sounds of a tropical getaway – without spending a cent.

    The group, made up of Brock alumni, is presenting its second exhibition, All Expenses Paid, at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) beginning Thursday, Jan. 31. An opening reception for the showcase will be held Thursday, Feb. 7 from 5 to 8 p.m.

    All Expenses Paid is a multimedia exhibition featuring photographs, videos, an installation and a zine. The artists will also create a studio space inside the exhibition, where emerging local artists can work if they cannot access their own studio space due to economic barriers.

    The collective, which includes artists Katie Mazi (BA ’16), Jenn Judson (BA ’16), Matt Caldwell (BA ’16), Ben Mosher (BA ’15) and Alex Muresan (BA ’16), were all Studio Art majors at Brock who first worked together to restructure the Brock Art Club into the current Brock Art Collective.

    The name Permanent Vacation stems from the idea that you don’t need to ‘vacate’ an area to find work and fulfilment. The collective’s goal is to create working space for emerging Niagara-based makers in a way that promotes seeing home anew.

    “The exciting part about this exhibition is that it is fully collaborative within our collective and interactive with local artists and community members,” said Mazi.

    The artists encourage visitors to embrace the theme and wear their best vacation attire to the opening, where they can expect to find themselves surrounded by inner tubes and piña coladas.

    “It’s practically a vacation,” said Judson.

    Permanent Vacation’s All Expenses Paid is on from Jan. 31 to Feb. 28 at the VISA Gallery and Student Exhibition Space within the MIWSFPA. The opening reception, also at the gallery, takes place Feb. 7 from 5 to 8 p.m. The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m.

    If you would like to book studio time during the exhibition, please email the artists to make advance arrangements at permanentvacationcanada@gmail.com

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    Categories: Alumni, Events, Exhibitions, News

  • Rodman Hall readying for two exhibition openings

    The work of Brock alumna Natalie Hunter will be featured in one of two exhibitions opening Jan. 31 at Rodman Hall. Hunter’s Staring into the Sun runs until March. (Image: Natalie Hunter, “Songs of May” (detail), 2018, Giclée prints on transparent film.)


    (From The Brock News, January 28, 2019 | By: Alison Innes)

    Two powerful exhibitions featuring the work of clients from Start Me Up Niagara (SMUN) and Brock alumna Natalie Hunter, respectively, will open at Rodman Hall Art Centre Thursday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m.

    The first of two new Rodman Hall offerings, the Art Me Up Niagara group show is a play on the name of the organization that works with individuals facing significant life challenges, such as poverty, addiction, homelessness, mental illness and unemployment.

    SMUN participants have created artwork in response to Rodman Hall’s current Northern Oracle installation, which aims to inspire people to share their message, whatever it might be, with the world and have their voice heard.

    “In developing the public programs activating this installation, I was guided by inquiry into why this work might be important to the Niagara community, and homelessness immediately arose as a critical issue,” says Elizabeth Chitty, Interim Grants and Programming Officer at Rodman Hall. “We will all benefit from seeing and listening to the artistic voices of those with lived experiences of homelessness in St. Catharines.”

    The second exhibition, Hunter’s “Staring into the Sun,” features photo-based sculptures and installations that explore the relationship between memory and physical space.

    Hunter (BA ’11) uses vibrant colour filters and multiple photographic exposures in her creation process. The works are printed on translucent films that hang, ripple and drape to interact with architectural features of the exhibition space.

    Each viewer’s experience of the pieces, which allude to enduring routines and the passage of time, shifts with subtle changes in light.

    Hunter will give a public talk about her work on Thursday, March 28 at 7 p.m. at Rodman Hall.

    In addition to the launch of the Art Me Up Niagara showcase, another event will be held this week related to the Northern Oracle exhibition. Rodman Hall is partnering with the American Sign Language Community of Niagara to present a public lecture by deaf Bahamian photographer and graphic designer Will Henfield at the art centre on Friday, Feb. 1 at 6:30 p.m.

    A full list of community events related to the ongoing “Northern Oracle” exhibition by Heather Hart can be found on the Rodman Hall website.

    The Art Me Up Niagara and Staring into the Sun exhibitions run until Feb. 10 and April 28, respectively.

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  • Public to take (CRIT)ICAL look at student artwork during one-night exhibition

    Brock Visual Arts student Zach White decides how to display his work in the student lounge on the third floor of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts as part of the upcoming exhibition, (CRIT)ICAL, taking place Wednesday, Jan. 16 from 4 to 10 p.m.


    (From The Brock News, Monday, January 14, 2019 | By: Jaquelyn Bezaire)

    Brock Visual Arts instructor Donna Akrey always tells her students that art is made to be seen, felt and heard.

    The idea that the process of creation begs for interaction and response is what inspired an upcoming exhibition at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA).

    Students from the 3M90 Advanced Art Practise course have been hard at work researching and creating their individual pieces for a one-night interactive exhibition, titled (CRIT)ICAL, on Wednesday, Jan. 16 from 4 to 10 p.m.

    Comprised of paintings, drawings, sound and video, the showcase is a collection of self-directed work from third- and fourth-year students. The pieces will be on display throughout the MIWSFPA building for guests to explore.

    “I think people can expect a lot of dramatic pieces of art,” said Visual Arts student Zach White. “There are a lot of people in this class who are trying to step out of their own areas of creation into new spaces that are outside of mainstream fine arts.”

    As part of the exhibition, students are opening up their studio doors and calling on the public to react, question and critique. Surveys will be handed out to viewers in order to give an anonymous written response to the artists.

    “The feedback from the visiting public will allow the students to hear unfiltered responses from others that will allow them to perhaps hear an alternate take on their work, strengthen their proposals and be able to work on any shortcomings the work may have,” said Akrey.

    This show is being treated as a work in progress for many of the artists who are hoping to use the feedback they receive to further improve their work.

    “I’ve been in a rut with my art, so the critiques will definitely help. I’m hoping to get some inspiration and a bit of a push to help me create more,” said Visual Arts student Renz Baluyot, whose work will be displayed in the second-floor hallway.

    (CRIT)ICAL is a mid-year event that will lead students towards a final show at the MIWSFPA in April.

    For more information about upcoming exhibitions, visit the Department of Visual Arts website.

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  • Brock grad returns to MIWSFPA for first solo exhibition

    Brock alumna Kylie Haveron (BA ’18) is hosting her first solo exhibition, Not Dark Yet, at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) beginning Wednesday, Jan. 9.


    (From The Brock News, Thursday, January 3, 2019 | By: Sarah Ackles)

    As Martin Luther King Jr. once famously said: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.”

    His message encapsulates the inspiration behind the first solo exhibition of Brock alumna Kylie Haveron (BA ’18), opening at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) this month.

    Running from Jan. 9 to 26, Not Dark Yet reflects on the dichotomy between lightness and darkness and the struggles we face in our daily lives.

    The exhibition is on at the VISA Gallery and Student Exhibition Space at the MIWSFPA, with an opening reception on Thursday, Jan. 10.

    “I look at how we believe day can bring a purpose, a connection and sense of certainty, while nightfall can bring anxiety as it signals the end of the opportunity for the day and a sense of waiting for the light of the next day to bring us answers,” Haveron explained.

    Haveron’s exhibition consists of a combination of drawings, sculpture and installations that explore the way that physical lightness and darkness can impact the lightness and darkness we experience within ourselves.

    She said the timing of the show is ideal, as the lack of sunlight during the winter months can trigger symptoms of depression in some individuals, often known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

    While many of her pieces are gritty and gloomy, the Brock grad hopes her work will inspire viewers to “let the light into their lives.”

    “Although I look at how extended periods of darkness can make us feel the darkness inside of us, I do have some pieces that give us ways to find the light,” she said. “We must not let the darkness determine our fate and our life, because the light can bring opportunity to have better outcomes.”

    Haveron is also looking forward to returning to her alma mater to showcase her first professional exhibition.

    “Hosting a solo show is a good learning experience and I’m happy I get to do it at Brock, where I have a lot of friends and am part of a supportive community,” she said.

    Not Dark Yet runs from Jan. 9 to 26 in the VISA Art Gallery and Student Exhibition Space at the MIWSFPA. The gallery is open to the public Tuesdays to Saturdays from 1 to 5 p.m.

    An opening reception, also in the gallery, will be held Thursday, Jan. 10, from 5 to 8 p.m.

    This event is free and open to the community.

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  • Community voices expressed through Brock art exhibitions

    Curt Richard, a student in VISA 3M90, surveys the exhibition that he and 52 other students have completed over the course of the semester. Manifestos in a Room is a collaboration between students in French, Visual Arts, and Studies in Art and Culture. It will be on display at Rodman Hall Art Centre until Dec. 30.


    (From The Brock News, Friday, Dec. 7, 2018 | By: Alison Innes)

    Two Brock art exhibitions now on display are working to celebrate and amplify community voices.

    Manifestos in a Room and Sauti za Afrika/African Voices/Voix Africaines were each created to engage with Northern Oracle, an exhibition by Heather Hart currently being featured at Rodman Hall Art Centre.

    Through the exhibition, which includes an indoor rooftop installation, Hart asks visitors what they want to say to the world and advises them to shout it from the rooftop.

    Reflecting on Northern Oracle, 53 students in Visual Arts, Studies in Arts and Culture, and French came together to create their own statements, whether poetic, absurd or political. The expressions — in both English and French — were used to create Manifestos in a Room, on display in Rodman Hall’s Studio Gallery.

    Students worked throughout the fall semester to bring the exhibition, curated by Associate Professor Catherine Parayre and instructor Donna Akrey, to life.

    Jean Ntakirutimana, Chair of the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures, demonstrates the talking drum used to send messages over long distances in Cameroon. With careful training, a person could use the different tones produced by the drum to send messages. The drum is just one of the items on display in Sauti za Afrika/ African Voices/ Voix Africaines, an exhibition celebrating voices of Niagara’s African diaspora community.

    “It really helps to collaborate in one’s art practice,” said Akrey, whose art students were involved in the project.

    “We also did an assembly line production to create some of the work, which was fun and rewarding. I was impressed with how the 3M90 students embraced this project and made sense of it for the viewing public.”

    For the participating French students, the exhibition was a “great opportunity to practice writing constraints for fun,” said Parayre. “Students produced facetious manifestos, writing eloquently on a light-hearted topic. It allowed all of us to put our creative forces together and share a common space.”

    The exhibition includes a visual component as well as a three-minute audio track created by the students.

    Over at Brock’s main campus, the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures (MLLC) is hosting Sauti za Afrika/African Voices/Voix Africaines, an exhibition meant to amplify the voices of the African diaspora in Niagara. Featuring 12 different languages, the exhibition combines modern writing with ancient traditions of communication.

    The display features instruments and figurines used for communication, such as a conch shell, similar to the one used to call for revolution in Haiti, and miniature replicas of Burundi drums used by royalty to communicate with their people.

    Also included is an intricately carved cow horn used to call people to come and hear the chief speak in certain regions of Africa, said Department Chair and Associate Professor Jean Ntakirutimana.

    Ntakirutimana worked with members of Niagara’s African diaspora and Sofifran (Solidarité des femmes et familles immigrantes francophones du Niagara) to collect people’s hopes, dreams and concerns to include in the display. Members have also loaned their personal objects for the exhibition.

    The display is a precursor to an event by the same name coming up in February. Co-hosted by Sofifran, MLLC and Studies in Arts and Culture, the event will be held at Rodman Hall and will also engage with Northern Oracle.

    Sauti za Afrika/African Voices/Voix Africaines is a part of the Museum in the Hallway project, curated by Parayre. Located in the Department of Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures (Mackenzie Chown A-block), the project features rotating monthly displays.

    Both African Voices and Manifestos in A Room will be on display until the end of December. Northern Oracle will be at Rodman Hall until March 3.

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  • Brock Art Collective ready for annual exhibition

    Sarah Martin, left, and Syerra Jasmin showcase examples of artwork that can be found at the upcoming exhibition Art Block: BAC on the Block which runs from Dec. 4 to 20 in the VISA Art Gallery and Student Exhibition Space at the MIWSFPA.


    (From The Brock News, Wednesday Nov. 28, 2018 | By: Jaquelyn Bezaire)

    Members of the Brock Art Collective have been hard at work preparing for the return of a popular art exhibition.

    The fourth annual Art Block: BAC on the Block exhibition opens on Tuesday, Dec. 4 at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA).

    The exhibition will feature more than 100 different pieces created on six-inch-by-six-inch wooden blocks by many different artists from Brock and around the Niagara region.

    Visual Arts student and President of the Brock Art Collective, Syerra Jasmin, has been involved with the club for four years and loves the uniqueness it has to offer.

    “Students are welcome to do quite literally anything and everything that they want on the wooden block as long as the block itself is involved in some way,” she said. “But there’s a challenge in having to take your idea and shrink it down to fit on the block. It completely changes the way your art interacts with the surface.”

    For many students, this is the first time their work will be part of an exhibition. It’s an opportunity to introduce themselves to the arts community while also getting to sell their work. All the artwork will be for sale starting at $40 each.

    Jasmin is joined by fellow Visual Arts students Sarah Martin, this year’s Vice-President and Amber Lee Williams, this year’s Treasurer. The three work together to host multiple events throughout the year that are open to staff, faculty, students and the community. For Martin, this has been a great opportunity for her to meet other artists within the community.

    “We’ve had people come to our workshops who don’t go to Brock, but they always get so involved and excited,” said Martin. “It’s a great feeling being able to be the person to present these opportunities and make those connections.”

    The exhibition runs from Dec. 4 to 20 in the VISA Art Gallery and Student Exhibition Space at the MIWSFPA. The gallery is open to the public Tuesday to Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m.

    There will also be an opening reception on Wednesday, Dec. 6 from 5 to 9 p.m. This event is free and open to the community.

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  • Exhibition explores link between childhood trauma and mental illness

    Emma Mary Sked’s childhood greatly impacted her mental health as an adult.

    And now, the Brock Visual Arts student is channelling her life experiences into a new exhibition opening Tuesday, Nov. 13 at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA).

    Maybe You Should Drive is a mixed media exhibition featuring a collection of art books and brightly coloured fabric animals depicting the fragility and comfort of childhood, and the lived experience of adults with mental illness.

    The exhibition features work that culminated from the artist’s studies in the VISA 3F99 Independent Study course at MIWSFPA. Sked completed the project under the guidance of Visual Arts Associate Professor Shawn Serfas.

    “VISA 3F99 engages a heightened level of creative and critical literacy for our undergraduate students,” Serfas explained. “Emma’s exhibition explores the complex relational narratives between mental health and creativity.”

    Sked felt it important to use her own experience with mental illness and addiction as inspiration for the featured work.

    “When I was a kid I moved a lot, which really impacted how I coped with things and I now struggle with anxiety and depression,” she shared. “Now that I’ve grown up, I’ve met people who have developed mental illness that they also have to cope with every day and they will be able to relate to this work and make connections to their own life.”

    Sked chose to explore the use of art books and tactile objects for this project so that viewers could interact with the subject matter on a more immersive level.

    She also hopes the exhibition will encourage others to share their own experiences in order to find support and develop their own coping mechanisms.

    “It’s not just about the negative impacts of these issues,” she stressed. “It’s about bringing hope to people and showing them that they aren’t alone.”

    Maybe You Should Drive will be installed in the VISA Gallery and Student Exhibition Space at the MIWSFPA from Nov. 13 to 27.

    An opening reception will also be held in the Gallery on Thursday, Nov. 15, from 5 to 8 p.m.

    The event is free and suitable for all audiences.

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