Exhibitions

  • 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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    Categories: Current Students, Events, Exhibitions, News

  • 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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    Categories: Alumni, Events, Exhibitions, News

  • 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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  • Brock prof unveils Invisible Histories at Toronto exhibition

    Invisible Histories, by Brock researcher and Visual Arts Chair, Professor Donna Szoke, is installed at the John B. Aird Gallery and CONTACT Gallery in Toronto until Nov. 23. Her work is pictured above: Donna Szoke, Invisible HistoriesGeo-loactive smart phone/tablet app, 2015


    (From The Brock News, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018 | By: )

    The work of Brock Professor Donna Szoke on the hidden history of nuclear waste is being featured in a Toronto group exhibition that opened last week.

    Szoke, a researcher and Visual Arts Chair, has her work on display as part of Digital Animalities — a two-venue exhibition of artworks that examines how human-animal understandings and relationships are changing through the use of ubiquitous media and new technologies.

    The exhibition is part of a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada(SSHRC)-funded research project titled “Digital Animalities: Media Representations of Nonhuman Life in the Age of Risk,” led by Jody Berland of York University.It brings the work of artists and researchers together to highlight the challenges and opportunities for new understandings of animals in contemporary digital culture.

    Co-curated by Giovanni Aloi, Matthew Brower and Curatorial Assistant Seb Roberts, Digital Animalities divided the works into two exhibitions: Mapping (at the James B. Aird gallery) and Rendering (at CONTACT Gallery).

    Szoke’s Invisible Histories (a geolocative smartphone/tablet app she developed in 2015) is featured in the Mapping exhibition.

    The free app maps nuclear waste at a Niagara Falls, N.Y., storage site, where more than 270,000 mice used in radioactive experiments have been buried.The app brings public awareness to the fact that there is radioactive evidence of secret atomic testing that took place during the infamous Manhattan Project in Niagara.

    Users are guided through the app to the rodent burial site through the leadership of green, glowing 3D mice that become more prevalent on-screen as the site grows near.Szoke said it’s ironic, because no one actually wants to go towards nuclear waste, but the mice guide users to their graves to reveal their tragic end.

    Szoke was awarded the 2017 Faculty of Humanities Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity.

    Her artistic work includes media art, interactive animation, installation, drawing, experimentation and printmaking.

    Digital Animalities runs at the John B. Aird Gallery and CONTACT Gallery in Toronto until Nov. 23.  The Invisible Histories app is available for free download at the iTunes store (OsX) and Google Play (Android).

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  • 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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  • Three to Eight exhibition to support student scholarships

    Professor Murray Kropf is exhibiting his most recent collection of paintings in Three to Eight, an exhibition opening Tuesday, Sept. 4 in the VISA Gallery at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. The paintings are being sold to support student scholarships. (Photo by Lorraine Zandvliet)


    (From The Brock News, Wednesday, August 28, 2018 | by Sarah Moore)

    When Brock Associate Professor Murray Kropf puts brush to canvas, his inspiration tends to stem from an academic problem he is currently working through.

    In Three to Eight, his new exhibition opening Tuesday, Sept. 4, Kropf challenged himself to create movement in a piece by using only tone, hue and intensity and painting on square canvases with a very limited colour palette.

    “I was trying to find a better way to teach students about colour theory,” he said of the work that he began last year in early fall. “I was looking for a way to create a harmonious and structured composition that is asymmetrical, but still balanced, using only a palette of between three to eight colours.”

    The result was a series of paintings — the first purely abstract of his career — that Kropf will be selling to fund visual arts scholarships for students in the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA).

    While he is mainly a location and still-life painter, Kropf said he welcomed the change of pace for this work.

    “It went better than I thought it could,” he said of his first stab at abstractionism. “It’s always a problem for painters approaching a canvas, because it’s blank, but everything that came out of this was a surprise and that was lovely. It was a refreshing thing to do.”

    He also said the process will “further inform his teaching” in the future, making him more “appreciative” of what can be accomplished with a limited range of colours.

    Assistant Professor Amy Friend, Chair of the VISA Gallery Committee, said this is the first time a professor has hosted a solo show as a fundraising initiative since she has been involved with the gallery operations.

    “To showcase the work that Murray, one of our senior professors, accomplishes behind-the-scenes in his studio, is really important,” she said. “It also shows the way that art can support community, the generosity of our relationship with our students and the ongoing need to fund student studies.”

    Kropf, who has been teaching at Brock for more than 30 years, said simply that it was “time” to give back to the students and the institution he has been connected to for so long.

    “I want to show my gratitude to my students, to my colleagues, and to the university because I have been very lucky to work here, and I’ve enjoyed it a great deal,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to contribute to awards for students because I’ve been a student and I know how badly support is needed.”

    Three to Eight will be displayed in the VISA Gallery, located on the first floor of the MIWSFPA, beginning Tuesday, Sept. 4, with an opening reception taking place Friday, Sept. 7. The reception will run from 4 to 7 p.m., also in the gallery, and is free and open to the community. The VISA gallery is open to the public Tuesday to Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m.

    All proceeds from the sales of Kropf’s pieces will be donated to scholarships for students in Visual Arts immediately after the exhibition.

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  • Moulding a masterpiece

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

    Brock Visual Arts students have been busy pouring, carving and cutting in preparation for their sculpture exhibition taking place Wednesday, July 4. Angelina Turner, a third-year Concurrent Education student, checks the silicone mould she made for her poured plaster bottle sculpture. Students have been working with cardboard, plaster, soapstone and styrofoam over the course of the semester as they explore the fundamentals of 3D work. They meet from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. twice a week to design, construct and analyze sculptures in VISA2F05 Introduction to Sculpture. Students will be completing a final project in their chosen medium for the class exhibition at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts gallery.

    GLEANERS

    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine & Performing Arts (MIWSFPA)
    VISA GALLERY and Student Exhibition Space

    OPENING RECEPTION: WEDNESDAY, JULY 4: 3PM TO 6PM

    JULY 5 TO 21, THURSDAYS TO SATURDAY: 1-5 PM

    Upcoming exhibition takes a closer look at trash

    What if a cardboard box wasn’t just a box? Or a discarded bottle not a bottle?

    Students at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) hope to challenge our relationship with everyday objects in their upcoming exhibition Gleaners.

    The sculpture class has been gleaning materials from dumpsters and garbage cans to create new works of art with materials that are often used, misused, and taken for granted.

    “We are running out of landfills for our trash, and because of our carelessness, items are wasting in the ground,” says student Angeline Turner.

    “By using mostly found and recycled materials, the artists are making an effort to not only the help the environment but also to show that by thinking outside the box, we can reduce waste.”

    The exhibition opens with a free public reception on July 4, 3-6 p.m. in the VISA Gallery at MIWSFPA and will be available during normal gallery hours July  21.

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  • NCDSB’s Young Artists Gallery on view until June 23

    The Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts proudly hosted the opening evening of the Niagara Catholic District School Board’s Young Artists Gallery on June 6th. 80 student artists were chosen to display their work in an exhibit at the school and celebrate their accomplishments with their families, teachers and friends. Mayor Walter Sendzik and NCDSB Director Jon Crocco addressed the crowd before awards were distributed to recognized students.

    The exhibit will be on display at the MIWSFPA until June 23rd. The gallery will be open to the public Wednesdays-Saturdays from 1pm-5pm for viewing.

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