Announcements

  • First-year VISA orientation activities planned for September 4 and 7

    As a new student enrolled in the Department of Visual Arts, you are invited to The New Student Welcome and Academic Orientation as your official welcome to Brock University on September 4! The orientation begins at 8 a.m. in the Ian Beddis Gym, where you’ll hear from President Gervan Fearon and enjoy an inspirational keynote to begin your day and kick-start your term. Afterwards, you are welcome to connect with your faculty and upper year student mentors to receive important information about academic supports and resources. Then, go check out the vendor and welcome fair, take a campus tour and to locate your classes, and get an orientation to the Brock Library. *Don’t forget to register for this orientation at Experience BU.

    You are invited to then also attend the Faculty of Humanities orientation session, beginning at 10:00 a.m. in the Sean O’Sullivan Theatre on Brock’s main campus.

     


    FIRST-YEAR MIWSFPA MIXER AND LUNCH
    OPEN TO STUDENTS IN ALL DEPARTMENTS AT THE MIWSFPA

    SEPTEMBER 4

    12 TO 1:30 P.M.

    MIWSFPA LOBBY

    DOWNTOWN ST. CATHARINES

    15 ARTISTS’ COMMON


    There will also be a special orientation planned for VISA students specifically, taking place later that week:

    VISUAL ARTS orientation

    Sept. 7:  3 to 4 p.m.
    Marilyn I Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts Lobby
    15 Artists’ Common
    *This will be followed by an opening of Murray Kropf’s new exhibit, Three to Eight, at 4 p.m. in the VISA Gallery

     

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  • Closing Reception for International Scholar Canan Demir

    Closing reception : Canan demir
    July 23, 3:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.
    Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts Lobby
    15 Artists’ Common, St. Catharines, On

    Everyone is invited to attend a closing reception featuring Visiting International Scholar Canan Demir, from Abant İzzet Baysal University, Turkey.
    Demir’s İNSTALLATIONS intervention will be available for viewing and a meet-the-artist reception will follow, where guests can learn more about her work. Refreshments will be served and the event is open to all members of the community. It is family friendly and takes place on July 23 from 3:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.

    Demir has been working at the school as a Visiting International Scholar since last August, completing the research project “Analysis of Recycling Efforts at Canadian Universities and the Use of Scrap Materials in Sculpture Classes.” The VIS program invites scholars and researchers from abroad, who are interested in an international research and scholarship opportunity, to visit Brock and collaborate with faculty and students in a range of academic activities.

    Demir’s installations utilize found and repurposed scrap materials with a focus on the memories tied to these items. The installations will be on display for viewing outside of the front entrance to the MIWSFPA building from now until the closing reception.

     

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  • 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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  • 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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  • New book explores the art of animal advocacy

    Associate Professor of Visual Arts Keri Cronin examines the role of visual images, such as Edward Landseer’s A Distinguished Member of the Humane Society (exhibited 1838), in animal activism in her new book,  Art for Animals: Visual Culture and Animal Advocacy, 1870-1914.

    (Source: The Brock NewsTuesday, May 22, 2018 | by )

    It was while searching for a set of lantern slides many years ago that Keri Cronin inadvertently found inspiration for her latest book.

    The slides never materialized but what Cronin, an associate professor in Brock’s Department of Visual Arts, did find was an abundance of material on animal advocacy.

    That material has helped to form her latest publication, Art for Animals: Visual Culture and Animal Advocacy, 1870-1914, which explores the use of visual art material in campaigns for animal advocacy.

    Art for Animals cover

    Art for Animals: Visual Culture and Animal Advocacy, 1870-1914 is the latest book by by Associate Professor Keri Cronin.

    Influenced in part by authors who looked at visual culture in other social justice movements, such as suffrage and civil rights, Cronin’s book explores how animal advocacy images were created, circulated and consumed, and the impact that had on ideas about the humane treatment of animals.

    “Visual culture played an important role in defining campaign goals, recruiting membership, raising funds, and, ultimately, sustaining and challenging dominant ideas about nonhuman animals,” writes Cronin.

    Her biggest challenge has been locating archival material to piece together the stories of animal advocacy.

    “For so long, the history of human-animal relationships was not a particularly valued area of research, and archival collections often reflect this,” says Cronin, who hopes the book will lead people to recognize relevant print material they might have in their own collections.

    The cheap, mass-produced pamphlets created and distributed by animal advocacy groups in the late 19th and early 20th century often weren’t considered valuable enough to save.

    The field of animal-human relations, however, has recently seen an explosion of interest both within the University and the broader public. Cronin notes that although her book deals with historical material, many of the key points have relevance for how images are used in animal advocacy today.

    “It is high time we turn our attention to how animals have always been part of our stories, histories, labour and societies,” she says.

    Art for Animals asks us to think about the ways in which visual images can both shape and challenge dominant narratives about non-human animals.”

    A public book launch will be held for Art for Animals on Wednesday, May 23 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Mahtay Café, 241 St. Paul St. in St. Catharines.

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  • New for 2018: the Marilyn I. Walker Textile Art Award

    Beginning in 2018 the Executive of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts will be awarding the Marilyn I. Walker Textile Art Award.

    This award will be made to an undergraduate student who is graduating from the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA), Brock University; who is awarded, by vote of the Executive Committee of the MIWSPFA, the top prize for a piece of textile art produced and submitted by said student.

    As the award must be granted to a student for the purposes of his or her continuing education and or development, students must also submit an expression of their intention to continue this education and or development.

    For the purposes of this award, textile art is defined as a work of art that utilizes any and all forms of textiles, either natural or man-made, and in any form of original artistic expression.

    For the purposes of this award, continuing education or development is defined as any form of post graduate education and development which the student may wish to pursue whether at a college, university, by way of apprenticeship at a technical institute or at a research facility.

    For more information about Marilyn I. Walker see: brocku.ca/miwsfpa/marilyn-i-walker

    We thank Marilyn I. Walker and her estate for the legacy of her generosity.

    See the article about the first recipient of the new award, Victoria Reid (Bachelor of Arts (Honours), Studio Art, with First-Class Standing, 2018).

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  • Visa instructor announces next exhibition.

    Visual Arts Department drawing instructor Lorène Bourgeois’ next exhibition “Large Drawings – Gathering” is opening at the One on One Gallery at Medicine Hat College.

    March 2 – March 27, 2018
    Opening reception: Thursday, March 2, 4:30 pm

    www.lorenebourgeois.com

     

     

    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Faculty & Instructors, News, Uncategorised

  • MEMORIES KNOWN AND UNKNOWN: exhibition opens Jan 9, 2018 / lecture on Jan 31

    William Bell and Grandma, from the Bell-Sloman Collection of the James Gibson Library, Brock University

    A Walker Cultural Leader Series and Canada 150 Exhibition and Public Lecture:

    MEMORIES KNOWN AND UNKNOWN

    Visual Arts faculty have selected photographs and ephemera from the Bell-Sloman Collection of the James Gibson Library, part of a remarkable collection donated to Brock University by Rick Bell in 2010. The collection features more than 300 photos and various papers spanning more than a century that document the Bell and Sloman families, who descended from former slaves in the American south. The exhibition at the Visual Arts gallery will showcase some of the material presented at the Walker Cultural Leader series lecture on January 31, when we are pleased to welcome Dr. Julie Crooks from the Art Gallery of Ontario. Her research situates the Bell-Sloman Collection as a “fugitive archive,’ built with defiance and resistance, in order to preserve, salvage and recover the histories of African Canadian communities whose stories and material artefacts are often left untold or subject to erasure.

    Exhibition: Monday, January 9, 2018 to Friday, February 9, 2018
    Regular visiting hours are Tuesday through Saturday 1 to 5 pm.
    To check viewing times of the exhibition please see the webpage.
    Location of Exhibition: Visa Gallery and Exhibition Space, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, Brock University

    Note: The date of the exhibition reception is Wednesday, January 31 at 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
    The lecture follows at 7:00 p.m. A free community event. Please see below for more details.

    THE BELL-SLOMAN COLLECTION AT BROCK UNIVERSITY: A FUGITIVE ARCHIVE

    Dr. Julie Crooks of the Art Gallery of Ontario

    Dr. Julie Crooks is our second Walker Cultural Leader in Visual Arts for 2017-18. Her public lecture will draw on current research that examines the ways in which black communities, by the mid to late 19th century, in settlements throughout Southern Ontario, used photography as a critical and powerful tool for self-representation. Crooks’ research situates the Bell-Sloman Collection as a “fugitive archive,” built with defiance and resistance, in order to preserve, salvage and recover the histories of black communities whose stories and material artefacts are often left untold or subject to erasure. The exhibition at the VISA Gallery and Exhibition Space (above) will showcase some of the material presented in the lecture.

    Wednesday, January 31, 2018
    Time: 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Preceded by a reception for the exhibition at the VISA Gallery and Exhibition Space.
    Location: Marilyn I. Walker Theatre, Brock University (second floor, above the VISA Gallery)
    This is a free community event, but tickets are required and are available at wcl-bell-sloman-crooks.eventbrite.com

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  • Visa Gallery Monitor/Assistant needed immediately.

    Visual Arts Department Gallery Monitor/Assistant Needed Immediately
    The position is available to full time VISA students for Thursdays from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm. Please send cover letter and resume to Professor Amy Friend at afriend@brocku.ca and cc. Monika Lederich at mlederich@brocku.ca

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

  • World-class photographer with a Brock connection

    “One of Them Is a Human #1” by Maija Tammi won third place in this year’s Taylor-Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize. Tammi studied photography at Brock in 2008-09 with Visual Arts professor Amy Friend. (Image copyright Maija Tammi; Used by permission).

    (Source: The Brock News | Friday Dec. 15, 2017 by Alison Innes)

    At first glance, the photo is a portrait of a young woman.

    On closer inspection, the ‘woman’ isn’t human at all. It is, in fact, an android called Erica, developed by Hiroshi Ishiguro Laboratories in Osaka University, Japan.

    The photograph, taken by Finnish artist Maija Tammi and titled “One of Them is a Human #1,” won third prize in this year’s prestigious Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize.

    The photograph also has a surprising Brock connection.

    Finnish artist Maija Tammi, who studied at
    Brock University in 2008-09

    Tammi spent a year studying film and art at Brock University in 2008-09. Although she already had a background in photojournalism, her experience at Brock, and in particular a course with Professor Amy Friend, encouraged her towards art photography.

    “The Visual Arts program at Brock offers an abundance of opportunity for one-on-one interactions in class with students and professors,” says Friend.

    Such interactions allow for personalized and concentrated instruction that allow students to reach their potential.

    “Maija flourished in this environment and took advantage of the surrounding community with her interactive installations and thought-provoking course projects,” says Friend.

    Tammi cites the film Five Obstructions, which she first saw in Friend’s course, as particularly influential.

    The 1967 film shows the remaking of the same story five times, each with a different obstruction. This process of rethinking and reframing inspired Tammi.

    “Once you have thought of a concept,” she explains, “you rethink it several times from different perspectives.”

    Tammi was immediately interested in the ways obstructions can encourage creativity and used the idea in her class project, redoing the same photograph multiple times with different obstructions.

    This experience in Friend’s course influenced her approach to photography. She gives herself obstructions, such as limiting her camera gear, to encourage her own creativity.

    Tammi is particularly attracted to portraiture, which she says tells us more about ourselves as viewers of the photograph than the subject of the photo as we project our stereotypes on them.

    One of Them is a Human #1 has attracted a lot of attention in the arts community. Although the Taylor Wessing contest rules state that the subject needs to be alive, Tammi’s photograph was accepted because it raises important questions about what it means to be human.

    “I’m very excited about the conversation that has arisen,” Tammi says. “It is time to think about what it means to be alive.”

    Tammi doesn’t shy away from difficult subjects; she is currently completing a practise-based PhD exploring representations of sickness in art photography.

    “I like topics that are very difficult and people don’t like to talk about,” she says.

    Friend, who exhibited work in the same show as Tammi in New York in August 2015, has been watching her former student’s success closely.

    “Her success is indicative of the connections that many students make with classmates and professors,” Friend says. “When I see opportunities that fit her areas of expertise I send them her way. These are the types of extended interactions that happen when we are given space to know our students.”

    Tammi’s work was one of three finalists chosen from more than 5,717 submissions. Selected submissions, including the shortlisted portraits and competition winner, are on display at the National Portrait Gallery in London, England.

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