Current Students

  • 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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    Categories: Current Students, Events, Exhibitions, News

  • 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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    Categories: Current Students, Events, Exhibitions, News

  • Rescheduled sculpture-making workshop to be held March 27

    Brock Visual Arts student Emma Mary Sked will lead attendees in a free, fabric sculpture-making workshop that has been rescheduled to Wednesday, March 27 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in ST231 of the Library’s Matheson Learning Commons.


    (From The Brock News, March 22, 2019)

    After inclement weather put a halt to the third event in the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) Wellness Series last month, students and community members alike will be able to unwind and explore their inner creativity at a new time.

    Participants in an upcoming MIWSFPA Wellness Series workshop will learn to make sculptures from scrap fabric.

    Brock Visual Arts student Emma Mary Sked will lead attendees in a free, guided workshop on Wednesday, March 27 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in ST231 of the Library’s Matheson Learning Commons.

    The event was rescheduled after a winter storm hit Niagara earlier last month.Brock Visual Arts student Emma Mary Sked will lead attendees in a free, guided workshop on Wednesday, March 27 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in ST231 of the Library’s Matheson Learning Commons.

    For this workshop, participants will learn how to transform scrap textiles into sculptures of their choosing.

    The Wellness Series, which is hosted by the MIWSFPA, features free monthly activities that promote well-being and the benefits of engaging in the arts.

    No previous art experience is required and all necessary materials will be supplied.

    The event is free, but registration is required at ExperienceBU or by contacting sackles@brocku.ca

    For more information about the event and others in the series, visit the MIWSFPA Wellness Series web page

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    Categories: Current Students, Events, News

  • Term to culminate in student art exhibitions at Rodman Hall

    Visual Arts students, from left, Gianna Aceto, Emma Mary Sked, Amber Williams, Cynthia Richards, Teresa Badgley and Sarah Martin will have their exhibitions on view in two back-to-back exhibitions beginning Friday, March 22 at Rodman Hall Art Centre.


    (From The Brock News, March 20, 2019 | by Sarah Ackles)

    After spending a semester immersed in studio practice, six Brock Visual Arts students are bringing two unique exhibitions to Rodman Hall Art Centre.

    At the Bottom of Everything runs from Saturday, March 23 to April 7 and features the work of Cynthia Richards, Emma Mary Sked and Amber Lee Williams. There will be an opening reception for the exhibition on Friday, March 22 at 7 p.m.

    The second exhibition, oh, that’s nice, features Gianna Aceto, Teresa Badgley and Sarah Martin. It will be on view from Saturday, April 13 to 28, with the opening reception taking place on Friday, April 12 at 7 p.m.

    The two exhibitions are the culmination of the VISA 4F06 Honours Studio course, where students engage in the entire process of art making, from concept and creation to exhibition.

    The course is a unique experiential learning opportunity that gives artists access to a dedicated studio space with professional mentors. The students learn the value of their individual work in a collaborative event and, upon graduation, become practising artists with practical experience putting on a show in a professional art gallery.

    Students in the course were mentored by Visual Arts Associate Professors Donna Szőke and Shawn Serfas.

    The students were also visited in studio by Acting Director and Curator Marcie Bronson, of Rodman Hall; Associate Professors Derek Knight and Amy Friend; Adjunct Professors Donna Akrey and Candace Couse; professional artists Alejandro Cartagena and Heather Hart; and Brock alumni Bruce Thompson (BA ’11) and Natalie Hunter (BA ’11), who all provided critique and insight to help students fine-tune and focus their work.

    Rodman Hall’s Administrative Assistant Danny Custodio and Installation Assistant Lauren Regier (BA ’14) also offered support and guidance.

    Exhibitions like these are a key part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate to build connections between the community and the breadth of talent and creativity at Brock University.

    “If collectively their goal is to develop a focused body of work from concept to public exhibition, then these two unique exhibits capture the exceptional vitality and daring of the emerging artist,” Knight said.

    Both exhibitions and opening receptions take place at Rodman Hall Art Centre, 109 St. Paul Cres. in St. Catharines.

    Gallery hours are Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 5 p.m.

    For more information, visit the Rodman Hall Art Centre website.

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    Categories: 4F06 Honours Exhibition, Alumni, Current Students, Events, News

  • Brock alumna returns to speak with VISA students

    Brock alumna, Natalie Hunter, spent the afternoon with VISA 4F06 students as they discussed their upcoming exhibitions. Back row from left: Teresa Badgley, Amber Williams, Shawn Serfas, Sarah Martin
    Front row from left: Gianna Aceto, Emma Hutchison-Hounsell, Cynthia Richards, Natalie Hunter


    On Feb. 7, Brock Visual Arts students in the VISA 4F06 Honours course were visited by Brock alumna Natalie Hunter (BA ’11) to discuss their upcoming exhibitions that begin in March. Hunter and the students discussed the pieces they are working on and how to move forward in order to create a cohesive exhibition. During each student’s session, they received a small piece of translucent film that Hunter used in her exhibition, Staring into the Sun, which is currently on view at Rodman Hall Art Centre.

    During her time at Brock, Hunter was part of the VISA 4F06 Honours course, where students work all year to put together an exhibition in Rodman Hall. Staring into the Sun features photo-based sculptures and installations that explore the relationship between memory and physical space. The exhibition runs until April 28.

    At the Bottom of Everything, the first of two Visual Arts Honours exhibitions, runs from March 23 to April 7, with the opening reception on Friday, March 22 at 7 p.m. at Rodman Hall.

    The second exhibition runs from April 13 to 28, with the opening reception on Friday, April 12 at 7 p.m. at Rodman Hall. More details to come.

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    Categories: 4F06 Honours Exhibition, Alumni, Current Students, Events, News

  • Join us for an Artist Talk with Phil Irish Jan. 30

    Artist Phil Irish


    The Department of Visual Arts is pleased to welcome Phil Irish to the MIWSFPA for an artist talk on Jan. 30.

    Phil Irish, from Elora, Ontario, makes paintings that are both fierce and beautiful. He is known for cutting paintings into fragments, and installing those pieces to make architecturally scaled collages that engage your senses and your mind.  His new work is influenced by his time on an icebreaker in the Canadian arctic, with Canada C3, a 150-day expedition from Toronto to Victoria via the Northwest Passage that took place from June 1 to Oct. 28, 2017.

    He has shown in commercial galleries, artist-run centres, and public galleries, including the National Gallery of Canada, Art Gallery of Guelph, Tom Thomson Memorial Art Gallery, Whyte Museum, Lonsdale Gallery and Angell Gallery, and was twice shortlisted for the Kingston Portrait Prize.

    He holds degrees from Guelph (BA) and York (MFA) and teaches studio at Redeemer University College.

    Irish will present at 1 p.m. on Jan. 30 in room 416 of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

    The talk is free and open to the public.

    Registration is not required, but space is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis.

     

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

  • 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

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

  • Second-year student Erin Grayley shares her experience as History of Art and Visual Culture (HAVC) student

    (From: Learning to Look at Visual Culture; The Brock University Humanities Blog | Written by: Erin Grayley. Published by:Alison Innes)


    Erin Grayley is a second year student in the History of Art and Visual Culture (HAVC) and a volunteer with the Faculty of Humanities’ Social Media Ambassador program. In this blog post, she demystifies what History of Art and Visual Culture is all about and answers some of your questions.

    As a second year History of Art and Visual Culture major, I find people are often confused about what I do or what my program even is.

    I don’t actually create physical art in class nor do I have any studio-based work but I am considered an art student.

    The way I like to describe it is, in the history of art and visual culture program (or as we lovingly refer to it, HAVC) we study the theory behind the art. Just as musicians study musical theory, we study artistic theory.

    In HAVC, we focus on many different aspects of images and their effects. Aside from the art history side of things, which dives into art through the ages and work/artists that changed the face of art, visual culture focuses on skills and tools to help understand images and think critically about how we process information though images and art in everyday life.

    The question of “what is visual culture” is not easily answered. Visual culture looks at the different ways we can think about visual imagery and how that imagery affects things like society, politics, life today and history, as well as how we interact with the world and the people around us.

    In visual culture, we focus on a concept of “the viewer makes meaning” in relation to images and art. The importance of the viewer and how a viewer visually and contextually analyzes an image are important tools. We learn very early in the program how to visually and contextually analyze images and artwork. These skills are the foundation of HAVC and will help students during their program and in many different careers.

    HAVC is not strictly related to art, either. It crosses many disciplines and is used by everyone, everyday (sometimes without even realizing it). We are exposed to visual culture everywhere we look. Having the skills to properly articulate ideas about images and critically think about what we are seeing is an important skill for students in any discipline.

    I wanted to know what people outside of the HAVC community had to say so I took to Instagram and asked my friends and followers to send me questions about my program and visual culture in general. I’ve picked some of the most asked questions and answered them for you here! The response was amazing and I was so glad so many people took interest in learning more about HAVC.

     

    What’s your favourite class?

    It’s hard to pin point which is my favourite, as so many of my classes are interesting and innovative in different ways! However, Visual Culture and the Human Body (VISA 3P52) and Introduction to Contemporary Art (VISA 2P88) are among the most fascinating for me this semester.

    What classes are you looking forward to in your program?

    As a third year student next year, I will be able to take an independent study course (VISA 3F99) where I will be able to advance my studies in an area of mutual interest with a professor in the Department of Visual Arts. This course allows me to further my research in a specific context that interests me!

    How can a student get into studying History of Art and Visual Culture?

    The first courses that start you in this major would be VISA 1Q98 (Introduction to Visual Culture) and VISA 1Q99 (Introduction to History of Art). These will give you the resources and prerequisites to take your studies in many different directions within the History of Art and Visual Culture program.

    Are there opportunities for abroad studying?

    YES! there are many different opportunities to study abroad in this program! Depending on the year, there are different destinations for study, such as Italy and the Mediterranean! Learn more about exchange opportunities on the Brock International website.

    What is your favourite part of History of Art and Visual Culture?

    My favourite part of the program is definitely the visual culture side. From starting first year not really understanding what visual culture was, to now critically thinking about imagery and how visual images and art can shape the ways we think about the world and others is inspiring! I love what I am able to learn and accomplish in this program. I am inspired to research and create in new ways every day and the endless opportunities I am presented with motivate me to continue studying HAVC!

    What possible careers can you pursue with this major?

    There are many possibilities with a major in History of Art and Visual Culture. Since this area of study can cross through many disciplines, it can manifest into anything you want it to be. Professions include curatorial work in galleries, arts administration, law, teaching, and writing and publication.

    You can find more information about HAVC at Brock on the Department of Visual Arts website.

    If you have any further questions or want to speak to a faculty member in HAVC, you can contact Keri Cronin, an Associate Professor in the Department of Visual Arts, at 905 688 5550 x5306 or keri.cronin@brocku.ca.

    << Read the full post by Erin Grayley and other posts by Alison Innes on the Humanities blog. >>

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    Categories: Current Students, News

  • 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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    Categories: Current Students, Events, Exhibitions, News