In the Media

  • Brock, SUNY art show set to open in Buffalo’s Silo City

    (Source: The Brock NewsThursday, April 20, 2017 | by . Photo caption: “Buffalo’s Silo City will play host to a joint art exhibition including the work of students and faculty from Brock University and the State University of New York at Buffalo. (Photo: Derek Knight)”)

    Brock University and the State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo have joined forces to showcase artists on both sides of the border while also highlighting a landmark area on the Buffalo River.

    After two years of planning, Post-Industrial Ephemera: Soundings, Gestures, and Poetics will open Saturday, April 22 at Buffalo’s Silo City — an industrial space filled with repurposed grain elevators and other structures built in the first half of the 20th century.

    Several silos will play host to the free art exhibition until Saturday, April 29.

    The exhibition’s opening reception will run from 2 to 5 p.m. and includes, in addition to the artwork of both Brock and SUNY students and faculty, performances by the Harmonia Chamber Singers, Reinhard Reitzenstein, Lauren Regier, Continuous Monument, Catherine Parayre and Jim Watkins.

    Parayre, event co-curator and an associate professor in Brock’s Studies in Arts and Culture as well as Modern Languages, Literatures and Cultures, said the event developed from like minds coming together through networking opportunities at Brock’s Rodman Hall Art Centre.

    It was co-curator Reinhard Reitzenstein, an associate professor of sculpture at SUNY-Buffalo, that introduced Parayre to Silo City, the inspiration for the showcase.

    “Everyone is mesmerized because the structures there are stunning,” Parayre said of the area that is filled with buildings worn by weather and time.

    The event, she said, is to encourage people to “reflect on the notion of dispersal.”

    “Silos are built to maintain large networks of commodity exchange for human and animal sustenance. Here, however, the workers are gone; the buildings are exposed to inclement weather; the projects we bring with us will disappear, be dispersed or displaced.”

    Silo City, she said, invites visitors to “become more perceptive to the transience of human endeavours.”

    The exhibition is an opportunity to reflect on the aging structures, their history and nature’s efforts to reclaim the partially vacant space, she said.

    Participating artists come from various disciplines including sculpture, arts, comparative literature, English studies, visual arts, studies in arts and culture, and French studies.

    The showcase features an array of installations, neon signs, readings, paintings, prints, videos and sculptures.

    Brock provided funding for the project through a longstanding research agreement in place between the two institutions, in addition to funding provided through Brock’s Dean of Humanities office.

    “We’re very grateful for Brock’s support,” Parayre said.

    Parking for the event is available onsite and guests are advised to dress warmly as temperatures within the silos remain brisk.

    More information on participating artists and performance schedules for the opening reception is available online.

    A one-day symposium held to relive the exhibition is scheduled to take place in September at Rodman Hall Art Centre in St. Catharines.

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    Categories: Announcements, Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News

  • Lauren Regier’s Bioart piece Aroma Illius Laqueo.

    (Source: The Brock News, Wednesday, January 18, 2017 | by . Photo: Lauren Regier (BA ’14) works on her photographs in studio.)

    Three classes into her first Brock University art course with Professor Keri Cronin, Lauren Regier (BA ’14) knew she wanted to study art full time.

    She has since continued to nurture her passion for art and recently launched a photography exhibit at Malcolm Gear Studio in Welland.

    Regier called her connection with Brock and the local arts community, as well as an artist residency she took following graduation, critical to her artistic development.

    It was her professors at the University who explained the residency process and shared their professional experiences to help guide her in an appropriate direction.

    With the support of professors Amy Friend, Irene Loughlin and Donna Szoke, Regier opted to participate in the Sointula Art Shed Residency Program near Vancouver Island in March 2016.

    Lauren Regier’s Bioart piece Aroma Illius Laqueo.

    The residency was an important opportunity for her to explore functional and survival properties of plants, humans and animals, and to apply that research into the construction of the plants in her Bioart series.

    The series is a collaboration of science and art that creates new, interesting organisms by meshing together existing bits of plant matter.

    Regier’s work combines plants with industrial products to create strange new prototypes. She documents her creations in black and white photography, hand-tinted with watercolours.

    Regier’s current exhibition, Fantasy Fleur, is an offshoot of her Bioart series.

    “I wanted to break with the notion of idealized beauty — something that is manufactured and very commonplace when it comes to depicting nature, such as floral wallpaper and furniture patterns,” Regier said.

    The Fantasy Fleur photographs feature plants in different stages of their life cycles. They are printed on aluminum; the highly polished surfaces allow for interactive play between the viewer and the work.

    “Similar to species that bloom at specific times of the day, these metallic prints respond to their environments and viewers are forced to physically interact with the work in order to see the image,” Regier said.

    Producing the pieces has been a highlight for Regier over the past year.

    “Meeting wonderful people in the community through Brock University and Rodman Hall has been crucial in developing my practice and providing me a platform to show my photographs,” she said.

    Regier first met Malcolm Gear in her curatorial art class at Brock.

    The artists recently reconnected at a Rodman Hall event at Mahtay Café, which ultimately led to Regier’s exhibition being launched at Malcolm Gear Studio, 464 East Main St. in Welland.

    Her work is on display until Jan. 31.

    Regier’s photography is also available for viewing on her website.

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    Categories: Alumni, In the Media, News

  • Visual Arts students build camera obscura at Walker School

    (Source: The Brock NewsWednesday, November 23, 2016 | by Alison Innes. Photo caption: Brock Visual Arts students work to build a camera obscura in front of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.)

    Constructing a large outdoor camera has given Brock Visual Arts students a freeze frame of photography techniques of the past.

    As part of the Walker Cultural Leader Series, 40 students from Prof. Amy Friend’s Camera and Darkroom Process Photography course and Candace Bodanski’s Baroque Art and Architecture course worked to build a three metre by three metre camera obscura in front of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts in downtown St. Catharines

    The camera obscura gave students an opportunity to experience an early form of photograph making.

    “Their interactions with the structure coerced new methodologies and much trial and error to achieve a successful photograph,” Friend says.

    After working with New York artist Liz Sales and Friend to build the camera, the students used it for about a month to produce photographs.

    The result is a new exhibit at the downtown Brock opening Thursday, Nov. 24.

    The term camera obscura was coined in the early 17th century and means “a darkened room.” The device works on similar principles to a pinhole camera. A dark room or tent with a small hole in one side allows light to pass into the darkened space and create an image of an object. This image can be captured on photographic paper or by drawing.

    Making the structure light-tight was a challenge, requiring students to hand stitch the black-out material directly onto the structure so wind couldn’t lift the fabric and allow light to leak in and interfere with the exposure of the silver gelatin paper during production.

    Friend said that she witnessed some hesitancy with the new structure at first, as it disrupts modern understanding of what a photographic capture is.

    “As a practitioner,” she said, “I love that reaching into the vaults of history reveals new ways of seeing and thinking. Students pushed their experiments with impressive results.”

    Other Brock Visual Arts classes also interacted with the camera obscura while two high school classes visited the project and attended a workshop with Sales and Friend in which they engaged with the camera and darkroom facilities to produce photographs.

    In Light and Darkness: A Camera Obscura Project with Artist Liz Sales and Brock Visual Arts Students runs until Dec. 9 in the MIWSFPA Art Gallery, and also features work from Sales’ own camera obscura series The Weather Inside. An opening reception and artist talk by Sales will be held Thursday, Nov. 24 from 6-7 p.m. in MW151 at the downtown campus.

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    Categories: In the Media, News

  • Brock students team with NY photographer

    (Source: St. Catharines Standard, Monday, November 21, 2016 | by John Law. Photo caption: An image from photographer Liz Sales’ series The Weather Inside. CREDIT: Liz Sales / Submitted)

    New York photographer Liz Sales will team with Brock University Visual Arts students for a camera project opening Nov. 22.

    In Light and Darkness will spotlight the results of a ‘camera obscura’ collaboration on the grounds of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts in downtown St. Catharines.

    Prior to an opening reception Nov. 24, Sales will host an artist’s talk at 6 p.m. in the school’s Foundation Studio (MW 151).

    “(Liz) has a knowledge base that’s quite extensive,” says Department of Visual Arts assistant professor Amy Friend. “And she’s quite adventurous. She doesn’t have a traditional set of what is expected, and I thought that would be really useful for the students.”

    Sales currently teaches at the International Center of Photography. Her work focuses on the relationship between perception and technology, and is seen in several photo-based magazines.

    Friend was already familiar with Sales’ work when the photographer contacted her two years ago for a magazine interview. She knew her unpredictable style and methods were ideal for Brock’s visual arts students.

    “She’s definitely an experimenter, which was really important to bringing her to work with the students. She has a background in motion picture cameras, and also builds her own cameras by hand to shoot her photographs.”

    In addition to student work, the show will feature selections from Sales’ camera obscura series The Weather Inside.

    Camera obscura is the optical result of an image projected through a small hole, seen as reversed and inverted.

    Friend says the students built a ten-by-ten foot tent with blackout material as an exterior darkroom for the project. It’s located directly in front of the Marilyn I. Walker school.

    “There’s quirks whenever you’re building something new in a different place, so it teaches them not only about the construction and function of the camera, but also the learning that happens along the way for everyone.”

    • WHO: Liz Sales and Brock Visual Arts Students
    • WHAT: In Light and Darkness
    • WHEN: Nov. 22 to Dec. 9
    • WHERE: Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts; 15 Artists’ Common; St. Catharines

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  • Camera Obscura Project hits Marilyn I. Walker School – In Light and Darkness on display Nov. 22-Dec. 9

    (Source: Niagara This Week, Wednesday, November 16, 2016)

    ST. CATHARINES — What happens when Brock University visual arts students work alongside a celebrated New York photographer? A special collaborative gallery show.

    In Light and Darkness: A Camera Obscura Project will hang at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ art gallery from Nov. 22 to Dec. 9, featuring the work of Brock’s visual arts students along with photos from Liz Sales’ camera obscura series The Weather Inside. Camera Obscura, sometimes referred to as a pinhole image, is a natural optical phenomenon that occurs when light from an external scene passes through a device – usually a box – and strikes a surface inside, reproducing the scene inverted and reverse while preserving the colour and perspective.

    As part of the Walker Cultural Leader Series, students from Brock participated in a workshop with Sales, a New York artist from the International Centre for Photography. The students worked with Sales to construct a camera obscura for the production of their work on the grounds of the downtown performing arts school. The work being displayed as part of the series is the students’ response to those workshops. An artist talk is taking place Nov. 24 from 6-7 p.m. in Foundation Studio at the school, with the opening reception to follow from 7-9 p.m. The art gallery is located at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts at 15 Artists’ Common. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 1-5 p.m.

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  • Presence: Large Drawings by Lorène Bourgeois

    (Source: The Brock Press, October 25, 2016 | by )

    Lorène Bourgeois’ “Forteresse” (2012) / Peter Legris

    Brock’s own Visual Arts Instructor, Lorène Bourgeois, is exhibiting a collection of her work with large drawings at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. Some of her most recent highly detailed drawings are mounted directly on the wall and are described by MIWSFPA as “large-scale representations of humans, animals, clothing and nakedness”.

    Although born in France, Bourgeois has trained in the arts in Paris, Philadelphia and Halifax, earning a Master of Fine Arts degree at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University. Bourgeois’ work has been exhibited in Canada, France, Korea, Russia and the United States, and her work is currently held in a multitude of centres for art which include: the Canada Council Art Bank, the Banff Centre for the Arts, the Department of Foreign Affairs, the National Bank of Canada, the Richmond Hill Public Library, the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Ernst and Young, Senvest, Hart House and the Donovan Collection. Currently, she lives and works in Toronto, as well as teaches in Brock’s Department of Visual Arts.

    In a statement made on her website in regards to her recent drawings, Bourgeois says she is developing a series of drawings that focus on the subject of clothing and its relation to human and animal bodies. She goes on to say that she is interested not only in the social and utilitarian functions of garments, but also their qualities as physical objects. In particular, the details of these physical objects, such as their folds and buttons, are some of what she explores in her work.

    “Isolated from their original context, and placed in the presence of similarly ambiguous “faux frères,” such garments seem to oscillate between functionality and theatricality, between absurdity and threat,” said Bourgeois. “It is this tension, the moment when the function of clothing slips into something less recognizable, that I wish to explore.”

    At the opening of her gallery at MIWSFPA, she further elaborated on her more recent drawings, saying that they relate garments to the human body and face:

    “We have five new pieces in this show. They are all from the same series; what’s interesting for me actually is to allow them to connect to one another just like people would in life,” said Bourgeois. “They really reflect my own experience, like looking at people and contouring people in life. Of course, my interest is in a different meaning of clothing – like, people wear clothing for a social reason, it can be protection, it can be both, or it can also be a sign of authority. There are all these different possibilities, and with this collection we see a few.”

    Out of the pieces hung along the walls, one individual drawing stood out, as it was the lone piece to include an animal.

    “I’ve also been interested in animals for some time – even dressed animals. Sheep, for instance, at the winter fair are covered with a kind of hood, which really reminds you of something from the middle ages,” said Bourgeois. “It’s a bit scary, because you only see the eyes.”

    Although her subject matter is diverse, it all connects to and works with images of humanity. Throughout our discussion on her art, she began to speak about what she is trying to accomplish with these pieces.

    “There is a lot of different thought going into this work,” said Bourgeois. “Like bringing back a different period of history but also bringing together individuals which lived in the past. Some of the work’s sources are really both from my life and looking at people and animals, but they’re also looking at artifacts in a museum. Also, looking at sculpture. Some of these faces [in the drawings] were actually roman people.“

    Lorène Bourgeois’ “Swim Cap” (2013) / Peter Legris

    On a drawing entitled “Swim Cap” (2013), Bourgeois commented that this was one of the drawings of a sculpture. This sculpture was depicting a nineteenth century noble person in France, but Bourgeois removed the clothing she’d had on and instead focused on the face and shoulders, noting that she wanted to focus on the woman’s strength in these features.

    Referencing a work entitled “Tin Hat” (2014), Bourgeois noted, “this fellow here who was a Roman general has become a soldier or a worker – we really don’t know now because of that tin hat. I know it is an odd thing I’m doing with the human form but for me, what really matters is bringing them back in a way and showing their strengths and sometimes their attitude, but often the dignity that I see.”

    When the subject turned to motivation, Bourgeois elaborated on the two things she thinks of when meditating on her work; first, its presence.

    “One of the things I think of when I think of my work is the idea of presence – bringing back the human presence, whether it’s that of a person living before our time – it could be a contemporary person like my neighbour’s daughter (reference to “Infant”, 2012). The other word I would use is trying to make it as intense as possible through the way of working. It is very intense, with layers and layers of the medium.”

    On her process, she explained that her staple tool in the Large Drawings collection is Conté, a medium often consisting of compressed, powdered graphite. Bourgeois only uses this and an eraser to produce her pieces; there is no white tool, and so instead she works with the original white space of the paper. One piece can take approximately three months

    In the collection now being exhibited in MIWSFPA, it is interesting to note that there are four separate drawings of figures wearing gas masks.
    Although she expressed her horror at the idea of war, Bourgeois also claimed a sense of fascination felt when exploring war museums. She recounted a time a few years back, when she was on a research grant in England. The Imperial War Museum was holding an exhibition on childhood during WWӀӀ.

    “Something I didn’t realize until that show was that everyone in Europe had to have a gas mask ready,” explained Bourgeois. “Because gas had been used in WWӀ, they thought it was going to be used again in WW2; people were terrified. In that display, they were showing gas masks for children which they called ‘Mickey Mouse’. The gas masks were red and had funny colours so kids would not be so scared of them, but it was pretty scary [for me to see]. They showed a video of a toddler learning how to put the mask on their head. In the end, gas was not used at war, but it’s still a current topic because it’s been used recently in Syria.”

    On her earlier work, Bourgeois talked about her fascination with clothing:

    “I drew only the clothing. I’ve always worked with the human theme. As I mentioned before, I used to look at faces from sculpture and I would take a lot of photos in museums of sculpture, but then all of a sudden my camera started looking below and realizing the clothing.”

    Lorène Bourgeois’ “Tin Hat” (2014) / Peter Legris

    Bourgeois spoke on the eighteenth century, saying there were were beautiful sculptures with beautiful clothing, specifically noting the time of the French revolution. Men wore very frivolous and showy costumes, which drew her interest. Even now, although she focuses on the face, she works with a hat in her drawings.

    In one corner of the room hung a drawing entitled “Forteresse” (2012); in it, a severe looking woman sits, staring out at you amidst the huge, frilly fabric collaring her dress.

    “The source for Forteresse is a tiny sculpture of a woman from the nineteenth century, and she had a much smaller cloth around her shoulders and neck,” said Bourgeois. “I made her much bigger and her dress also bigger. I call it Fortress. She’s very righteous, very dignified, and you don’t know whether the strengths are coming from her or whether the outfit gives her those strengths. On one hand it gives her power, but on the other hand it’s very restrictive, which it was if you think about those times in the Victorian time where women wore corsets and very stiff clothing.”

    When looking at Bourgeois’ Large Drawings, her dedication to depicting the human expression and presence is clear. The detailed shading done only through Conté and eraser allows her to work very closely with the base level paper itself, coming back to it over and over again, and sustaining a relationship with its white space. She did not need to talk about presence, because it was already felt in the room. “Swim Cap” stares, fierce and dignified, into the dead centre of the room. The depictions of children and people in gas masks almost stalk the corners of the gallery, some staring back at its viewers and others looking away. The medium allows for an intense representation of its subject matter and, with it, Bourgeois has brought these people, Romans or World War ӀӀ children, into the room
    with us.

    Lorène Bourgeois’ gallery of Large Drawings will be held at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts from October 18th – November 18th, Tuesday – Saturday from 1:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m.

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  • Lorène Bourgeois exhibition coming to MIWSFPA

    (Source: The Brock News, Wednesday, October 12, 2016)

    Whether Lorène Bourgeois is drawing humans or animals, the use of garments is a recurring part of her striking imagery.

    And starting Oct. 18, the public will have a month-long opportunity to view an exhibition by the Paris-born visual artist and Brock University instructor.

    The show “Large Drawings” will be on display in downtown St. Catharines, in the Art Gallery of Brock’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. Consisting of 10 to 12 highly detailed works, the images are representations of humans, animals, clothing and nakedness.

    Bourgeois herself will be on hand for an opening reception from 5 to 8 pm on Thursday Oct. 20, which is a free community event.

    Throughout her career, Bourgeois has had her artwork exhibited across Canada as well as in France, Korea, Russia and the United States. She now lives and works in Toronto, and has for several years taught drawing in Brock’s Department of Visual Arts.

    To learn more about the upcoming exhibition and see some of the imagery, click here.

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  • Exhibitions featuring Visual Arts Professor Duncan MacDonald

    (Source: The Brock News, Wednesday, May 18, 2011)

    Duncan MacDonald, assistant professor, has been busy with artworks featured in several shows in the month of April: Small Feats (the Niagara Artist Centre), The Main Event (Rodman Hall Arts Centre), Musicbox Revolving Door (Metro Hall, Toronto), Natural Frequencies (CRAM Art Gallery) and a video entitled “Work, Work” (In The Soil 2011).

    To listen to a CBC radio interview regarding the Musicbox Revolving Door project, please see

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  • Exhibitions and essays by Visual Arts Instructor Judy Graham

    (Source: , Thursday, April 21, 2011)

    Visual Arts instructor Judy Graham is part of the Preservation/Migration exhibit at the ZGM FineArts Gallery in Buffalo, NY, showing until April 23. She was also part of Garden Views and Artists’ Pots at the ZGM gallery in 2010, and presented surfacingsurfacing: A Poetry Performance.

    She also exhibited at Small Feats, a group exhibit and sale at the Niagara Artists Centre, and will be part of the upcoming Social Rejections exhibit at Toronto’s GalleryWest.

    Judy Graham published an exhibition essay at ZGM FineArts Gallery in Buffalo, NY in 2011. She also published “Uncomfortable Boys, Cornelius and George” in the Brock Review: Journal for the Humanities in 2010.

    She also curated the National Women’s Exhibit at the Impact Gallery in Buffalo this year and has received an Ontario Arts Council Exhibition Assistance Grant.

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    Categories: Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News

  • Cogeco coverage of Student Photography Exhibit

    The opening reception of VISA’s student photography exhibition “Who’s Afraid of the Darkroom” was recently covered by TV Cogeco. Click here to view the piece, including an interview with instructor Amy Friend.

    “Who’s Afraid of the Darkroom” can be found in the Sean O’Sullivan Lobby until January 30th.

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    Categories: Events, Exhibitions, In the Media, News