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  • Celebrated artist Birthe Piontek opens 2020-21 Walker Cultural Leader Series

    The Department of Visual Arts (VISA) is excited to announce the first offering of the 2020-21 Walker Cultural Leader Series (WCL). Artist and accomplished photographer Birthe Piontek will take the WCL virtual spotlight on an easily accessible digital platform:

    Walker Cutural leader: Birthe Piontek

    • Thursday, October 1, 2020
    • Presentation live at 11:00am on the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts YouTube channel

    Born and raised in Germany, Birthemoved to Canada in 2005 after receiving her MFA from the Folkwang University of the Arts in Essen, Germany. Birthe’s art practice explores the relationship between memory and identity, with a particular interest in the topic of female identity and its representation in our society. Her primary focus is photography, but she also utilizes other art forms like installation, sculpture and collage to investigate to what degree our complex identities can be visualized. 

    Her work has been exhibited internationally, in both solo and group shows, and is featured in many private and public collections such as the Museum of Contemporary Photography in Chicago and the Museum of Applied Arts in Gera, Germany. 

    Birthe’s project The Idea of North won the Critical Mass Book Award 2009 and was published as a monograph in 2011. Her most recent work, Abendlied, received the Edward Burtynsky Grant in 2018 and was nominated by Time Magazine as one of the best photo books in 2019. 

    Birthe is an Assistant Professor of Photography in the Audain Faculty of Art at  Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver and a member of the  Cake Collective. 

    For this year’s WCL Series, Birthe is joined by an inspiring list of artists, innovators and cultural influencers who will be sharing their perspectives. For more information on the event details, please visit the full WCL Series listing. 

    Department of Visual Arts upcoming WCL virtual events:

    • John Fekner – November 1, 2020
    • Jamelie Hassan & Ron Benner – January 11, 2021
    • Johnathan Forrest – February 1, 2021

     

     

     

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    Categories: Announcements, Events, Uncategorised, Walker Cultural Leader

  • New podcast challenges ideas of history of Western art

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    Categories: Announcements, Faculty & Instructors, News, Podcast, Uncategorised

  • Welcome to Visual Arts: Orientation for 2020!

    (a screen shot from the welcome by Professor Shawn Serfas. Watch the video below.)


    Brock University is launching the first-ever Virtual Welcome Week.
    During this year of the pandemic the Orientation activities are all online.
    Watch the welcome below and visit the official Orientation page for all the details!


    The Department of Visual Arts (VISA)

    Welcome new VISA students to our asynchronous orientation video! It’s always nice to put a name to face, so we took some time to prepare this video, so that you can get acquainted with some of the awesome people in the Department of Visual Arts. We look forward to meeting you in person in the near future. Stay safe, VISA.

    Professor Shawn Serfas, Chair of the Department will be holding office hours on September 8th from 2-3 pm on Teams.
    Drop-in and say hi! (click here)


    The Department of Dramatic Arts, Music, Visual Arts, and the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture are all part of the Faculty of Humanities.

    The Associate Dean, Dr. Neta Gordon, Professor of English, welcomes you to Brock University! She’s prepared an 11 minute video to introduce to you to the Faculty of Humanities:


    Michael Gicante is your Academic Advisor for studies at the MIWSFPA.
    He prepared this video for the April open House:


    Koreen McCullough is the Experiential Education Coordinator for the Faculty of Humanities.
    Watch her 3 minute presentation about Experiential Education opportunities at Brock University:


    The Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts

    Located at 15 Artists’ Common in downtown St. Catharines, the MIWSFPA is home to four academic programs. We are right next door to the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre on the main street of St. Catharines, St. Paul.

    Each program at the MIWSFPA is offering a special welcome to their students.  For example, if you are a beginning your studies as a major in Dramatic Arts, check out what that Department has scheduled for you and plan to join in the fun.  You are also welcome to join the activities of each program at the School even if you are only taking one course or beginning a minor program.  The activities and welcome messages from each program are listed below.

    Professor David Vivian, of the Department of Dramatic Arts (he teaches design and production for theatre), is the Director of the School:

    David will be hosting office hours on September 8, 2020, from 12-3:00 pm,on Teams.
    Drop in and say hi! (click here)


    We all wish you a very successful year at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

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    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Events, Faculty & Instructors, Future Students, In the Media, News, Uncategorised

  • Brock receives $655,000 to support early-stage research

    an excerpt from the article originally published in The Brock News on THURSDAY, AUGUST 20, 2020 | by Cathy Majtenyi

    Brock University researchers have been awarded more than $655,000 in funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada’s (SSHRC) Insight Development Grant program.

    “We are happy but in no way surprised by this level of success,” says Brock University Vice-President, Research Tim Kenyon. “SSHRC’s investment in our researchers and scholars continues to enable Brock University to develop and contribute expertise on topics and problems of importance to society.”

    The 11 researchers and their projects receiving funding are spread out over the Faculties of Applied Health Sciences, Social Sciences, Humanities and the Goodman School of Business.

    This year’s recipients of SSHRC’s Insight Development Grants are:

    • Antony Chum, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, “Understanding disparities in substance-use related crisis across sexual orientations in Canada”
    • Keri Cronin, Faculty of Humanities, “Navigating Niagara’s human-animal history”
    • William Hall, Faculty of Social Sciences, “Climates of inclusion: Creating positive interpersonal dynamics in STEM”
    • Valerie Michaelson, Faculty of Applied Health Sciences, “How do Indigenous undergraduate students experience the decolonization and reconciliation initiatives that are taking place in their university? A participatory action research study
    • Sylvia Grewatsch, Goodman School of Business, “Reimagining the role of government in catalyzing solutions to grand challenges: Lessons from a 20-year experiment”
    • Amna Mirza, Faculty of Social Sciences, “Do oral language skills predict reading acquisition? Profiles of EL1 and ELL second and third grade children and their response to vocabulary intervention”
    • Elizabeth Greene, Faculty of Humanities, “Entangled mobilities across the Mediterranean: Archaeologies of migrant displacement
    • Jason Hawreliak, Faculty of Humanities, “Accessible scholarship: Examining the role and impact of middle-state publishing in game studies”
    • Kemi Anazodo, Goodman School of Business, “A second chance in sight: Employer perspectives of employment for individuals with a criminal history”
    • Colin Rose, Faculty of Humanities, “Mapping the crimescape of renaissance Florence”
    • Shawna Chen, Goodman School of Business, “From thinking to doing to being: Women entrepreneurs and experiential programs”

    Insight Development Grants support research in its initial stages. The grants enable the development of new research questions, as well as experimentation with new methods, theoretical approaches and ideas. Funding is provided for short-term research development projects of up to two years that are proposed by individuals or teams.

    Congratulations to Dr. Keri Cronin, Associate Dean, Faculty of Humanities (Research & Graduate Studies), Director, Humanities Research Institute
    Chancellor’s Chair for Teaching Excellence, 2019-2022 and Associate Professor in the Department of Visual Arts at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts!

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

  • Visual Arts Professor’s short video presented in Photophobia

    Donna Szőke. Midst, single channel video loop, 2019 (Invisible Animals series, 2012-2019). (photo: D.Szőke)

    Professor Donna Szőke of the Department of Visual Arts is thrilled to announce that her new short video “Midst” screens online in the “Photophobia” festival the weekend of Friday August 7, at 7pm.

    Photophobia is an annual festival of short-format contemporary media, film, video and moving image hosted in partnership between the Art Gallery of Hamilton and Hamilton Artists Inc. Established in 1999, Photophobia is Hamilton’s first film and video festival dedicated to the development of experimental time-based media. Not confined by restrictions or themes, Photophobia is a free, juried festival that invites the community to experience a showcase of contemporary work that tests the boundaries of each medium.

    All three nights of the screening are free to watch online at 7 pm each night on August 6, 7 & 8 This year’s festival will be a virtual presentation. A link to view each program will be posted at the page below prior to each event.  Each program will be available to view online for a period of 72 hours after its initial screening. All three screenings will be free.

    See the complete program on the Photophobia website.  

    Installation view of Midst, part of the Industrial Niagara Exhibition at Rodman Hall Art Centre, Brock University, Spring 2020. (photo: D. Knight)

    Program 1: Thursday, August 6, 7:00 pm Online, Followed by a Live Q&A Conversation With the Filmmakers

    Program 2: Friday, August 7, 7:00 pm Online, Followed by a Live Q&A Conversation With the Filmmakers
    ***Donna Szőke (St. Catharines) – Midst, 2019 (4:00)***

    Program 3: Saturday, August 8, 7:00 pm Online, Followed by a Live Q&A Conversation With the Filmmakers 

    Szőke was an invited Walker Cultural Leader for the Centre for Studies in Arts and Culture for 2020.  In January she presented her Artist’s Talk “On Invisibility” at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

     

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

  • Visual Arts and Interactive Arts and Science grad wins Daytime Emmy

    Karlee Morse (BA ’11) has been recognized with an Emmy for her special effects makeup on the children’s program Dino Dana.

    (Published WEDNESDAY, JULY 29, 2020 | in the The Brock News by )

    Karlee Morse (BA ’11) wasn’t sure at first what she wanted to do when she graduated from Brock University.

    But the Brock alumna has clearly found her calling having won a Daytime Emmy last month for Outstanding Special Effects Costume, Makeup and Hairstyling for her work on an episode of the children’s show Dino Dana.

    Morse worked with a team of three artists to transform four actors into dinosaurs for the episode of Dino Dana. Working from CGI illustrations and the costume design by Christine Toye, Morse seamlessly transformed the actors.

    “It’s just amazing,” she said of her win. “Truthfully it was really hard. It was a lot of work.”

    Morse started her career in film and television as an assistant for the art department on a production called Android produced by Sinking Ship, the same company that produced Dino Dana.

    “From there, I just made connections and once I started focussing on prosthetic work, they brought me in to do some specific episodes,” she said.

    Morse didn’t plan on working in special effects make up while she was completing her combined major in Visual Arts and Interactive Arts and Science.

    “I kind of fell into it,” she said. “I wanted to do concept work for video games, but I realized I’m not content working on the computer for more than an hour. I thought about it and the happiest I was when I was working in the studio.”

    Morse said she loved working in Brock’s painting studio and sculpture classes.

    “I’m so thrilled for Karlee,” said Donna Szoke, Associate Professor of Visual Arts, who taught Morse at Brock. “She has always had a deep love of drawing. Film makeup and special effects makeup is such a wonderful continuation of her lifelong pursuit of drawing and sculpting.”

    After her time at the University, Morse went on to do Sheridan’s special effects makeup program, where she now teaches.

    “I didn’t realize this was a career at all,” she said. “It’s like painting, but on people’s faces. It’s like sculpting, but on a living model.”

    Morse finds herself working in the video game industry from a different perspective than she had originally thought. As a makeup artist, she does life casting— making casts of actors’ body parts — and placing motion capture markers on actors for game giant Ubisoft.

    Morse has worked on Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, Far Cry 5, and the newly released Far Cry 6.

    “My favourite part of this career is that every day is vastly different,” said Morse. “I usually have multiple things on the go and it’s just fun. I get to go to cool places, meet people and do cool things.”

    Morse has stayed connected with her passion for sculpture and is currently working on some custom sculptures for a corporate client. She sculpts in oil-based clay, then makes a silicon mold and casts the sculpture in resin.

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    Categories: Alumni, Faculty & Instructors, In the Media, News, Uncategorised

  • Assistant Professor in Visual Arts (Digital Media and Design): Candidate Research Presentations

    The Brock and wider community are warmly welcomed to attend the online presentations by the short list of candidates for this position.

    Each will give an hour-long presentation and engage in discussion about their current research interests and focus upon their contributions.

    GUSTAVO CERQUERA BENJUMEA

    WEDNESDAY, MAY 20TH, 2020
    Research Presentation 1:00pm (1:00 – 2:20pm)
    stream.lifesizecloud.com/extension/3327547/cf3bdaf1-eac4-4aa9-8116-3fdc308ebef8

    Gustavo Cerquera Benjumea is a Colombian Canadian Toronto-based digital media artist, animator, music video director, and teacher. He specializes in computer animation, video installation, and drawing. His work explores psychedelia, plant biology, and Latin American histories. His work has exhibited internationally including at: Slamdance Film Festival, Glas Animation Festival, Ottawa International Animation Festival, Art Spin Toronto, the Niagara Artist Centre, Summerworks Festival, Nuit Blanche Toronto, among others. He has directed music videos for Lido Pimienta and Chancha Via Circuito. He is the current programming chair at the Toronto Animated Image Society. Gustavo teaches at OCADU and Brock University.

    TROY DAVID OUELLETTE

    THURSDAY, MAY 21ST, 2020
    Research Presentation 1:00pm (1:00 – 2:20pm)
    stream.lifesizecloud.com/extension/3327527/6fd67857-4515-484b-9d04-9ea9ea756a71

    Troy David Ouellette is an artist/researcher specializing in Assemblage Theory. He received his PhD, in Visual Arts, from York University in 2014 and his M.F.A. from the University of Windsor in 2007. He has taught Design, Sculpture and undergraduate courses, at various universities and colleges, in Southern Ontario. From 1999 until 2005 he was the Sculpture Facilitator at the Banff Centre for the Arts. Ouellette is a founding member of the London Ontario Media Arts Association (LOMAA) and the sound art collective Audio Lodge. His work has been included in several solo and group exhibitions in Canada, Australia and  the United States. He resides in Hamilton, Ontario.

    GWEN MACGREGOR

    FRIDAY, MAY 22ND, 2020
    Research Presentation 1:00pm (1:00 – 2:20pm)
    stream.lifesizecloud.com/extension/3326867/e156311e-7437-4e53-a009-eada0c2fcfff

    Gwen MacGregor is a visual artist and geographer working across the disciplines of installation, video, photography, and geographic scholarship. She has artworks in collections such as the Art Gallery of Ontario, Oakville Galleries and the Royal Bank Collection. Recent exhibitions include The Robert McLaughlin Gallery in Oshawa, Ontario and Phoenix Projects Athens, Greece. She has exhibited extensively internationally and has also participated in numerous international art residencies including the International Studio Curatorial Program in New York. She is a Toronto Friends of the Visual Arts Award holder and is represented by MKG127 in Toronto. MacGregor is a PhD Candidate in Geography at The University of Toronto. Her dissertation explores the constructions and contestations of nationhood in contemporary art practices presented at art biennales.


    Please share and post this poster in your community.

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    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Events, Faculty & Instructors, Future Students, In the Media, Media Releases, News, Uncategorised

  • FACULTY FOCUS: Amy Friend on the art of visual storytelling

    Amy Friend, associate professor in the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, works hands-on to experiment with both digital and analogue images. She poses beside her piece Our Little Dancing Girl, Evelyn, Age 9 at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre.

    (Published TUESDAY, MAY 12, 2020| by The Brock News {Michelle Pressé})

    Note: Faculty Focus is a monthly series that highlights faculty whose compelling passions, innovative ideas, and various areas of expertise help weave together the fabric of Brock University’s vibrant community. For more from the series, click here.

    It’s not often that Amy Friend goes out and photographs what she calls ‘the real world.’

    Instead, the associate professor in the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts works hands-on to interrogate a medium, experimenting with both digital and analogue images.

    One of Friend’s signature styles is hand-manipulating vintage photographs in a way that rescues and revives them, exploring what’s visible and what isn’t, such as in her series Dare alla Luce. She likes to think of photography as a material that is alive with possibility.

    Her work has been selected three times as one of the top 50 photographs in the juried Critical Mass International Photography Competition, and she’s exhibited in more than a dozen countries, including Spain, Greece, and Korea.

    The inspiration for her Vestiges series can be traced to being surrounded by family possessions, the outcome of being from an immigrant family who lived through the Great Depression, and threw nothing away.

    “The deceased occupied a place in our home and everything had a story,” Friend wrote in her artist statement for Vestiges, a hauntingly beautiful photograph on the fabric of her grandmother’s — to her, nonna’s — nightgown in the Algoma Central Lobby of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre (PAC).

    Friend looks on at Vestiges, which was inspired by a lifetime of being surrounded by precious family possessions.

    Her grandfather’s (nonno’s) dreams of becoming a professional dancer never materialized due to life’s circumstances, instead of working in construction to help provide for his family, who left northern Italy for Canada. Her family history and the stories passed among them is a reoccurring source of inspiration.

    “The nightgown appears to be dancing, so I found it suitable for the space,” says Friend of Vestiges in the downtown St. Catharines location. “I think of this space as a makerspace of stories. My grandparents danced together; this was a small part of their history, so I touched on that secret history. Theirs is one little story among many in the space.”

    She says one of the most fulfilling things about her work is developing pieces for specific locations. A particularly rewarding experience has been Rodman Hall, where she experimented with new materials, including a 40-foot long photograph on silk.

    That work became part of the stage design for musician Diana Krall’s world tour.

    “Having the intimate setting of Rodman Hall and working with curator Marcie Bronson provided fertile ground for this artwork to develop, which ended up on the world stage,” says Friend. “This creative process in your own community format says something about where seeds start and offers a spotlight to what we are doing as artists here in Niagara.”

    Another one of her pieces, Our Little Dancing Girl, Evelyn, Age 9, is the product of collecting photographs on the internet that strangers pawn off for next to nothing. The photograph had “Our little dancing girl, Evelyn, Age 9” scrawled on the back, evoking curiosity about an unknown, individual history.

    “Even though I wouldn’t say my images tell a concrete story, they are constantly referencing things we don’t know,” she says. “It’s the unknown aspects of making an image that directly intrigues me.”

    Amy Friend poses outside of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines.

    “In this series, I’m not only interested in making artwork, but making and thinking about what it means to take a photograph, to lose a photograph; an image that belonged to someone else,” says Friend. “It’s a conversation I’m constantly having through photography: making and investigating what it can and cannot express.”

    Another thing Friend considers paramount to her work as an artist is teaching.

    “I’m engaging with the idea of creative practice and getting students to dig into the act of play,” she says. “It gets us out of what I call the treadmill of production. Some of my best work has come out of completely screwing things up.”

    While she loves seeing her students succeed, the most important lesson she hopes they learn is to embrace “epically failing.” Without it, Friend says, we lose the imperative experience of disappointment and working to solve creative problems.

    “My experience at Brock has been wonderful,” says Friend. “I’ve had incredible opportunities. We continue to have a vision in what the School could and should be, and the potential is incredible.”

    One of the biggest changes with working she’s noticed isn’t just within Brock, but the art of photography itself.

    “It’s much more immediate,” says Friend on integrating photography into our everyday lives. “We always have images close by. We scroll through photos on phones and other devices. There is a different type of interaction. It still has a place in our lives.”

    One thing that will never change is the human ability to respond to art in a unique way. She was reminded of this in February when taking her young daughter to the PAC for Family Day, which included various activities, such as crafts and therapy dogs.

    “I pointed to Vestiges and said, ‘You know, your mama made that,’ and she glanced at it and said, ‘Yeah, okay. Where are the dogs?’ It was humbling and funny, but there was also a sweetness to her response,” says Friend. “Maybe at some point this image will be significant to her and maybe it won’t. We all have reactions to art and each is a unique interaction that tells us something about ourselves and who we are at that moment.”

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

  • MIWSFPA Offers Unique Visual Arts course during COVID-19 pandemic

    image: Fischli & Weiss: Equilibres / Quiet Afternoon, 1984.

    In response to COVID-19, and the suspension of all face-to-face classes, the Department of Visual arts is busy reinventing one of their very popular Spring and Summer session courses, VISA 2F05 Introduction to Sculpture.

    Instructor/artist Donna Akrey will launch the new original online course in sculpture beginning the week of May 04, 2020.

    Donna remarks,“This is hard but a great opportunity to think about how to deliver content this way and to still get students to think and problem solve. I am hopeful about it all.”

    VISA 2F05 – Introduction to Sculpture

    Do you have a laptop, phone, computer and consistent use of the internet?

    Do you have a table?

    Do you have everyday objects like scissors, tape, paper, recycling material?

    Are you up for the challenge of working solo and thinking sculpturally?

    Are you interested in problem-solving, ingenuity, DIY, working with what you have and collaboration? Come and experiment with us!

    For more information about VISA 2F05 Introduction to Sculpture please see the Academic Calendar and the Registration Guide.

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  • The MIWSFPA welcomes Landon Mackenzie to Niagara

    Signal (Red Star), 2017-2018. oil and synthetic polymer on linen, 82 1/2 x 126 in.

    Walker Cultural Leader Public Lecture and Artist Talk by Landon Mackenzie 

    March 12, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.

    Robertson Theatre, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, 250 St. Paul Street, St. Catharines, L2R 3M2

    reception: March 12th, 5 p.m. at the VISA Gallery and Student Exhibition Space, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine & Performing Arts. (This is also the reception for the CrissCross exhibition, above.)

    Niagara welcomes one of Canada’s most celebrated painters!

    The Moon is the Message: A survey of works traversing over four decades.  A revealing personal exploration of creativity, painting and mapping.

    Landon Mackenzie is an acclaimed visual artist based in Vancouver. Her international exhibiting and teaching career has been awarded the inaugural Ian Wallace Award for Excellence in Teaching, the Golden Jubilee and Diamond Jubilee Queen Elizabeth II Medals for outstanding contribution to culture in British Columbia and Canada, and the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts (2017), among others.

    Blue Star / Red Light, 2018-2019. oil and synthetic polymer on linen, 82 1/2 x 126 in.

    This is a free community event. No tickets required. Join us for the reception at the MIWSFPA at 5 p.m. and then walk over to hear Landon talk about her work in the Robertson Theatre of the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre at 7:30 p.m.

    For more information about her work visit www.landonmackenzie.com


    Landon Mackenzie is an acclaimed visual artist based in Vancouver. The National Gallery of Canada, Vancouver Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Ontario, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, and Confederation Centre for the Arts are among the institutions that collect her paintings. As well, her large format works are in several Canadian embassies. Her works have been shown in over 100 exhibitions in Canada and internationally. Recent exhibitions include a 40-year touring survey of her works on paper, “Landon Mackenzie: Parallel Journey, (1975-2015)”, accompanied by a book by Black Dog publishers; “Landon Mackenzie: Nervous Centers” at the Esker Foundation in Calgary; “Emily Carr and Landon Mackenzie: Woodchopper and the Monkey” at the Vancouver Art Gallery; and “Tracing Mobility: Cartography in Networked Space” at HKW, Berlin.

    Mackenzie is a passionate educator starting at Concordia University followed by 33 years at Emily Carr University of Art + Design in Vancouver where she was appointed the university’s first full Professor. She has been a visiting artist at over 75 universities, art departments and galleries in Canada, US, UK, Europe and China. She has served on many juries including the Canada Council for the Arts, VIVA, BMO 1st, and RBC Painting Award. She has been a trustee of the Vancouver Art Gallery, Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and Joseph Plaskett Foundation. Her work is represented by Art 45 and Nicholas Metivier Gallery.

    Mackenzie holds a BFA from NSCAD and an MFA from Concordia University. Her work has been extensively written about and she has received many awards including the inaugural Ian Wallace Award for Excellence in Teaching, both the Golden and Diamond Jubilee Queen Elizabeth II Medals for outstanding contribution to culture in British Columbia and Canada and the Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts (2017).

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