Articles tagged with: Faculty of Humanities

  • Hamilton Now series highlights Brock art instructor

    Brock instructor Donna Akrey is part of the exhibition Hamilton Now: Object at the Art Gallery of Hamilton until May 20. (Photo by Taien Ng-Chan.)


    (From The Brock News, Wednesday, December 19, 2018 | By: Jaquelyn Bezaire)

    As Donna Akrey knows all too well, art is woven into the fabric of any strong community.

    The textile work of the Brock University Visual Arts instructor is part of a new exhibition at the Art Gallery of Hamilton (AGH) that celebrates an influx of new artistic talent in the city.

    Akrey’s work Hamilton Yards will be on display at the Art Gallery of Hamilton until May 20.

    The Hamilton Now series, curated by Melissa Bennett, began in June with Hamilton Now: Subject, which focused on the culture and creativity in the city and spoke to who the artists are as individuals. The exhibit ran until Nov. 18, with artists using different mediums to explore aspects of their own identity.

    The series’ second exhibition, Hamilton Now: Object focuses mainly on sculptors.

    Hamilton Now: Object, which is now on display at the AGH and features Akrey’s work, emphasizes material exploration and awareness of the physical environment. The exhibit, which includes pieces by the collective art group band Persons, also features an interactive digital project that incorporates a sculptural map of Hamilton.

    Akrey recently moved from Montreal, where she found herself a part of a very strong arts community. Once she arrived to Hamilton, she was pleasantly surprised by the welcome she received.

    “The community is very strong, supportive and positive,” she said. “I’m honoured to be showing work alongside other amazing Hamilton artists.”

    Akrey’s piece, Hamilton Yards, is a series of fabrics digitally-printed with a custom-made repeating pattern of photo images. Akrey spent time wandering the neighbourhoods of east end Hamilton and documenting the spots that interested her.

    “I have wanted to make textile work for a while, so this was the perfect opportunity,” she said. “Through these works, I continue to address mapping, place and location in Hamilton specifically.”

    Alongside Akrey, the exhibition includes pieces by Christopher Reid Flock, Destiny Grimm, Hamilton Perambulatory Unit, Svava Thordis Juliusson, Carmela Laganse, Laura Marotte and Taien Ng-Chan.

    On Thursday, Jan. 17, Akrey will be joined by Thordis Juliusson and Ng-Chan in the first of two panel events. The artists will lead guests through a series of sculptural activities, “object-oriented storytelling” and mapping exercises.

    Hamilton Now: Object runs until May 20 at the Art Gallery of Hamilton. The official opening is Sunday, Feb. 3. The gallery is open Tuesday to Sunday.

    For more information, visit the Art Gallery of Hamilton website.

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    Categories: 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 prof unveils Invisible Histories at Toronto exhibition

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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    Categories: Events, Exhibitions, Faculty & Instructors, News

  • 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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    Categories: Alumni, Announcements, News

  • Brock faculty, staff, students and grads performing at In the Soil

    (Source: The Brock News | Wednesday, April 25, 2018 by Alison Innes)

    It’s a festival born out of love for the local community and the arts.

    In the Soil, the three-day, multi-layered and multi-disciplinary festival in St. Catharines, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this weekend, and Brock has played an important role in its growth.

    The festival started as an idea sparked at a Centre for the Arts performance in Sean O’Sullivan Theatre, where Annie Wilson (BA’03), Joe Lapinski (BA’99) and Sara Palmieri (BA ’03) wondered how they help showcase Niagara talent. Three more former Brock students came on board to found the festival in 2009: Deanna Jones (BA ’02), Natasha Pedros (BA ’04) and Jordy Yack.

    They wanted to bring people together with local artists to create a shared experience and celebrate Niagara’s arts scene.

    Brock’s support of In the Soil has been important from the start, says Wilson, who studied Theatre and English.

    “To have the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts right in the downtown core is a dream come true and so is the opportunity to collaborate with so many incredible profs and friends over there,” says Wilson. “Brock University has supported In the Soil Arts Festival from day one and the ongoing investment in us has allowed us to grow it into what it is today.”

    Suitcase in Point Theatre Company, a theatre group founded by graduates from Brock’s Dramatic Arts program, took over organizing the festival in 2012. The group worked to sharpen the festival’s interdisciplinary approach and now has a tradition of showcasing the latest work in theatre, literature, music, film, comedy and site-specific installations.

    Many Brock students, staff, faculty, and grads are exhibiting and performing at this year’s festival in various venues around the downtown core, including:

    • Adrian Thiessen (BA ’10), president and creative head of Fourgrounds Media, will be showing his piece “Please Do Not Disturb the Grapes,” which gives a bird’s perspective of Niagara wine country as part of Rhizomes at Silver Spire United Church.
    • We Who Know Nothing, a theatre group centred in the Department of Dramatic Arts and led by Associate Professor Gillian Raby, will be performing a short piece on colonialism and First Nations histories.
    • Also at Rhizomes, Twitches & Itches Theatre, an ensemble made up largely of Dramatic Arts graduates, will be presenting emerging theatre voices in “The Comments Section,” a collaboration between young artists.
    • Arnie McBay (MA ’13), Visual Arts Facilities Technician at MIWSFPA, and English Professor Gregory Betts will be showing “Signs of Our Discontent” (The Textures of Our Solitude). The site-specific installation at the corner of St. Paul and Garden Park responds to the fading advertisements painted on downtown buildings.
    • Fourth-year Visual Arts student Amber Lee Williams video performance “Self Portrait As A Female Fountain” explores themes of identity and is an extension of her exhibition “Hidden Mother” on until Saturday, April 28 at the MIWSFPA.
    • Dramatic Arts student Matthew Beard is the founder of Big Chicken Improv, an improv group that includes various Brock students. They will be performing long- and short-form improv on Saturday evening.

    Prior to the festival, the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts will be hosting a special event on the evening of April 27 for students from Stamford Collegiate.
    The MIWSFPA is also a festival sponsor.

    What: In the Soil Arts Festival

    When: Friday, April 27 to Sunday, April 29

    Where: Downtown St. Catharines

    Tickets and event details: inthesoil.on.ca

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

  • HRI Spring Term Symposium: The Elephant in the Room

    Image: Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals.

    The Humanities Research Institute will be hosting its Spring Symposium on Tuesday, April 17, 12:30 to 4:30 pm at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts room 406. The public is welcome to attend! No registration required.

    This year’s theme, “The Elephant in the Room: Making Space for Animals in Our Research and Teaching,” explores the use and depictions of animals in history, literature, art, and society. Faculty members from the Faculty of Humanities and the Faculty of Social Science will share their work on various aspects of animal studies, including critical animal studies and human-animal studies.

    Opening remarks: Michael Carter, Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies, Faculty of Humanities

    Session I: 1:00 p.m.

    Chair: Keri Cronin (Visual Arts)

    • John Bonnett (History), “Turns, Convergences and De-Stabilization: Is the Animal turn the next Big Thing in History?”
    • Barbara Seeber (English Language & Literature), “Animals and the Country House Tradition Revisited in Mary Leapor and Jane Austen”
    • Elizabeth Neswald (History), “Feeding the Dog”
    • Adam Dickinson (English Language & Literature), “Anatomic: Microbes, Chemicals, and Metabolic Poetics in the Anthropocene”

    Coffee/tea break: 2:30 p.m. – 2:45 p.m.

    Session II: 2:45 p.m.

    Chair: Keri Cronin (Visual Arts)

    • Kendra Coulter (Labour Studies), “The Elephants are Working: Animals, Labour, and Care”
    • Keri Cronin (Visual Arts), “Surveillance or Sanctuary?: The Power and Potential of Live Cams for Humane Education”
    • Lauren Corman (Sociology), “Vile Creatures: Abject Animals at the Limits of Society and Culture”

    Presentation of Faculty of Humanities Award for Excellence in Research and Creative Activity to Professor Donna Szoke

    Donna Szoke (Visual Arts), “Invisible Animals”

    Closing remarks: Carol Merriam, Dean, Faculty of Humanities

    Limited parking available on site. Members of the Brock University community and guests are welcome to park on a first-come first-served basis. City parking lots are available nearby. See www.stcatharines.ca/en/livein/ParkingLotsGarages.asp

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    Categories: Events