Articles tagged with: marilyn i. walker school of fine and performing arts

  • Artistic alumni to host vacation-themed exhibition downtown

    Brock grads Katie Mazi (BA ’16), Jenn Judson (BA ’16), Matt Caldwell (BA ’16), Ben Mosher (BA ’15) and Alex Muresan (BA ’16) make up the art collective Permanent Vacation. The artists will be exhibiting new work in All Expenses Paid, opening on Thursday, Jan. 31.


    (From The Brock News, January 29, 2019 | By: Sarah Ackles)

    The Permanent Vacation art collective is inviting the public to experience the sights and sounds of a tropical getaway – without spending a cent.

    The group, made up of Brock alumni, is presenting its second exhibition, All Expenses Paid, at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) beginning Thursday, Jan. 31. An opening reception for the showcase will be held Thursday, Feb. 7 from 5 to 8 p.m.

    All Expenses Paid is a multimedia exhibition featuring photographs, videos, an installation and a zine. The artists will also create a studio space inside the exhibition, where emerging local artists can work if they cannot access their own studio space due to economic barriers.

    The collective, which includes artists Katie Mazi (BA ’16), Jenn Judson (BA ’16), Matt Caldwell (BA ’16), Ben Mosher (BA ’15) and Alex Muresan (BA ’16), were all Studio Art majors at Brock who first worked together to restructure the Brock Art Club into the current Brock Art Collective.

    The name Permanent Vacation stems from the idea that you don’t need to ‘vacate’ an area to find work and fulfilment. The collective’s goal is to create working space for emerging Niagara-based makers in a way that promotes seeing home anew.

    “The exciting part about this exhibition is that it is fully collaborative within our collective and interactive with local artists and community members,” said Mazi.

    The artists encourage visitors to embrace the theme and wear their best vacation attire to the opening, where they can expect to find themselves surrounded by inner tubes and piña coladas.

    “It’s practically a vacation,” said Judson.

    Permanent Vacation’s All Expenses Paid is on from Jan. 31 to Feb. 28 at the VISA Gallery and Student Exhibition Space within the MIWSFPA. The opening reception, also at the gallery, takes place Feb. 7 from 5 to 8 p.m. The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m.

    If you would like to book studio time during the exhibition, please email the artists to make advance arrangements at permanentvacationcanada@gmail.com

    Tags: , , , , ,
    Categories: Alumni, Events, Exhibitions, 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.

     

    Tags: , , , , ,
    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.

    Tags: , , , , , ,
    Categories: Current Students, Events, Exhibitions, News

  • New research shows empathy can shape drug policy

    Brock Visual Arts Professor Linda Steer’s research on drug photography has been published in the March edition of the International Journal of Drug Policy.


    In 2016, Ohio police released a photo of an American couple overdosing in their vehicle while a young child sat in the back. The image quickly went viral and attracted international attention.

    The predominantly negative conversation surrounding the image, and others like it, left Brock Visual Arts Professor Linda Steer wondering if viewing these photographs with more empathy could be key to changing discourse on drug users and altering drug policy in North America.

    Chosen for publication in the International Journal of Drug Policy, Steer’s article “Entangled empathy, drug use, and photographs of suffering” examines contemporary drug photography in the hopes of encouraging people to think outside of the box about drug use and users.

    “This research is very timely because every day we’re seeing a news story about the dangers of fentanyl or some other opiate,” said Steer, who teaches art history at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA). “There is a lack of understanding about what people that use drugs go through, and about drugs in general. It’s a kind of hysteria.”

    In the article, Steer examines the work of two contemporary photographers: Chris Arnade and Tony Fouhse. Both are middle-aged, white men, who photographed female drug users they met on the street.

    Steer looked at the artists’ work through the lens of ‘entangled empathy,’ a concept developed by American Philosophy Professor Lori Gruen. To Gruen, empathy is about more than simply being understanding and compassionate about another’s situation. Rather, it entails being responsive and responsible to that person in a way that promotes agency and positive change.

    Drawing from that idea, Steer studied how Arnade‘s and Fouhse’s photographs were created, circulated and received by viewers and compared how different settings, locations or mediums impacted the viewer’s engagement with empathy.

    “I found photographs with captions or text that worked to create a narrative had a better chance of creating empathy,” she said. “I also found that we can still have empathy when the power dynamics are quite uneven and that photographs shared on Facebook can sometimes provoke people to engage with their own experience of addiction in relation to the photograph.”

    Steer hopes the article will create dialogue about the role photographs of drug use play in shaping public opinion, and the opinion of policy-makers and government agencies.

    “Overall, photographic projects that show drug use have the potential to engage viewers with empathy and can be very useful in creating drug policy,” she said. “Policy-makers might see these kinds of photographs and notice how they can elicit empathy for people who are misunderstood or maligned. That can have a positive impact on policy.”

    Steer said having her work published in the journal is especially meaningful as this marks her first peer-reviewed article in a new field of research. The interdisciplinarity of her work is also important, she noted, as the journal typically publishes research from science-based disciplines.

    “I was really honoured for this work to be chosen as I think it speaks to how important photographs are and that we need to look more closely at the relationship between science and culture,” she explained. “Even scientific research is culture – so we’re bridging the gap between humanities and the sciences with this type of work.”

    She added that this research also showed her that “a lot more work has to be done” in this field of study.

    “Not just on empathy,” she added, “but on how it is related to politics, policy and how images create ideas about how we see others.”

    “Entangled empathy, drug use and photographs of suffering” is currently available for free download on the International Journal of Drug Policy website.

    Tags: , , , , ,
    Categories: Faculty & Instructors, News

  • Brock grad returns to MIWSFPA for first solo exhibition

    Brock alumna Kylie Haveron (BA ’18) is hosting her first solo exhibition, Not Dark Yet, at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) beginning Wednesday, Jan. 9.


    (From The Brock News, Thursday, January 3, 2019 | By: Sarah Ackles)

    As Martin Luther King Jr. once famously said: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that.”

    His message encapsulates the inspiration behind the first solo exhibition of Brock alumna Kylie Haveron (BA ’18), opening at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) this month.

    Running from Jan. 9 to 26, Not Dark Yet reflects on the dichotomy between lightness and darkness and the struggles we face in our daily lives.

    The exhibition is on at the VISA Gallery and Student Exhibition Space at the MIWSFPA, with an opening reception on Thursday, Jan. 10.

    “I look at how we believe day can bring a purpose, a connection and sense of certainty, while nightfall can bring anxiety as it signals the end of the opportunity for the day and a sense of waiting for the light of the next day to bring us answers,” Haveron explained.

    Haveron’s exhibition consists of a combination of drawings, sculpture and installations that explore the way that physical lightness and darkness can impact the lightness and darkness we experience within ourselves.

    She said the timing of the show is ideal, as the lack of sunlight during the winter months can trigger symptoms of depression in some individuals, often known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

    While many of her pieces are gritty and gloomy, the Brock grad hopes her work will inspire viewers to “let the light into their lives.”

    “Although I look at how extended periods of darkness can make us feel the darkness inside of us, I do have some pieces that give us ways to find the light,” she said. “We must not let the darkness determine our fate and our life, because the light can bring opportunity to have better outcomes.”

    Haveron is also looking forward to returning to her alma mater to showcase her first professional exhibition.

    “Hosting a solo show is a good learning experience and I’m happy I get to do it at Brock, where I have a lot of friends and am part of a supportive community,” she said.

    Not Dark Yet runs from Jan. 9 to 26 in the VISA Art Gallery and Student Exhibition Space at the MIWSFPA. The gallery is open to the public Tuesdays to Saturdays from 1 to 5 p.m.

    An opening reception, also in the gallery, will be held Thursday, Jan. 10, from 5 to 8 p.m.

    This event is free and open to the community.

    Tags: , , , , , , ,
    Categories: Alumni, Events, Exhibitions, News

  • 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.

    Tags: , , , , , ,
    Categories: Faculty & Instructors, News

  • All-female Paris Photo project features work of Brock prof

    Brock Visual Arts Associate Professor Amy Friend had her work featured at the renowned Paris Photo last month, which highlights the work of artists around the world.


    (From The Brock News, Wednesday, December 19, 2018 | By: Sarah Moore)

    How many female photographers have been omitted from history books — their stories never told and their work never shown — simply because they were women?

    That’s a question Brock Visual Arts Associate Professor Amy Friend has been asking herself quite frequently.

    It has also been front of mind for the French Ministry of Culture and for independent curator Fannie Escoulen, who recently featured the work of Friend and other female photographers throughout history in a new photo book, Elles X Paris Photo.

    Amy Friend is sat signing a book.

    Brock Visual Arts Associate Professor Amy Friend had her work featured at the renowned Paris Photo last month, which highlights the work of artists around the world. She was also chosen for inclusion in the new photo book, Elles X Paris Photo, and gave a book signing for her newly published Stardust at the art fair.

    Friend’s Ruth, October 1936, was showcased alongside images from other female photographers, ranging from early 20th century photographic pioneers to contemporary artists of today.

    The goal of the project is to draw attention to the systemic barriers that women have historically faced in the field, and to promote the work of an emerging generation of artists that are still largely underrepresented today.

    “To be featured among these other female artists was particularly special because it means that my vision and my perspective matter,” said Friend. “We have been historically approaching imagery that has been primarily constructed and presented from a male standpoint.

    “This project allows us to consider what it means for women artists like myself to present their view of the world, what barriers still exist that prevent female artists from holding a place in the history books, and what has to change in the future to overcome those barriers.”

    Ruth, October 1936, was composed using a found, vintage photograph of a woman firing a gun.

    As with the other photos in her Dare alla Luce (Italian for ‘to bring to light’) series, Friend pierced tiny pinholes in the photo before shining light through and re-photographing it to create an orb-like optical effect.

    “This image was especially fitting for the book because all we know about that woman in the photo is her name and that somewhere in the world, in 1936, she was shooting a gun. That’s all we know,” said Friend. “Her history was forgotten.”

    Elles X Paris Photo debuted this fall at Paris Photo in Grand Palais, Paris. Considered to be the largest photography fair in the world, Paris Photo showcases the work of artists from hundreds of galleries around the world.

    Friend, who was recently listed among an elite lineup of ‘7 Female Photographers You Should Know from Paris Photo’ in Artsy, exhibited work from Dare alla Luce, as well as doing a book signing for her latest monograph Stardust, from L’Artiere, Publishing.

    She was represented by in camera galerie (Paris), known for its esteemed roster of artists including Cindy Sherman and Jane Evelyn Atwood.

    “It was important to engage with people and artists from all over the world; making connections, talking about ongoing projects and celebrating,” Friend said of being part of the fair.  “I could also interact with work coming out of galleries and countries that I might never get to see otherwise. It was an enriching experience.”

    Tags: , , , , , , ,
    Categories: Faculty & Instructors, 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.

    Tags: , , , , , , , ,
    Categories: Current Students, Events, Exhibitions, News

  • Exhibition explores link between childhood trauma and mental illness

    Emma Mary Sked’s childhood greatly impacted her mental health as an adult.

    And now, the Brock Visual Arts student is channelling her life experiences into a new exhibition opening Tuesday, Nov. 13 at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA).

    Maybe You Should Drive is a mixed media exhibition featuring a collection of art books and brightly coloured fabric animals depicting the fragility and comfort of childhood, and the lived experience of adults with mental illness.

    The exhibition features work that culminated from the artist’s studies in the VISA 3F99 Independent Study course at MIWSFPA. Sked completed the project under the guidance of Visual Arts Associate Professor Shawn Serfas.

    “VISA 3F99 engages a heightened level of creative and critical literacy for our undergraduate students,” Serfas explained. “Emma’s exhibition explores the complex relational narratives between mental health and creativity.”

    Sked felt it important to use her own experience with mental illness and addiction as inspiration for the featured work.

    “When I was a kid I moved a lot, which really impacted how I coped with things and I now struggle with anxiety and depression,” she shared. “Now that I’ve grown up, I’ve met people who have developed mental illness that they also have to cope with every day and they will be able to relate to this work and make connections to their own life.”

    Sked chose to explore the use of art books and tactile objects for this project so that viewers could interact with the subject matter on a more immersive level.

    She also hopes the exhibition will encourage others to share their own experiences in order to find support and develop their own coping mechanisms.

    “It’s not just about the negative impacts of these issues,” she stressed. “It’s about bringing hope to people and showing them that they aren’t alone.”

    Maybe You Should Drive will be installed in the VISA Gallery and Student Exhibition Space at the MIWSFPA from Nov. 13 to 27.

    An opening reception will also be held in the Gallery on Thursday, Nov. 15, from 5 to 8 p.m.

    The event is free and suitable for all audiences.

    Tags: , , , ,
    Categories: Current Students, Events, Exhibitions, 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).

    Tags: , , , , , , ,
    Categories: Events, Exhibitions, Faculty & Instructors, News