On Thursday, March 7, Visual Arts students in instructor Candace Couse’s Figure Drawing course welcomed Brock instructor and professional dancer Heryka Miranda Pellecer (pictured) into their studio at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. While Pellecer danced and moved around the studio, the students focused on capturing her body in motion in paper and engaging in experimental drawing. The course has welcomed a variety of alternative models this semester (including therapy dog Tequilla), to allow students a wide variety of subjects as their honed their skills.
Articles tagged with: MIWSFPA
Brock alumna, Natalie Hunter, spent the afternoon with VISA 4F06 students as they discussed their upcoming exhibitions. Back row from left: Teresa Badgley, Amber Williams, Shawn Serfas, Sarah Martin
Front row from left: Gianna Aceto, Emma Hutchison-Hounsell, Cynthia Richards, Natalie Hunter
On Feb. 7, Brock Visual Arts students in the VISA 4F06 Honours course were visited by Brock alumna Natalie Hunter (BA ’11) to discuss their upcoming exhibitions that begin in March. Hunter and the students discussed the pieces they are working on and how to move forward in order to create a cohesive exhibition. During each student’s session, they received a small piece of translucent film that Hunter used in her exhibition, Staring into the Sun, which is currently on view at Rodman Hall Art Centre.
During her time at Brock, Hunter was part of the VISA 4F06 Honours course, where students work all year to put together an exhibition in Rodman Hall. Staring into the Sun features photo-based sculptures and installations that explore the relationship between memory and physical space. The exhibition runs until April 28.
At the Bottom of Everything, the first of two Visual Arts Honours exhibitions, runs from March 23 to April 7, with the opening reception on Friday, March 22 at 7 p.m. at Rodman Hall.
The second exhibition runs from April 13 to 28, with the opening reception on Friday, April 12 at 7 p.m. at Rodman Hall. More details to come.
Fifth-year Visual Arts student Emma Mary Sked will lead a workshop Feb. 27 to teach participants how to transform scrap fabric into unique sculptures, similar to the animals she created in her recent exhibition, Maybe You Should Drive.
Bits of fabric set to be thrown away will instead be used to create unique sculptures during a workshop held on Brock’s main campus next week.
Fifth-year Visual Arts student Emma Mary Sked, who is also part of the upcoming 4F06 Honours Exhibition, will show participants how to transform the scraps into works of art on Wednesday, Feb. 27 in the James A. Gibson Library.
The workshop is the third event in the new Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) Wellness Series, which is hosted by the MIWSFPA and features free monthly activities that promote well-being and the benefits of engaging in the arts.
Sked recently worked with textiles to construct brightly coloured fabric animals as part of her Maybe You Should Drive exhibition at the MIWSFPA in November.
She is excited to now teach others how to bring their own creations to life.
Everyone in the Brock and broader community looking to relax and unwind, while harnessing their inner creativity and learning a new skill, is welcome to attend. The event runs from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in ST231 of the Library’s Matheson Learning Commons.
No previous art experience is required and all necessary materials will be supplied.
For more information about the event and others in the series, visit the MIWSFPA Wellness Series web page.
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
The work of Brock alumna Natalie Hunter will be featured in one of two exhibitions opening Jan. 31 at Rodman Hall. Hunter’s Staring into the Sun runs until March. (Image: Natalie Hunter, “Songs of May” (detail), 2018, Giclée prints on transparent film.)
Two powerful exhibitions featuring the work of clients from Start Me Up Niagara (SMUN) and Brock alumna Natalie Hunter, respectively, will open at Rodman Hall Art Centre Thursday, Jan. 31 at 7 p.m.
The first of two new Rodman Hall offerings, the Art Me Up Niagara group show is a play on the name of the organization that works with individuals facing significant life challenges, such as poverty, addiction, homelessness, mental illness and unemployment.
SMUN participants have created artwork in response to Rodman Hall’s current Northern Oracle installation, which aims to inspire people to share their message, whatever it might be, with the world and have their voice heard.
“In developing the public programs activating this installation, I was guided by inquiry into why this work might be important to the Niagara community, and homelessness immediately arose as a critical issue,” says Elizabeth Chitty, Interim Grants and Programming Officer at Rodman Hall. “We will all benefit from seeing and listening to the artistic voices of those with lived experiences of homelessness in St. Catharines.”
The second exhibition, Hunter’s “Staring into the Sun,” features photo-based sculptures and installations that explore the relationship between memory and physical space.
Hunter (BA ’11) uses vibrant colour filters and multiple photographic exposures in her creation process. The works are printed on translucent films that hang, ripple and drape to interact with architectural features of the exhibition space.
Each viewer’s experience of the pieces, which allude to enduring routines and the passage of time, shifts with subtle changes in light.
Hunter will give a public talk about her work on Thursday, March 28 at 7 p.m. at Rodman Hall.
In addition to the launch of the Art Me Up Niagara showcase, another event will be held this week related to the Northern Oracle exhibition. Rodman Hall is partnering with the American Sign Language Community of Niagara to present a public lecture by deaf Bahamian photographer and graphic designer Will Henfield at the art centre on Friday, Feb. 1 at 6:30 p.m.
A full list of community events related to the ongoing “Northern Oracle” exhibition by Heather Hart can be found on the Rodman Hall website.
The Art Me Up Niagara and Staring into the Sun exhibitions run until Feb. 10 and April 28, respectively.
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.
Keri Cronin, Associate Professor in the Department of Visual Arts, will take on the role of Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies for the Faculty of Humanities starting July 1. (Photo credit Jo-Anne McArthur/We Animals.)
Keri Cronin has always been invested in sharing the research of Brock’s Faculty of Humanities in far-reaching ways. And in her new role as Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies, she intends to continue down that path.
“There is so much great work being done here in the Humanities,” says Cronin, Associate Professor with the Department of Visual Arts.
“A lot of people hold misperceptions about what it is we do and the value and relevance of this work to the ‘real world.’ Using public platforms to highlight our stories and the excellent research being done here is, I believe, more important than ever.”
Cronin, whose position as Associate Dean in the Faculty of Humanities begins July 1, values making academic research accessible to a wide and diverse audience.
“I look forward to supporting faculty and graduate students in developing knowledge mobilization plans that make sense for their areas of expertise,” she says.
Cronin’s own research trajectory has been a blend of the traditional and the non-traditional. In addition to her academic publications, including the 2018 publication of Art for Animals, Cronin has embraced online opportunities to share her research.
The Unbound Project, a multimedia initiative Cronin co-created with Jo-Anne McArthur of We Animals, uses video, photography, interviews and social media to tell the stories of women who are working in animal advocacy.
“The Unbound Project has a very large and international reach,” Cronin says. “Using our website and social media channels, we are able to share these women’s stories widely.”
Cronin has also curated an online exhibition for the National Museum of Animals & Society. Be Kind: A Visual History of Humane Education was launched in 2012 and is used by teachers and professors in classrooms around the world.
Social justice and transdisciplinary work are key for Cronin. She is a faculty member in the Social Justice and Equity Studies graduate program and was a founding member of Brock’s Social Justice Research Institute, where she worked to showcase Humanities-based approaches to social justice work.
“Dr. Cronin is an accomplished scholar and teacher, with an excellent record of service to the University and the Faculty already,” says Dean of Humanities Carol Merriam.
“I’m very pleased that she will now put her skills and talents available to her colleagues in this new role. She is a fitting successor to Dr. Michael Carter, who has done very good work in the role since 2016.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.