Articles tagged with: visa gallery

  • Student art exhibition explores isolation, identity during a pandemic

    A word often used in the past year is taking on a different meaning for Visual Arts (VISA) students as they showcase their work in a new exhibition — “unprecedented.”

    In what has been a different academic year for Brock students and faculty, this newly mounted exhibition explores the art that VISA students have created at home during the pandemic.

    Located on the first floor of Brock’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) downtown campus, the VISA Gallery is a teaching exhibition space showcasing the works of undergraduate VISA students. While the gallery remains closed to the public due to public health protocols, students have been able to present their works throughout April in the physical space and viewers will have the chance to experience the gallery online in the coming days.

    The concept for the exhibition was born of the challenges experienced by students practicing studio-based art from home.

    Brock Studio Arts graduate and VISA Gallery Assistant Sarah Martin (BA ’19) was inspired to create a digital space where students could share their work in the form of an Instagram page.

    “From some of the incredible Instagram submissions made by VISA students in their year of isolation, I put together pieces that explore themes of identity to display on-site in our MIWSFPA gallery.  This has given students an opportunity to present their work in a professional setting beyond their online classes,” she says.

    The result is “unprecedented” (spelled with a lower case “u” as an artistic choice), a new exhibition curated by Martin that features the work of students in their first to fourth year, ranging across all mediums reflecting the scope and diversity of the students’ art practices.

    For third-year Studio Art major Taylor Elliott, participating in the exhibition has been an honour and he is appreciative he has been able to share his work, even if the public cannot see it in person at this time.

    “I’m very grateful for opportunities to see and be seen in this unique way,” he says. “This is the first show of any kind I’ve submitted to since the pandemic started, and it is great to feel connected to the art community in such unprecedented times.”

    Cree Tylee, a fourth-year Studio Art major with a minor in History of Art and Visual Culture, agrees that continuing to show work and share creative ideas with peers is critical given the current climate of the world.

    “If there is ever a time where the need for artistic expression peaks, it is during times of unrest,” she says. “I feel it’s important to keep creating and viewing new work, and so I was happy to have an opportunity to share my work in a gallery space.”

    Drawing on themes of isolation, Tylee was inspired by returning home.

    “Through the collection of natural materials from that landscape, using acrylic and photographic mediums, I chose to allude to a metaphysical version of ‘home,’” she says of her work featured in unprecedented.

    While the student artists welcome the chance to get back to an in-person studio environment when it is safe to do so, participating in this exhibition has been a meaningful experience for them.

    “As someone trying to break into the art scene, even just at a local level, this exhibit means the world to me,” says Eden Rioux, a second-year Studio Art major whose pieces in unprecedented explore self-reflection and the notion of daydreaming. “It’s always an honour to have your work displayed alongside others. It is a cumulative experience working towards a larger impact.”

    Rioux also points out that many artists turn to their art as a coping mechanism, allowing them to share their thoughts and feelings beyond the spoken or written word. While isolation can be lonely, artistic discoveries can still be made, they add.

    “It’s really amazing to see what everyone else is struggling with, thriving with and creating with,” says Rioux.

    Elliott also acknowledges key lessons learned during the pandemic about the importance of community, and not taking it for granted.

    “I think when things open up again, people will be so much more ready to be active and involved in the art world — I know I will be,” he says.

    The unprecedented exhibition runs until Friday, April 30. While currently closed to the public, the VISA Gallery will take over the MIWSFPA Instagram “stories” starting Monday, April 26 so viewers can virtually explore the gallery space.

    The works in unprecedented (and other student works) are available to view on an ongoing basis by following the @brockvisagallery Instagram page.

    Follow the @MIWSFPA Instagram page to view the unprecedented exhibition takeover.

    To learn more about the VISA Gallery, please visit the web page here.

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

  • Three to Eight exhibition to support student scholarships

    Professor Murray Kropf is exhibiting his most recent collection of paintings in Three to Eight, an exhibition opening Tuesday, Sept. 4 in the VISA Gallery at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts. The paintings are being sold to support student scholarships. (Photo by Lorraine Zandvliet)


    (From The Brock News, Wednesday, August 28, 2018 | by Sarah Moore)

    When Brock Associate Professor Murray Kropf puts brush to canvas, his inspiration tends to stem from an academic problem he is currently working through.

    In Three to Eight, his new exhibition opening Tuesday, Sept. 4, Kropf challenged himself to create movement in a piece by using only tone, hue and intensity and painting on square canvases with a very limited colour palette.

    “I was trying to find a better way to teach students about colour theory,” he said of the work that he began last year in early fall. “I was looking for a way to create a harmonious and structured composition that is asymmetrical, but still balanced, using only a palette of between three to eight colours.”

    The result was a series of paintings — the first purely abstract of his career — that Kropf will be selling to fund visual arts scholarships for students in the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA).

    While he is mainly a location and still-life painter, Kropf said he welcomed the change of pace for this work.

    “It went better than I thought it could,” he said of his first stab at abstractionism. “It’s always a problem for painters approaching a canvas, because it’s blank, but everything that came out of this was a surprise and that was lovely. It was a refreshing thing to do.”

    He also said the process will “further inform his teaching” in the future, making him more “appreciative” of what can be accomplished with a limited range of colours.

    Assistant Professor Amy Friend, Chair of the VISA Gallery Committee, said this is the first time a professor has hosted a solo show as a fundraising initiative since she has been involved with the gallery operations.

    “To showcase the work that Murray, one of our senior professors, accomplishes behind-the-scenes in his studio, is really important,” she said. “It also shows the way that art can support community, the generosity of our relationship with our students and the ongoing need to fund student studies.”

    Kropf, who has been teaching at Brock for more than 30 years, said simply that it was “time” to give back to the students and the institution he has been connected to for so long.

    “I want to show my gratitude to my students, to my colleagues, and to the university because I have been very lucky to work here, and I’ve enjoyed it a great deal,” he said. “I’ve always wanted to contribute to awards for students because I’ve been a student and I know how badly support is needed.”

    Three to Eight will be displayed in the VISA Gallery, located on the first floor of the MIWSFPA, beginning Tuesday, Sept. 4, with an opening reception taking place Friday, Sept. 7. The reception will run from 4 to 7 p.m., also in the gallery, and is free and open to the community. The VISA gallery is open to the public Tuesday to Saturday from 1 to 5 p.m.

    All proceeds from the sales of Kropf’s pieces will be donated to scholarships for students in Visual Arts immediately after the exhibition.

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    Categories: Announcements, Current Students, Events, Exhibitions, Faculty & Instructors, News