Articles tagged with: walker cultural leader series

  • MEMORIES KNOWN AND UNKNOWN: exhibition opens Jan 9, 2018 / lecture on Jan 31

    William Bell and Grandma, from the Bell-Sloman Collection of the James Gibson Library, Brock University

    A Walker Cultural Leader Series and Canada 150 Exhibition and Public Lecture:

    MEMORIES KNOWN AND UNKNOWN

    Visual Arts faculty have selected photographs and ephemera from the Bell-Sloman Collection of the James Gibson Library, part of a remarkable collection donated to Brock University by Rick Bell in 2010. The collection features more than 300 photos and various papers spanning more than a century that document the Bell and Sloman families, who descended from former slaves in the American south. The exhibition at the Visual Arts gallery will showcase some of the material presented at the Walker Cultural Leader series lecture on January 31, when we are pleased to welcome Dr. Julie Crooks from the Art Gallery of Ontario. Her research situates the Bell-Sloman Collection as a “fugitive archive,’ built with defiance and resistance, in order to preserve, salvage and recover the histories of African Canadian communities whose stories and material artefacts are often left untold or subject to erasure.

    Exhibition: Monday, January 9, 2018 to Friday, February 9, 2018
    Regular visiting hours are Tuesday through Saturday 1 to 5 pm.
    To check viewing times of the exhibition please see the webpage.
    Location of Exhibition: Visa Gallery and Exhibition Space, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, Brock University

    Note: The date of the exhibition reception is Wednesday, January 31 at 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.
    The lecture follows at 7:00 p.m. A free community event. Please see below for more details.

    THE BELL-SLOMAN COLLECTION AT BROCK UNIVERSITY: A FUGITIVE ARCHIVE

    Dr. Julie Crooks of the Art Gallery of Ontario

    Dr. Julie Crooks is our second Walker Cultural Leader in Visual Arts for 2017-18. Her public lecture will draw on current research that examines the ways in which black communities, by the mid to late 19th century, in settlements throughout Southern Ontario, used photography as a critical and powerful tool for self-representation. Crooks’ research situates the Bell-Sloman Collection as a “fugitive archive,” built with defiance and resistance, in order to preserve, salvage and recover the histories of black communities whose stories and material artefacts are often left untold or subject to erasure. The exhibition at the VISA Gallery and Exhibition Space (above) will showcase some of the material presented in the lecture.

    Wednesday, January 31, 2018
    Time: 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. Preceded by a reception for the exhibition at the VISA Gallery and Exhibition Space.
    Location: Marilyn I. Walker Theatre, Brock University (second floor, above the VISA Gallery)
    This is a free community event, but tickets are required and are available at wcl-bell-sloman-crooks.eventbrite.com

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    Categories: Announcements, Events, Exhibitions, News

  • Speaker provides chilling reminder of Canadian slave history

    Charmaine Nelson, far right, spoke on Colonial Print Culture and the Limits of Enslaved Resistance on Oct. 19 as part of the Walker Cultural Leader Series. She is pictured here with Department of Visual Arts Professors and event organizers, pictured from left, Keri Cronin, Linda Steer and Amy Friend.

    (Source: The Brock News, Thursday, October 26, 2017 | by: Alison Innes)

    Charmaine Nelson worked to paint a picture for the audience, one that detailed the experiences of Canadian slaves and the horrors they endured throughout history.

    The renowned scholar, known for her groundbreaking contributions in the fields of black Canadian studies, visual culture of slavery, and race and representation, delivered the first 2017-18 public lecture of Brock’s Walker Cultural Leader Series on Oct. 19.

    Her address drew more than 150 people who gathered at the FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in downtown St. Catharines to listen to her presentation, Colonial Print Culture and the Limits of Enslaved Resistance: Examining the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth-Century Fugitive Slave Archive in Canada and Jamaica.

    A professor of Art History at McGill University, Nelson has published seven books and held a number of prestigious research chairs across North America. She is currently the William Lyon Mackenzie King Visiting Professor of Canadian Studies at Harvard University for 2017-18.

    As the first and currently only black professor within the discipline of Art History at a Canadian university, Nelson, through her website, is an advocate for the field of Black Canadian Studies.

    Her latest research, which she shared in her talk, attempts to understand the black experience in Canada by examining fugitive slave advertisements for details about the process of creolization in slave minority (temperate) and slave majority (tropical) locations in the British Empire.

    Nelson explained how she reconceptualizes fugitive slave ads — once produced by slave owners seeking to recapture their runaways — as portraits of enslaved people. The ads can provide information on a group of people who often leave no record of their own, she said.

    These portraits, however, are imperfect, since the subject is an unwilling participant and the depiction is written by the white slave owner. In addition, only slaves considered sufficiently valuable were pursued through advertising.

    Fugitive slave ads provided detailed racialized descriptions of enslaved people, including complexion, hairstyle, clothing, language, accents and bodily marks. In some cases, the ads offered rewards for the recapture of a fugitive slave, encouraging white participation in the criminalization of fugitive slaves.

    While the ads provide a portrait of enslaved people, they are also a lop-sided truth, Nelson explained. Some owners maligned fugitives with sweeping generalizations about their character, while others detailed specific crimes the enslaved person was alleged to have committed. Such descriptions helped associate blackness with slavery and criminality.

    Nelson draws on a variety of archival sources in her research to flesh out these portraits, tracing fugitive slave stories through estate ledgers, bills of sale, poll tax records and workhouse and jail ledgers.

    Nelson’s talk also explored the link between print and slave culture. Printed newspaper ads in the 18th and 19th century permitted white slave owners to assert their ownership over long distances.

    Although printers facilitated slavery by asserting rights of white people to own slaves, the abolitionist movement eventually used the same fugitive slave ads, with their references to injuries, scars and branding, to show the horror of slavery.

    As Nelson pointed out, many Canadians are unaware of Canada’s history of enslaving black and indigenous peoples.

    “Slavery is not a black history,” she explained, “but a multi-racial, transatlantic history. Who were the slave owners, the ships’ captains, the printers, the jailers?”

    The narrative of the Underground Railway, which Canadians eagerly embrace, spanned a period of about only 30 years, Nelson explained. She went on to challenge listeners to consider why the preceding two centuries of slavery in Canada have been erased from history.

    In concluding her talk, Nelson encouraged the audience to change the lens through which they see history. The opportunities in the field of Canadian slavery history are immense, she said, while directing her words to students. Since so few people are studying the black Canadian experience, there are many contributions to be made.

    The talk is part of the 2017-18 Walker Cultural Leaders Series, organized by Professors Keri Cronin, Linda Steer and Amy Friend the Department of Visual Arts and funded by the generous legacy of Marilyn I. Walker.

    The author, Alison Innes, has assembled her live tweets about the lecture at Storify.

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  • Celebrated scholar Dr. Charmaine A. Nelson visits Brock University

    Walker Cultural Leader Series and Canada 150 present:

    Colonial Print Culture and the Limits of Enslaved Resistance: Examining the Late Eighteenth and Early Nineteenth-Century Fugitive Slave Archive in Canada and Jamaica, 

    a public lecture, reception and book signing by Dr. Charmaine Nelson

    Dr. Charmaine Nelson is a Professor of Art History at McGill University. Her current research project juxtaposes fugitive slave advertisements, portraiture, and genre studies from Nova Scotia, Quebec, and Jamaica, to examine differences in the visual dimensions of creolization between slave minority and slave majority sites of the British Atlantic world. In 2016, she was named as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists. Most recently, Nelson has been appointed the William Lyon Mackenzie King Visiting Professor of Canadian Studies at Harvard University for the 2017 – 2018 academic year. Dr. Nelson will present her research in a public lecture as a part of Visual Arts’ Walker Cultural Leader Series programming.

    The lecture abstract and presenter’s bio is available at Eventbrite.

    See the article in the Brock News.

    Thursday October 19, 2017

    Lecture Time: 7:00 pm.

    Note: The lecture will be followed by a reception and book signing at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

    Location: The FilmHouse, FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre, 250 St. Paul Street, St. Catharines

    This is a free community event. Reserve your seat with tickets available at Eventbrite.

    Groups are welcome! Contact Professor Linda Steer lsteer@brocku.ca for orders of more than 10 tickets.

    The event is presented by the Department of Visual Arts for the Walker Cultural Leader Series, generously founded by Marilyn I. Walker.

    The Walker Cultural Leader series brings leading artists, performers, practitioners and academics to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts at Brock University. Engaging, lively and erudite, these sessions celebrate professional achievement, artistic endeavour and the indelible role of culture in our society. Please join us. This education program is generously founded by Marilyn I. Walker.

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  • In Light and Darkness: A Camera Obscura Project with Artist Liz Sales and Brock Visual Arts Students

    November 22 – December 9, 2016
    Artist Talk: Thursday, November 24, 2016, 6 – 7 pm, Foundation Studio (MW 151)
    Opening Reception: Thursday, November 24, 2016 from 7 – 9 pm

    Location: Art Gallery, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts,
    15 Artists’ Common, St. Catharines, ON
    Art Gallery Hours: Tuesday – Saturday 1 – 5 pm
    Free community event!

    The Walker Cultural Leader Series presents work by Brock University Visual Arts students in response to workshops with New York artist Liz Sales, from the International Center for Photography. Also featured are photographs from Liz Sales’ Camera Obscura series, The Weather Inside. Students worked alongside Liz Sales to construct a Camera Obscura for the production of their work on the grounds of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

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  • Visual Arts students build camera obscura at Walker School

    (Source: The Brock NewsWednesday, November 23, 2016 | by Alison Innes. Photo caption: Brock Visual Arts students work to build a camera obscura in front of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.)

    Constructing a large outdoor camera has given Brock Visual Arts students a freeze frame of photography techniques of the past.

    As part of the Walker Cultural Leader Series, 40 students from Prof. Amy Friend’s Camera and Darkroom Process Photography course and Candace Bodanski’s Baroque Art and Architecture course worked to build a three metre by three metre camera obscura in front of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts in downtown St. Catharines

    The camera obscura gave students an opportunity to experience an early form of photograph making.

    “Their interactions with the structure coerced new methodologies and much trial and error to achieve a successful photograph,” Friend says.

    After working with New York artist Liz Sales and Friend to build the camera, the students used it for about a month to produce photographs.

    The result is a new exhibit at the downtown Brock opening Thursday, Nov. 24.

    The term camera obscura was coined in the early 17th century and means “a darkened room.” The device works on similar principles to a pinhole camera. A dark room or tent with a small hole in one side allows light to pass into the darkened space and create an image of an object. This image can be captured on photographic paper or by drawing.

    Making the structure light-tight was a challenge, requiring students to hand stitch the black-out material directly onto the structure so wind couldn’t lift the fabric and allow light to leak in and interfere with the exposure of the silver gelatin paper during production.

    Friend said that she witnessed some hesitancy with the new structure at first, as it disrupts modern understanding of what a photographic capture is.

    “As a practitioner,” she said, “I love that reaching into the vaults of history reveals new ways of seeing and thinking. Students pushed their experiments with impressive results.”

    Other Brock Visual Arts classes also interacted with the camera obscura while two high school classes visited the project and attended a workshop with Sales and Friend in which they engaged with the camera and darkroom facilities to produce photographs.

    In Light and Darkness: A Camera Obscura Project with Artist Liz Sales and Brock Visual Arts Students runs until Dec. 9 in the MIWSFPA Art Gallery, and also features work from Sales’ own camera obscura series The Weather Inside. An opening reception and artist talk by Sales will be held Thursday, Nov. 24 from 6-7 p.m. in MW151 at the downtown campus.

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  • Brock students team with NY photographer

    (Source: St. Catharines Standard, Monday, November 21, 2016 | by John Law. Photo caption: An image from photographer Liz Sales’ series The Weather Inside. CREDIT: Liz Sales / Submitted)

    New York photographer Liz Sales will team with Brock University Visual Arts students for a camera project opening Nov. 22.

    In Light and Darkness will spotlight the results of a ‘camera obscura’ collaboration on the grounds of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts in downtown St. Catharines.

    Prior to an opening reception Nov. 24, Sales will host an artist’s talk at 6 p.m. in the school’s Foundation Studio (MW 151).

    “(Liz) has a knowledge base that’s quite extensive,” says Department of Visual Arts assistant professor Amy Friend. “And she’s quite adventurous. She doesn’t have a traditional set of what is expected, and I thought that would be really useful for the students.”

    Sales currently teaches at the International Center of Photography. Her work focuses on the relationship between perception and technology, and is seen in several photo-based magazines.

    Friend was already familiar with Sales’ work when the photographer contacted her two years ago for a magazine interview. She knew her unpredictable style and methods were ideal for Brock’s visual arts students.

    “She’s definitely an experimenter, which was really important to bringing her to work with the students. She has a background in motion picture cameras, and also builds her own cameras by hand to shoot her photographs.”

    In addition to student work, the show will feature selections from Sales’ camera obscura series The Weather Inside.

    Camera obscura is the optical result of an image projected through a small hole, seen as reversed and inverted.

    Friend says the students built a ten-by-ten foot tent with blackout material as an exterior darkroom for the project. It’s located directly in front of the Marilyn I. Walker school.

    “There’s quirks whenever you’re building something new in a different place, so it teaches them not only about the construction and function of the camera, but also the learning that happens along the way for everyone.”

    jlaw@postmedia.com

    • WHO: Liz Sales and Brock Visual Arts Students
    • WHAT: In Light and Darkness
    • WHEN: Nov. 22 to Dec. 9
    • WHERE: Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts; 15 Artists’ Common; St. Catharines

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  • Camera Obscura Project hits Marilyn I. Walker School – In Light and Darkness on display Nov. 22-Dec. 9

    (Source: Niagara This Week, Wednesday, November 16, 2016)

    ST. CATHARINES — What happens when Brock University visual arts students work alongside a celebrated New York photographer? A special collaborative gallery show.

    In Light and Darkness: A Camera Obscura Project will hang at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ art gallery from Nov. 22 to Dec. 9, featuring the work of Brock’s visual arts students along with photos from Liz Sales’ camera obscura series The Weather Inside. Camera Obscura, sometimes referred to as a pinhole image, is a natural optical phenomenon that occurs when light from an external scene passes through a device – usually a box – and strikes a surface inside, reproducing the scene inverted and reverse while preserving the colour and perspective.

    As part of the Walker Cultural Leader Series, students from Brock participated in a workshop with Sales, a New York artist from the International Centre for Photography. The students worked with Sales to construct a camera obscura for the production of their work on the grounds of the downtown performing arts school. The work being displayed as part of the series is the students’ response to those workshops. An artist talk is taking place Nov. 24 from 6-7 p.m. in Foundation Studio at the school, with the opening reception to follow from 7-9 p.m. The art gallery is located at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts at 15 Artists’ Common. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday, 1-5 p.m.

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  • Brock instructor’s work one of Time’s top 10 magazine covers of the year

    (Source: The Brock NewsThursday, December 10, 2015 | by )

    Time Magazine has recognized the photographic work of Brock University visual arts instructor Amy Friend. A photograph created by Friend for the cover of The California Sunday Magazine’s April 5 edition is one of Time’s Top 10 covers of the year.

    “Our selection of the top 10 covers of 2015 displays an exquisite use of photography,” writes Kira Pollack in Time’s online article announcing the best covers. “With this unranked selection, we’ve witnessed that the cover still holds the power to be iconic and, at the very least, move and delight us.”

    Other covers on the list include the Vanity Fair image of Caitlyn Jenner shot by famous photographer Annie Leibovitz, New York Magazine’s issue featuring black and white images of 35 women who claim to be victims of Bill Cosby and a Harper’s Bazaar photo of singer Rihanna in the mouth of a shark.

    Friend said she is thrilled her work is included in a collection of so many amazing images.

    “It gives a boost to the aspects I really believe in regarding photography and its ability to reach a certain and specific sentiment with people,” she said. “When you are struck by an image, it remains with you.”

    As a fine arts photographer, Friend works with light.

    In her photographic series Dare alla Luce, she uses light to re-make vintage photographs.

    “We loved the work of Canadian artist Amy Friend, specifically her series Dare alla Luce, in which she manipulates archival photographs with a needle and then projects light through the images,” said the magazine’s creative director Leo Jung.

    More and more, artists are being approached to work with mainstream media.

    The California Sunday Magazine cover is inspired by that series and shows the silhouette of a woman with spots of light shining through, giving it a poignant quality. John von Pamer took the picture of the woman and Friend applied her technique on it and then re-photographed it. It goes with the story Death, Re-Designed.

    “The resulting image has an otherworldly, ethereal quality – a perfect metaphor for this story,” said Jacqueline Bates, photography director.

    Friend said it’s not unusual for artists to work in editorial realms.

    “More and more, artists are being approached to work with mainstream media,” she said, noting that’s opening even more doors for her students at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts.

    “There’s fertile ground between the fine arts stream and with editorial based work,” she said.

    Friend said Brock visual arts students are exposed to both digital and analogue photography thanks to the MIWSFPA’s brand new darkroom.

    “It’s what really sets us apart from many other universities, which are mainly concentrating on digital,” she said.

    As a photographer, she knows the value of a well-rounded education in the art form.

    “Every time a student develops a photo in the darkroom, it’s a completely magical experience,” she said.

    In her photography, Friend said she concentrates on elements of history, time, memory and impermanence.

    “Despite photography’s traditional connection with the real, I am less concerned with capturing a ‘concrete’ reality, and instead aim to use and explore photography as a medium yet focus on what lies beyond its immediate visual representations,” she said.

    In much of her work, Friend uses found images and vintage pictures.

    Dare Alla Luce has been published in book form by photolucida.org and one of the images featured hangs in the new FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre in St. Catharines.

    Friend’s recent work will be on display at Rodman Hall from Jan. 29-May 1 in a show called Assorted Boxes of Ordinary Life, curated by Marcie Bronson.

    An opening reception will be held Jan. 28 at 7 p.m.

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  • Art is in the City

    MEDIA RELEASE
    R00125
    2 September 2015
    Brock University — Communications & Public Affairs

    Art is in the City

    As Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts opens a new era in its new urban setting, it is launching a performance series to celebrate the bond between the community and the new arts centre of excellence in downtown St. Catharines.

    The series Imagining the City – part of the Walker Cultural Leaders Program, 2015/16 – consists of performances, exhibitions, concerts and conferences, all themed around ideas of the urban, and the relationship between the City and the University.

    “Our goal is to invite the community to engage with us in a series of celebratory events, 40 or more, that run the course of the academic year,” said Derek Knight, MIWSFPA Director. “Formal or improvised, these activities will take place in our dynamic new building and in venues across the City, from the café to the concert hall, the theatre to the gallery, the outdoor environs to the street itself. What a wonderfully immersive way to bridge between our communities and to strengthen our ties.”

    Knight said events will build on the creativity and vision of faculty, students and the professional talents of many sister organizations and collaborators. “The idea that the city is a crucible for creative interaction and collective reflection, is a powerful concept and demonstration of the arts at their most compelling,” he said.

    The series will be dynamic and original and appeal to a variety of people, whether they are fans of theatre, musical performances, exhibitions or discussions.

    Imagining the City will bring Brock, the downtown and the greater Niagara community face-to-face with leading arts professionals and educators, with events occurring at the MIWSFPA, Rodman Hall, and venues within the developing creative arts hub of St. Paul Street.

    “At this crucial moment in the revival of our downtown the vitality of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts is manifest in programs such as the Walker Cultural Leader Series,” Knight said.

    The series will consist of more than 40 wide-ranging events, including:

    • performances of First Nations writer Marvin Francis’ epic poem City Treaty, adapted for the St. Catharines setting (September);
    • a Guitar Extravaganza concert featuring faculty, alumni and aficionados of the classical guitar in the local community (November);
    • Confluence, a walking project and virtual reconstruction by acclaimed artist Elizabeth Chitty offering the student community and public an opportunity to explore the environs beyond our new building (January);
    • a collaboration between the Shaw Festival and the Department of Dramatic Arts on a staged reading of George Bernard Shaw’s play Major Barbara, entitled Major Barbara/Major Predictions(February);
    • a concert by the Department of Music’s Wind Ensemble in St. Catharines’ Market Square (March).

    The full program can be found here. Stay connected on social media by following @miwsfpa and #itc.

    All events for Imagining the City are free, and open to the public (the only exception being Poor by Essential Collective Theatre, co-presented by FirstOntario Performing Arts Centre with production assistance by DART).

    For more information or to arrange interviews: Marie Balsom, Communications Coordinator, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, Brock University mbalsom@brocku.ca, 905.688.5550 x4765

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