Past

2017

Morehshin Allahyari, Jaime Angelopoulos, Christi Belcourt, Katherine Boyer, Karin Bubaš, Andrea Carlson, Ying-Yueh Chuang, Alex Cu Unjieng, Raphaëlle de Groot, Abigail DeVille, Soheila Esfahani, Ran Hwang, Sarah Anne Johnson, Felice Koenig, Deirdre Logue, Rachel Ludlow, Jodie Mack, Amy Malbeuf, Sanaz Mazinani, Meryl McMaster, Tricia Middleton, Allyson Mitchell, Dominique Rey, Winnie Truong, Marie Watt

Curated by Blair Fornwald, Jennifer Matotek and Wendy Peart
Organized by Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina Public Library

September 14 to December 30, 2017

Material Girls is about women taking up space. This large-scale group exhibition brings together Canadian and international emerging, mid-career, and senior female artists from across artistic disciplines and cultural backgrounds. Uniting these works is an exploration of material process and notions of excess as they relate to the feminized body, gendered space, and capitalist desire. Sumptuous, decorative, and visually overwhelming, the exhibition space becomes a horror vacui, a jubilant and visceral counterpoint to the standard conventions of the austere white cube.

Material Girls is supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Saskatchewan Arts Board, SaskCulture and Saskatchewan Lotteries. Exhibition tour is supported by Culture on the Go.

Image: Karin Bubaš, Ice Covered Marsh and Neapolitan Clouds, 2011, archival pigment print. Collection of Monte Clark Gallery.

November 17 to December 30, 2017

In a series of workshops local female secondary students experienced the exhibition Material Girls engaging in discussion, reflection and art creation.  They explored visual art materials using works from the exhibition as the basis for creation within a theme of taking up space and the feminized body…considering the question: What does taking up space mean and how does that relate to your personal experience?

Participants:
Eden Secondary School | Artists: Hannah, and Avory | Teacher Mr. Azzopardi

Holy Cross Catholic Secondary School | Artists: Courtneigh, Katie, and Meghan | Teacher: Ms. Chevalier

Laura Secord Secondary School | Artists: Abigail , Emma, and Grania | Teachers: Ms. Wilcox & Ms. Wehr

St. Francis Catholic Secondary School | Artists: Jordan, Aiva, Vanessa, and Chloe | Teacher: Ms. Lambert

Presented in partnership with YWCA Niagara with the support of Dr. Peter Vietgen and Elizabeth Chitty. Facilitated by Educators Kristen Neudorf, Lauren Regier, and Michelle Nicholls.

John Noestheden, Reinhard Reitzenstein, Gayle Young

Curated by Marcie Bronson

May 27 to August 20, 2017

An afterimage is a sensation, usually visual, that remains after the external stimulus has ceased. Looking to the land and the cosmos, the three artists in this exhibition explore perception and what resonates beyond experience, be it in fleeting moments in nature, the lifespan of a tree, or the timeline of the universe.

John Noestheden creates monochromatic paint objects by layering coats of acrylic paint mixed with what he describes as stardust: ground meteorite, lunar dust, ash, urban particulate, and pure elements such as carborundum and diamond dust. The objects’ richly-textured surfaces suggest agricultural seedbeds and constellations, and with intense viewing, the pure hues imprint themselves on our retinas, revealing complementary colours that slowly fade.

Written in response to Noestheden’s paintings, composer Gayle Young’s audio installation draws on the ambient sounds of an ecosystem on the Niagara Escarpment where old-growth cedars in a spring rainfall combine with sounds of the highway and the river below. From recordings made in this environment Young extracts layers of pitch that characterize voice sounds, revealing a breath-like exchange between the human body and the world we inhabit.

Reinhard Reitzenstein observes and chronicles trees under siege. Displaced by architecture and manufacturing, they adapt to changing and extreme environmental conditions, supported by mutual relationships within their ecological communities. A form of remembrance that asserts the presence and vitality of tree species that populate our local region and continent, his sculptures and drawings give power to a life form that is integral to our own.

In the natural world, the artists find allegories and questions about who and what we are. Scrutinizing and interpreting their subjects through processes that are at once labour-intensive and playful, they are like alchemists paring down the vastness of human experience through works that reveal the interconnectedness of our being and our surroundings.

The artists and curator thank Sharilyn J. Ingram for her role in the development of this exhibition.

Image: John Noestheden, Artefact Echoes (detail), 2016, Swarovski crystals, acrylic, glue on Arches.

June 3 to 24, 2017

The Soaring Eagles Indigenous Secondary School Program of the Niagara Catholic District Board, strives to provide an alternative learning environment, which focuses on the inclusiveness of cultural knowledge and teachings into the curriculum to help support Aboriginal students and to also provide education and awareness to non-Aboriginal students. After a critical analysis of the Calls to Action laid out in the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada Report of 2015, students in the Soaring Eagles Program embraced the visual arts as a tool for reflection and understanding as to what these Calls mean to them as Aboriginal youth and their peers, in 2017, the 150th year after Confederation. Voices of Eagles is the result.

This project has been coordinated with assistance from Kelsey Dick, Educator, and Sherry Emmerson, Native Resource Coordinator, at the Soaring Eagles Indigenous Secondary School Program.

Presented in partnership with Dr. Peter Vietgen, Associate Professor of Visual Arts, Faculty of Education, Brock University, and the students and staff from the Soaring Eagles Indigenous Secondary School Program, NCDSB, Thorold, Ontario.

Amber Brown, Becca Marshall, Kylie Mitchell, Robin Nisbet, Jasmine Said, Taylor Umer

March 25 to April 30, 2017

This exhibition displays the work of selected graduating Brock University Visual Arts students. Occupying Rodman Hall’s third floor studios during the academic year, students in the Honours Studio course are mentored by gallery staff and professors Murray Kropf and Shawn Serfas, and learn to develop a focused body of work from concept to public exhibition.

Such exhibits from the Department of Visual Arts are a key part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate to build connections between the community and the breadth of talent and creativity at Brock University.

Image: Kylie Mitchell, bracelets, 2017, video still.

Curated by Marcie Bronson

February 11 to April 30, 2017

Donna Akrey is interested in how habit shapes the way we experience and engage with the world around us. Rooted in her astute observation of patterns of communication and consumption, her work humorously intervenes to raise discussion about social and environmental issues, often responding directly to a particular site or community. Using common, surplus, and discarded materials to construct sculptures and installations that she describes as “ruminations on the spectacle of the unspectacular”, Akrey draws attention to the futility of the notion of “the ultimate” and the richness in the space between intention and result. Akrey explains: “I imagine the absurd as real, because sometimes the real is so absurd.” Alongside selected works from the last 15 years of her practice, this exhibition presents a site-specific outdoor installation created in collaboration with neighbourhood residents.

Donna Akrey, Middle Ground, 2016, mirror, wood, foam, casters.

Curated by Nancy Tousley and Peter White
Organized and circulated by the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie, Grande Prairie, Alberta

January 28 to March 12, 2017

A Sublime Vernacular offers the first overview of the extraordinary career of Levine Flexhaug (1918-1974), an itinerant painter who sold thousands of variations of essentially the same landscape painting in national parks, resorts, department stores and bars across western Canada from the late 1930s through the early 1960s. Whatever its variation, a Flexhaug image represents a Western icon, a silent unspoiled Eden that encapsulates the conventions of sublime landscape painting in a kind of painter’s shorthand, and offers a point of entry for consideration of significant critical questions ranging from issues of taste, originality versus repetition in art, the appeal of landscape and its iconography.

Image: Levine Flexhaug, Untitled (Mountain lake with deer), nd. Collection of Wayne Morgan and Sharilyn J. Ingram, Grimsby, Ontario.

2016

Curated by Stuart Reid

September 17 to December 31, 2016

Houses and Whispers, a survey of recent video work by Gunilla Josephson, acknowledges the subtle energies, quiet voices of residual, intermural memories. The assemblage of multi-channel video installations, distributed through the many rooms and parlours of historic Rodman Hall, infuses the old house with flickering presence. Taking on the narrative arc of a grand voyage, many of the works chart a passage through the fleeting, at times abstract, glimpses of life as a sequence of operatic moments, at once universal and intimately personal. Houses and Whispers marks a departure of sorts in Josephson’s practice—a move away from a linear filmic narrative towards sustained video portraiture as a means of suspending time for contemplative viewing. The artist writes: “The face, isolated and observed closely over time, with all its minute variations, greater emotional repertoire and its exposed naked presence, becomes a drama in itself. Truth and fiction collapse into each other.”

Image: Gunilla Josephson, Mommy’s Crystal Tears, 2011, multichannel video installation.

Curated by Stuart Reid

May 7 to August 28, 2016

This exhibition traces an almost 100-year history of Canadian artists painting the landscape as their primary subject matter. The luminaries of Canadian art history including members of the Group of Seven and their contemporaries are represented. From Newfoundland to British Columbia, the show surveys a broad sweep of Canadian scenes rendered in oils and watercolours. The title of the show is borrowed from A. Y. Jackson’s autobiography of the same name, in which he describes the early years being a member of the Group of Seven during an awakening of nationalism. Those painters were determined to forge a distinctive style of painting particular to Canada, its rugged terrain, and wilderness. The exhibition looks at the predominant mode of depicting the land from an omniscient vantage point, of asserting governance over the vast domain, unifying a national perspective, and vision.

Image: Doris McCarthy, Mal Bay with Fish Racks, 1954, watercolour. Collection of Rodman Hall Art Centre, gift of Lynne Wynick and David Tuck, 2015.

Michael Belmore, Hannah Claus, Patricia Deadman, Vanessa Dion Fletcher, Keesic Douglas and Melissa General

Curated by Lisa Myers and Rachelle Dickenson

Organized and circulated by The Robert McLaughlin Gallery in collaboration with Museum London, Art Gallery of Peterborough and MacLaren Art Centre

May 21 to August 21, 2016

Reading the Talk brings together work by contemporary First Nations artists who critically examine relationships to land, region and territory. Through a variety of practices, including video, sculpture, installation and photography, artists Michael Belmore, Hannah Claus, Patricia Deadman, Vanessa Dion Fletcher, Keesic Douglas and Melissa General consider distinct indigenous perspectives on the history of treaties in the land now referred to as Canada. Inspired by the historical Dish with One Spoon Treaty, guest curators Rachelle Dickenson and Lisa Myers invited each artist to consider the effects of this specific treaty as well as the function of wampum beads as mnemonic devices used by leaders to “read the talk” of agreements between nations. Drawing from this rich history, Reading the Talk raises questions of land use and value, and elucidates the continuing role of both treaties and the wampum for Indigenous peoples. Reading the Talk is accompanied by a catalogue featuring essays by curators Dickenson and Myers.

Rachelle Dickenson (British/Irish/Cree Metis) is a curator, arts administrator and educator based in Ottawa. She currently works at the National Gallery of Canada as Curatorial Assistant in Indigenous Art and is a board member of the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective and SAW Gallery. Dickenson is a PhD candidate in Art History and Visual Culture at York University. Lisa Myers is of Anishnaabe ancestry from Beausoleil First Nation and the Georgian Bay region. She works as an independent curator and artist and has a MFA in Criticism and Curatorial practice from OCAD University. She has curated exhibitions for the Harbourfront Centre, Gallery 44 and the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto. She lives and works in Toronto and Port Severn, Ontario.

Image: Keesic Douglas, Trade Language (detail), 2013, photographs on fibre paper.

Curated by Marcie Bronson

Presented by the Alice Gooch Fund

June 4 to August 21, 2016

During the last twenty-five years, St. Catharines-based artist Elizabeth Chitty has explored ideas of place, frequently addressing issues of land ownership, governance, and treaties. In this exhibition, Chitty responds to the Two Row Wampum, the 1613 agreement between the Haudenosaunee and Europeans that outlines a commitment to friendship, peace between peoples, and living in parallel forever—as long as the grass is green, as long as the rivers flow downhill and as long as the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. An installation in the Project Space affirms these words, while on the gallery grounds, an artist’s garden of purple and white alyssum is planted in a representation of the Two Row, with a path of white stone forming the central row. At this time of reconciliation, Chitty reminds us that we are all treaty people, and invites each of us to walk in contemplation of our role in honoring the Two Row Wampum.

Image: Elizabeth Chitty, The Grass is Still Green, 2016, digital print.

Curated by Marcie Bronson and Stuart Reid

Fraser Brown, Elizabeth Hayden, Kaia Toop
March 26 to April 10, 2016

Sarah Bryans, Miranda Farrell, Jenn Judson, Jessica Wright
April 16 to May 1, 2016

Presented in two chapters, this exhibition displays the work of selected graduating Brock University Visual Arts students. Occupying Rodman Hall’s third floor studios during the academic year, students in the Honours Studio course are mentored by gallery staff and professors Shawn Serfas and Donna Szőke, and learn to develop a focused body of work from concept to public exhibition.

Such exhibits from the Department of Visual Arts are a key part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate to build connections between the community and the breadth of talent and creativity at Brock University.

Image: Jessica Wright, transparent stripes and neon stitches, 2016, acrylic and mixed media on resin

Curated by Marcie Bronson

January 29 to May 1, 2016

Inspired by a small found archive of personal photographs, documents, and objects, Amy Friend presents a new body of photo-based work that considers how identity comprises both fact and fiction. Composing images by overlaying fragments of the archive with anonymous secondhand photographs and her own original photographs, she infers narratives from the minimal details the remnants provide. Ambiguous and morphing, these composite images at once explore and confuse the history they reference, and Friend uses this to reflect on how we understand and interpret the people around us. When anomalous threads appear and begin to unravel the fabric of stories we think we know, we call into question what is accepted as truth. So little can say so much, and even greater is the unexplored mystery of the spaces between what is known.

Image: Amy Friend, Stargazing, 2015, archival pigment print

Curated by Stuart Reid

January 9 to March 20, 2016

Swirling, thrusting marks traverse complex surfaces in this new body of large-scale abstract paintings called the Inland Series by Shawn Serfas. The artist explores the toxic potential of oily black as it infuses the ground, almost extinguishing the incendiary bars of hot red and yellow that burn like a furnace in the bottom quadrant of several of the paintings. Manipulating the liquidity of paint, the artist creates wet layers and crackling surfaces that illustrate the alchemic properties of the material. Serfas addresses environmental issues in these works, the uneasy pollution of materials seeping into the unspoiled cells of pure colour. This world is in dramatic flux, churning and changing; each painting evidence of an arrested state of human-made unbalance.

Image: Shawn Serfas, Cay, Portrait of a Mark Series, 2015, acrylic on fabric/canvas.

2015

Curated by Stuart Reid

October 10, 2015 to January 17, 2016

Cloud is an assemblage of limited-edition prints and objects that explores relational meaning. Donna Szőke has created a collection of works that convey messages that are sometimes absurd, often humorous, never singular, but existing in relation to other parts of the whole. The materials chosen for the prints usually have an association with the text or message. For “Decoy”, the artist made a series of 3D-printed, trompe l’oeil Tim Horton’s doughnuts. The relationship between the doughnut and the hole, the original and the copy, the single and the baker’s dozen, may be confounding or irrational, but serves to point out how ideas are ephemeral structures.

Also from October 19 to November 28, 2015 at the VISA Gallery, Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, 15 Artists’ Common, visit Satelliteby Donna Szőke. Literally a satellite show of the exhibition Cloud, it presents digital drawings, single-channel video and media art works that speak to the ethereal regions of digital art practice. These digital artworks investigate the invisible, elided and mysterious.

Image: Donna Szőke, Decoy, 2015, acrylic paint on ABS plastic, ceramic plate

Curated by Stuart Reid in collaboration with Jennifer Matotek, Director/Curator, Dunlop Art Gallery, Regina, Saskatchewan

October 25, 2015 to January 3, 2016

This survey exhibition of recent work by Bill Burns deals with longing, particularly longing for success, for assistance, for recognition, for a different type of world. With tongue planted firmly in cheek, Burns makes overt pleas to art world celebrities, critiquing the politics of power that support them. The artist creates small-scale models of the world’s great museums with rooftop signs spelling out his request to curatorial luminaries. The pleas take the form of a litany: “priez pour nous”, “protect us”, “délivrez-nous”, “hear us.” Burns has met and worked with many of the curators he references through his expansive career in conceptual art in São Paulo, Toronto, London, and New York. In another nod to his powerful peers, the artist has created a series of small bobble-head likenesses that directly address notions of commodification within the contemporary art ecology.

Image: Bill Burns, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, 2014, plastic and stoneware. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid

Curated by Marcie Bronson

May 23 to September 27, 2015

Toronto-based artist Sarindar Dhaliwal was born in the Punjab, India and raised in London, England before moving to Canada in 1968. Working in a range of media that includes installation, video, photography, and drawing, she weaves compelling narratives that explore issues of culture, migration, and identity. Rooted in memories and dreams, Dhaliwal’s work reflects on the dissonance of the immigrant experience, often addressing her childhood experience and perceptions of Eastern and Western customs. Drawing out the themes of personal identity and familial relationships that appear throughout her practice, this exhibition brings together monumental works from Dhaliwal’s oeuvre of the last twenty years, contextualizing her recent interdisciplinary body of work exploring the history and ongoing consequences of the 1947 partition of India. Addressing difficult personal and collective narratives in lush, visually-stunning works that employ vibrant colours and floral motifs, Dhaliwal’s thought-provoking work responds to colonial histories with a critical approach that maintains reverence for wonder and imagination so that, as Dhaliwal describes, she may return beauty to the world.

Image: Sarindar Dhaliwal, the cartographer’s mistake: the Radcliffe Line, 2012, Chromira print.

Curated by Marcie Bronson and Stuart Reid

Matt Caldwell, Ben Mosher, Kerri Oleskiw, Jillian Suta
March 28 to April 12, 2015

Bato Bazarov, Kate Mazi, Alexandra Muresan, Nancy Nigh
April 18 to May 3, 2015

Presented in two chapters, this exhibition displays the work of selected graduating Brock University Visual Arts students. Occupying Rodman Hall’s third floor studios during the academic year, students in the Honours Studio course are mentored by professors Duncan MacDonald and Shawn Serfas, learning how to develop a focused body of work from concept to public exhibition.

Such exhibits from the Department of Visual Arts are a key part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate in building connections between the community and the breadth of talent and creativity at Brock University.

The Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts is relocating in the summer of 2015 to its new, state-of-the-art teaching, production and performance facility in the heart of the City of St. Catharines.

Image: Kate Mazi, OPS (Objects of a purpless society) (detail), 2015, acrylic, ink, and fabric on canvas

Curated by Marcie Bronson

January 24 to May 10, 2015

In this exhibition, St. Catharines-based artist Carolyn Wren ruminates on mark-marking. Known for her large-scale drawings and relief prints that poetically conflate landscapes and the human form, Wren presents an ambitious new body of work that turns to a more personal territory in search of the sublime. In The Bible Project, she brings together the two grand narratives that have most significantly influenced her life and work by transcribing H. W. Janson’s well-known textbook, History of Art, between the lines of an oversized, early-nineteenth century three-volume Bible. The arduous task demands patience and discipline, and its repetitive nature is meditative and transcendent, akin to prayer. In this work and an associated series of woodblock prints, and drawings based on cursive writing exercises, the labour of the method becomes an art form in itself, and the final works are a record of the artist’s presence and the passage of time. Yet, that each is fundamentally about the creative process, rather than the end result, calls attention to the weight of history and tradition, and the significance of the unremarkable singular elements that comprise both.

Carolyn Wren, untitled (detail), 2013-15 , linocut on paper.

Curated by Marcie Bronson

January 17 to May 10, 2015

Maggie Groat’s interdisciplinary practice often challenges assumptions, standards, and routines to propose new ways of thinking. In this exhibition, she reflects on the shifting territory of Rodman Hall and the surrounding area by researching the geographic, natural, and art histories of the site. Treating the exhibition period as a self-directed residency, Groat will work on site, inserting her presence into the day-to-day and exerting her systems of classification on the existing order of the gallery. Working to integrate indigenous practices, she will cull objects from the grounds, permanent collection, archives, and offices for a series of temporary installations in the Project Space, bringing into focus things that have previously existed on the margins. Both playful and hopeful, Groat’s work insightfully addresses issues of power and displacement.

Image: Maggie Groat, Triangular Study Shelf (with glass for drinking the water of lake ontario, wire and copper dowsing rods, woven field bag, proposal for wildflower field, other found and assembled field tools) (detail), 2014, salvaged wood and hardware, tools made from salvaged materials, modified found objects. Photo: Jimmy Limit.

Associated Program:
No Reading After the Internet
Participatory discussion facilitated by cheyanne turions and Maggie Groat

No Reading After the Internet is a salon series dealing with cultural texts, which are read aloud by participants. No pre-reading or research is required. Instead, participants are invited to improvise an understanding of a text collectively. To participate in No Reading is to invoke an exuberant not-knowing.

No Reading takes its cues from artists; the texts are a means for interpreting an artist’s work, and an artist’s work is a way of understanding the text. As part of her exhibition Impermanent Collections, Temporary Occupations, and Other Gatherings, Maggie Groat will select texts from the Rodman Hall library, working with the material of the institution itself to engender a critical reflection on the shifting terrain of its existence.

cheyanne turions is an independent writer and curator, and the director of No Reading After the Internet (Toronto).

Curated by Stuart Reid

January 10 to March 22, 2015

This exhibition surveys the last eight years of drawings by London-based artist Kelly Wallace. The artist creates ornately wrought, large-scale, graphite drawings. There are two streams of imagery in terms of his subject matter: the beauty of the natural landscape and a fragmented world of the human-made in the midst of collapse and decay. In either series of drawings, the monumental images uncover the visual complexities of seemingly divergent scenes: a slow-moving river set against a dense forest or the visceral remains of man-made structures after a catastrophe. In his working method, the artist combines the laborious techniques of traditional drawing on paper and gessoed panels with a system of mark-making using a short straight line. This disintegration of minute detail into singular lines slows the viewer’s eye and allows precise representation and loose abstraction to exist in each drawing, simultaneously. Such visual ambiguity creates an atmospheric tension, alluding to the inherent contradictions of our contemporary world.

Image: Kelly Wallace, Spira Mira Bella (detail), 2012, lead, paper, panel. Photo by the artist.

2014

Curated by Marcie Bronson

Presented in collaboration with the Doris McCarthy Gallery at the University of Toronto Scarborough and the University of Waterloo Art Gallery

October 21, 2014 to January 18, 2015

relay is a survey of Lois Andison’s work that comprises three distinct exhibitions undertaken by curators at three university galleries. Each exhibition focuses on a particular aspect of Andison’s work during the last fifteen years, and taken together, they reveal the depth of her practice.

In the intimate domestic space of historic Rodman Hall, this exhibition presents Andison’s figurative kinetic sculptures, illustrating how body language is a potent form of communication. Using casts and pre-fabricated forms, Andison animates simple human gestures, like a wave or a nod, through intricate and labour-intensive mechanical systems. Each work engages the viewer in a relationship—or conversation—that draws attention to conditioned or prescribed behaviours. In so doing, Andison addresses issues of gender and power structures, skillfully mitigating their gravity with wry humour and references to popular culture. Calling to mind futuristic notions of hybrid beings, Andison’s works translate subtle actions that encompass complex layers of human experience, but paradoxically, can be replicated by a series of indifferent sensors, circuits, and relays. Alongside these sculptures, the exhibition premieres a new video work that furthers Andison’s exploration of the temporal and performative nature of the body in motion.

Doris McCarthy Gallery, University of Toronto Scarborough
Curated by Ann MacDonald
September 2 to November 8, 2014

University of Waterloo Art Gallery
Curated by Ivan Jurakic
September 11 to November 1, 2014

Image: Lois Andison, maid of the mist, 2001, bronze, misters, fans, custom electronics. Courtesy of the artist and Olga Korper Gallery. Photo: Isaac Applebaum.

Curated by Stuart Reid

October 14, 2014 to January 4, 2015

Brendan Fernandes, a Canadian artist of Kenyan and Indian descent, investigates the complexity of identity within an age of global migration, burgeoning diversity and the shifting politics of gender and sexuality via the notion of Queer. This exhibition encompasses three bodies of work that create an interdisciplinary conversation utilizing the artist’s talents as a dancer, choreographer, printmaker, filmmaker, and performer. In one video element, Fernandes uses a dialogue between two elephants, one Asian and the other African (a nod to his Indo/African roots), to explore the dynamics of a break up within a gay relationship, while also questioning post-colonial power struggles. The exhibition also includes a series of screen prints that play with imagery of elephants mirrored like Rorschach inkblots , and a live endurance performance based on Plato’s The Symposium that features two male dancers executing performative directions written by the artist. The title work, They, is a video environment that uses gesture and shadow to convey the erotic and sensual dance between the hunter and the hunted in a gay cruising area on Fire Island, New York.

This exhibition will be documented in a forthcoming exhibition catalogue co-published by The Varley Art Gallery of Markham, Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Rodman Hall Art Centre, Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, and Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver.

Image: Brendan Fernandes, Encomium I, II, III, 2013, performance, poster multiples, Plexiglas plinths, HD videos, floor vinyl. Dancers: Sky Fairchild-Waller, Robert Kingsbury. Courtesy of the Artist.

Nadine Bariteau, Raymond Boisjoly, Elizabeth Chitty, Soheila Esfahani, Gautam Garoo, Patrick Mahon, Colin Miner, Lucy + Jorge Orta, Gu Xiong

Curated by Stuart Reid

May 23 to September 28, 2014

Water is the elemental source of life and holds important cultural and spiritual significance for all peoples. Although access to fresh water is an essential human right, the resource has become a valuable global commodity. Our era, marked by rapid climate change, destructive hydro-climactic weather events, loss of polar ice and rising global sea levels, is witness to shifting shorelines, borders, migration patterns and lines of economic and cultural exchange. In this exhibition, artists from a multitude of cultural backgrounds working in a diversity of media consider changing concepts of water and associated cultural, political and aesthetic implications. The Source, in part, reunites participants from Immersion Emergencies and Possible Worlds, an artist research group that investigated water as culture and resource during two intensive residencies beginning in May 2012. The exhibition and associated programs coincide with Congress 2014 of the Humanities and Social Sciences at Brock University entitled “Borders without Boundaries”.

Image: Raymond Boisjoly, Jericho (where there will be other places after), 2014, screen resolution LightJet print mounted on Dibond.

Curated by Marcie Bronson

January 18 to May 4, 2014

Inspired by commercial photography practices and the design of industrial supply catalogues and weekly store flyers, Jimmy Limit builds and photographs simple constructions of hardware store goods, including tools, sporting goods, and housewares. Selecting his varied subjects for their aesthetic interest rather than function, Limit engages them from a strictly formal standpoint by stacking, balancing, and arranging them to establish interesting visual relationships that emphasize similarities or contrasts in colour, shape and texture. By taking common objects out of context, or altering their appearances through industrial techniques like powder coating and ceramic casting, Limit makes them seem strange and forces us to look at them in new ways. Treating the gallery like the experimental space of his studio, Limit presents a series of sculptural installations and photographs that explore the relationship between an object and its image, and consider how desire is created and sold.

Image: Jimmy Limit, Detail #2, 2014, vinyl photograph mounted on PVC. Courtesy of the artist and Clint Roenisch Gallery.

Julia Chamberlain, Holley Corfield, Emma German, Amy Hansen, Stacey Kinder, Monique Mol, and Lauren Regier.

March 22 to April 27, 2014

TRACE, the 2014 edition of the Brock University Visual Arts Honours Exhibition at Rodman Hall Art Centre, features artworks by seven graduating honours students from the Department of Visual Arts.

This exhibition is the culmination of eight months of work during which students have pursued the creation of a sustained body of artwork. Under the mentorship of professors Donna Szoke and Jean Bridge, students have each evolved individual creative approaches to the delicate complexities of memory, touch, presence and evidence.

The Department of Visual Arts partners with Rodman Hall to make it possible for graduating students to work in the studios at the gallery and engage directly with Curators Marcie Bronson and Stuart Reid and guest artists who exhibit at Rodman Hall throughout the year. In this stimulating environment, students are challenged to take their work from experimentation and making to professional-level production and exhibition. Students in the Honours Studio forge rigorous and impactful work within this unique context that enhances their future opportunities for graduate studies or professional creative practice with a strong portfolio.

Such exhibits from the Department of Visual Arts are key to the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate to connect the community with the breadth of talent and creativity at Brock University.

Curated by Marcie Bronson

December 7, 2013 – March 16, 2014

Drawing on conventions of abstract painting, Melanie Authier combines visual contrasts of colour, shape, texture and gesture to create a sense of deep, unfathomable space in her works. Known for her vivid use of colour, Authier’s improvisational approach typically begins with a set of parameters and a challenge: her starting point may be a colour she isn’t drawn to at that moment, or one she hasn’t previously used in a substantial way. In this new body of work, Authier goes against her predilection for strong colour by subduing her palette, inspired by the tradition of monochrome painting known as grisaille. Seemingly executed primarily in shades of grey, close looking reveals a broad range of hues in Authier’s deft handling of medium, which establishes a convincing, yet disorienting illusionism.

Melanie Authier, Basin, 2013, acrylic on canvas. Courtesy of the artist and Georgia Scherman Projects.

2013

Curated by Marcie Bronson

October 4, 2013 to January 5, 2014

Informed by her background in textile design, Joy Walker employs a range of methods and media to explore line, geometry, pattern and texture. Often beginning with a set of formal structures into which she introduces the element of chance as a creative tool, her practice is characterized by a series of small, simple actions that yield quietly monumental results. This exhibition pairs Walker’s tape installations and photographic prints of altered sheets of paper, two distinct bodies of work that are rooted in her interest in process and share an approach that bridges drawing and sculpture. Through subtle manipulation of common materials, Walker calls attention to the ephemeral and overlooked elements of everyday life.

Joy Walker, Untitled (Light Blue), 2011, archival pigment print. Courtesy of the artist and MKG127.

Curated by Marcie Bronson and Stuart Reid

September 28, 2013 to January 5, 2014

Coinciding with their independent solo exhibitions, Jeannie Thib and Joy Walker collaborate on an installation for the Rodman Hall Project Space that draws out their shared interest in geometry, decorative pattern, textiles and the history of design. Inspired by a book by Italian designer, artist and inventor Bruno Munari called The Discovery of the Circle (1964), Thib and Walker use the circle as a shared departure point for their individual works. As Munari’s text explores the recorded history of the circle and its fundamental role in art, architecture and design, through their project Thib and Walker add another incarnation to the encyclopedia of uses of the circle.

Jeannie Thib and Joy Walker, The Circle, 2013, archival pigment print. Courtesy of the artists.

Curated by Tila Kellman
Organized and circulated by Saint Mary’s University Art Gallery

September 21 to December 1, 2013

Ornamental motifs are distilled and reconfigured in Jeannie Thib: Hyperflat. Toronto artist Jeannie Thib borrows decorative patterns from textiles and domestic surfaces, reconstitutes them through operations of cutting and piling, and reinvents them with magnification, repetition and excision. Thib translates historical designs into contemporary industrial materials, and extends them into three dimensional, sculptural forms.

In Thib’s manipulation of ornament, Curator, Tila Kellman sees a critique of modernist, rectilinear space and our built environment. Kellman writes: “Thib begins her exploration by contesting the relationship between ornament and viewers. Ornamentation in our daily lives is usually small, adorning our furniture, dishes and clothes. Even most architectural ornament is small enough not to challenge the scale of our bodies (columns being an exception). Thib’s small architectural-like models gleam in wood, Plexiglas, steel, aluminum and marble. They have a jewel-like beauty augmented by their containment in vitrines that seduces viewers to wander visually through them and accept them as miniature worlds.”

Image: Jeannie Thib, Cube, 2012, polystyrene. Photo: Steve Farmer. Courtesy of the artist and Katzman Contemporary.

Curated by Stuart Reid

June 21 to September 8, 2013

Running concurrently with her outdoor sculpture installation called Settlement, Mary Anne Barkhouse responds to the ornately appointed parlours of historic Rodman Hall with a new exhibition called Regency. The definition of a “regent” is someone who stands in the place of the monarch. This is a potent concept in 2013, as Aboriginal people organize and demand discussion around treaty rights in the international Idle No More movement. Barkhouse calls many aspects of colonial privilege into question with new works that set the stage for a Victorian Tea in the galleries of Rodman Hall. Barkhouse eschews Victorian convention and invites the animals of the boreal forest to sup and take up a place at the table. Working with cast bronze, glass and ceramic figures, Barkhouse creates life-size replicas of flora and fauna that transform the traditional tea party into a respected conference of animal witnesses.

Curated by Stuart Reid

January 25 to September 8, 2013

Olia Mishchenko’s intricate drawings depict urban spaces existing on the topographic and historical ledge. Ravine World is based on an aggregate study of the current and historic conditions of ravines in the cities around the Golden Horseshoe. The drawings include high-rise buildings, ravine properties, parklands and civic points of interest, both real and utopian. This cumulative drawing project will imagine new uses for the ravine spaces of the city and will propose a post-utopian vision for a site where the man made and the natural intersect in a strange, delinquent balance.

Organized by the Denver Art Museum. Circulated by the School of Art Gallery, University of Manitoba, in collaboration with the artist and Yancey Richardson Gallery, New York.

May 25 to September 8, 2013

For more than fifteen years, Canadian-born artist, Laura Letinsky, has explored the possibilities of still life photography. The generally subdued colors of her work lend it an air of lightness and tranquility that is often at odds with the moldering produce and mass-produced remnants of daily life she orchestrates in her photographs. On close inspection, playful manipulations of balance, space, and scale reveal both her curiosity about human perception and her rigorous search for meaningful form.

While Letinsky’s earlier photographs evoke feelings of melancholy—often awakening a sense of absence or an awareness of time that has just passed—her recent work has focused on elaborate paper constructions that produce complex spatial and perceptual puzzles when photographed. Intrigued by the shifting relationship between ideas and their corresponding representations in visual art, she uses the time-honored genre of still life both to explore the way we see and to challenge our understanding of what we observe.

This major touring retrospective of Letinsky’s work has its first Canadian venue at Rodman Hall Art Centre. It will also tour to Carleton University Art Gallery, Ottawa and School of Art Gallery, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg

Curated by Marcie Bronson

January 19 to June 16, 2013

Known for his highly realistic miniatures that are at once familiar and strangely unsettling, Kevin Yates’s works possess a quiet, meditative quality, often likened to the pause of a film still. Responding to the historic character of Rodman Hall’s Hansen Gallery, Yates presents a major new sculptural work and a video produced in collaboration with his brother Robert Yates, an experimental filmmaker. Dream-like in their subversion of the expected, these works further Yates’s consideration of the uncanny, exploring domestic spaces as sites of memory, mystery, wonder, and fantasy.

TJ Charlton, Simon Parker, Joaquin Manay, Rebekah Steele

Curated by Stuart Reid and Marcie Bronson

April 20, to May 5, 2013

The second of two chapters, this exhibition displays the work of selected graduating Brock University Visual Arts students. Occupying Rodman Hall’s third floor studios during the academic year, students in the Honours Studio course are mentored by professors Duncan MacDonald and Donna Szőke, learning how to develop a focused body of work from concept to public exhibition.

Timothy Goertzen, Daniel Manchego-Badiola, Joel Therrien, Katie Zack

Curated by Stuart Reid and Marcie Bronson

March 30 to April 14, 2013

The first of two chapters, this exhibition displays the work of selected graduating Brock University Visual Arts students. Occupying Rodman Hall’s third floor studios during the academic year, students in the Honours Studio course are mentored by professors Duncan MacDonald and Donna Szőke, learning how to develop a focused body of work from concept to public exhibition.

Curated by Linda Jansma of the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa . The touring exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue including texts by Stuart Reid and Chris Gehman, produced in collaboration with Rodman Hall Art Centre; Thames Art Gallery, Chatham, Ontario; and The Reach, Abbotsford, British Columbia.

January 19 to March 24, 2013

Our modern world is one that is filled with screens. Computers, smart phones, digital advertisements; the world is now perceived through a rectangular frame. How does this experience augment our view of reality? Does it make the two worlds, the virtual, and the real, less separate than they once were? This exhibition is a response to some of those questions.

Simone Jones, a Toronto-based artist and professor at OCAD University, has been investigating the artistic application of robotics and technology for over two decades. An evolving practice, her work started with analog robots made from bits and pieces she could find at surplus stores and now includes CGI (Computer Generated Images) and video installation.

In All That Is Solid, Jones explores spatial contradictions; near and far, surface and depth, illusion and realism. Using photography, film, and CGI, Jones explores how we document, and how our perception of reality can shift through various applications of what we record. In the central work of the exhibition, four screens lean against the wall with images, both black and white and CGI, flowing one into the other. Jones, by conjoining images, is attempting to create a hybrid space—asking the viewer to focus their attention on the nature of the images themselves.

In a related work, Jones produces stereograms—images that allow us to see in three dimensions without the use of external visual aids. Alongside this, a video installation combines illusion and reality, and a dialogue is created between what is real and what is “fake”. However, for the viewer, just one single reality is the result.

Image: All That Is Solid, 2011, four-screen 3D animation with stereo sound, 12 minute loop, installation.

2012

Curated by Marcie Bronson

A city-wide celebration of the St. Catharines-born artist’s life and work
Presented by Rodman Hall Art Centre in collaboration with Niagara Artists Centre and CRAM International

Rodman Hall Art Centre
109 St. Paul Crescent | www.brocku.ca/rodman-hall
September 29 to December 30, 2012

 

Niagara Artists Centre
354 St. Paul Street | www.nac.org
September 29 to December 30, 2012

CRAM International
24 James Street, 2nd Floor | www.craminternational.ca
October 5 to 30, 2012

A pioneer of interdisciplinary practice in Canada, Dennis Tourbin produced a distinctive body of work integrating the written word with painting, drawing, video and performance. From the early 1970s until his death in 1998, Tourbin’s prescient work engaged with mass media, using mediated text and imagery in an exploration of language and meaning. Part documentarian and part storyteller, Tourbin employed the aesthetics of collage and a serial approach in the drawings and vivid paintings he called ‘visual poems.’ Tracing Tourbin’s practice from his first painting to his final print, this retrospective is the first comprehensive consideration of the artist’s oeuvre.

Anchored by Rodman Hall, the exhibition extends to Niagara Artists Centre and CRAM International in recognition of Tourbin’s contribution to the development of local artist-run culture. An illustrated catalogue featuring essays by Diana Nemiroff, Guy Lachapelle, Judith Parker, and Su Ditta will be published in Fall 2014.

Rodman Hall Art Centre is grateful for the financial support of the Ontario Arts Council. Niagara Artists Centre acknowledges the support of the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, the City of St. Catharines, and the Niagara Community Foundation. CRAM International is supported by the CRAM Collective, and Lisa Matheson and Frank Coy.

Born and raised in St. Catharines, Ontario, Dennis Tourbin (1946-1998) was a self-taught artist and writer. His work has been widely exhibited in solo and group exhibitions throughout Canada and in Europe, and is held in major Canadian institutions. He published numerous books of poetry and novels including The Port Dalhousie Stories (Coach House Press, 1987), a chronicle of growing up in St. Catharines in the 1960s. A fervent arts activist, Tourbin played a vital role in artist-run culture in Ontario and was a founding member of Niagara Artists’ Cooperative (now Niagara Artists Centre) in St. Catharines.

Image: Dennis Tourbin with painted paddle from The Writing of Painting of Martha, A One Act Play, 1975. © The Estate of Dennis Tourbin, CARCC, 2012.

Curated by Marcie Bronson

May 12 to September 16, 2012

Liss Platt’s work engages with experimental approaches to personal narrative, particularly as informed by growing up in the 1970s. Subverting nostalgic recollections of the era in video and photo-based works that take up the subjects of teenage experience, candies and Betty Crocker recipes, the exhibition ruminates on the often futile search for comfort in the midst of crisis. Like the act of coping itself, the rigid structure and routine within each work negotiates the space between order and chaos, with excess and overload constantly threatening to upset the balance.

Based in Hamilton, Ontario, Liss Platt is an Associate Professor in the Multimedia program at McMaster University. She holds an MFA from the University of California and a BFA from the University of Connecticut. A member of the Shake-n-Make Collective, she also plays ice hockey. Platt is represented by MKG 127 in Toronto.

Curated by Stuart Reid

May 5 to September 9, 2012

Canadian artist and illustrator Barbara Klunder is well known internationally for her bold graphic style, political messages and provocative imagery. In this exhibition called The Laura Secord Papercuts, Klunder turns her talents and deft hand at papercutting, to the task of illustrating the inspiring story of Canadian heroine Laura Secord, one of her familial ancestors. This summer, as the Niagara region commemorates the bicentennial of the War of 1812, Klunder’s exhibition prompts a fresh telling of this fascinating woman’s place in Canada’s history.

For over 35 years, Barbara Klunder has been an influential artist, graphic designer and illustrator that has made substantial contributions to visual culture in Canada. Born in Toronto in 1948, she went on to study at the Ontario College of Art and Design. She began her career as an illustrator and continued as a freelance illustrator/designer winning many awards over the years and designing two fonts.

Image: Barbara Klunder, Marathon Dress (detail), 2011, paper cut.

Curated by Marcie Bronson

January 20 to September 2, 2012

Best known for his work as DJ MACHINE, St. Catharines-based artist Marinko Jareb’s multidisciplinary practice was born out of producing thematic underground music events incorporating light, sound, video, and images. Throughout his diverse body of work, Jareb moves fluidly between media, continually reconfiguring the relationship between these elements. Informed by the aesthetics of graffiti and toy culture, his work is often quickly executed and characterized by reductive and highly energetic forms which are often layered and combined to create a sense of excess and joyous sensory overload. Playing with language, altering found texts and images, Jareb’s paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations are marked by a sense of cultural collision, in part inspired by his experience growing up as a Croatian-Canadian.

Taking over the gallery’s project space, Jareb constructs a miniature dance party beneath the forest floor, animated by sound and video mixes and inhabited by a variety of collectible artist toys, including some of his own design. On either side of this disco diorama, in which toys come to life to secretly revel deep in the natural world, he presents two focused streams of work also rooted in the concept of remixing: an interactive listening station featuring a selection of altered 7-inch records and a changing series of collage-based works produced throughout the duration of the installation.

Sarah Beattie, Danny Fast, Carrie Perreault

April 21 to May 6, 2012

This exhibition presents the work of three graduating Honours Visual Arts students, who each command and elicit different expectations from the viewer in distinctive ways. With his probing and witty observations, Danny Fast makes you think twice about your daily surroundings. Sarah Beattie reverts back to traditional methodology and reintroduces the power relations between the viewer and the artist, as she remains in charge. Carrie Perreault examines the correlation between the emotional realm and authority and redirects the approach. Under the guidance of Visiting Artist Donna Szöke and Assistant Professor Duncan MacDonald, each of these students grow in their own right and learn more about things both important and not.

Curated by Marcie Bronson

January 20 to April 29, 2012

Inspired by the stylized design of Japanese animation and graphic novels, and drawing on the tradition of ormolu, the 18th century French practice of gilding Chinese porcelains, Brendan Tang grafts brightly coloured robotic prosthetics onto an array of vessels that mimic Ming dynasty vases in his ongoing Manga Ormolu series. Tang’s highly refined mash-ups delve into the divide between the diverse worlds represented. Juxtaposing the fragility and preciousness of the slow and careful tradition of hand-painted and sculpted ceramics with durable, disposable, mass-produced synthetics of the current day, Tang’s sculptures reflect the evolving Western experience of the Orient and playfully consider the perpetual redrawing of national, cultural, and ethnic boundaries that accompany accelerated globalization in contemporary society.

Brendan Tang was born in Dublin, Ireland of Trinidadian parents of Chinese and Indian descent and is a naturalized citizen of Canada. He holds degrees from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, Halifax (BFA, 1998) and Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville (MFA, 2006). Recipient of the 2010 Winifred Shantz Award for Ceramics and a finalist for the 2010 Sobey Art Award, Tang has exhibited in many solo and group exhibitions in Canada and abroad, and has participated in numerous international residencies.

March 24 to April 15, 2012

This annual juried exhibition features artwork produced by students enrolled in the Department of Visual Arts at Brock University. A highlight of the academic year, the exhibition is open to students working in different media. The annual event is an opportunity for students to experience the jurying process, carried out this year by St. Catharines-based artist and Brock University alumnus Melanie MacDonald. The exhibition showcases the variety of approaches to art production underway at Brock. This year’s exhibition is organized by students in Brock University’s Curatorial Studies class under the supervision of instructor Dr. D. Antoncic.

Curated by Marcie Bronson

January 20 to March 11, 2012

Kent Monkman often appropriates the aesthetic of “New World” landscape painting, recreating picturesque and sublime backdrops of North American beauty against which scenes of European colonialism are played out as dramatic episodes of sex and violence between settlers and First Nations peoples. He has developed a body of work that subverts and diverts the established canon, using historical images that tell stories of European domination and the obliteration of North American indigenous cultures to challenge the accuracy of the narratives they represent.

This exhibition premieres Miss America, the first work of Monkman’s series The Four Continents, inspired by the work of Giambattista Tiepolo, whose mid-eighteenth century frescoes depict allegorical personifications of America, Africa, Asia and Europe. Drawing on emblems codified during the Renaissance, Tiepolo’s frescoes reflect historical Eurocentric attitudes, identifying America as a land of exotic natives and Europe as the seat of civilization and the arts. In Monkman’s Miss America, he conflates historical and contemporary cultural conflicts, punctuating the scene with icons of popular culture and symbols of wealth and mass consumption that often characterize much of the continent today. The accompanying preparatory studies and “atelier” installation reveal Monkman’s process. By inviting the audience into the artist’s space of creation and musing, Monkman encourages further questioning of definitive conclusions to our shared grand narrative.

Kent Monkman is a Canadian artist of Cree ancestry who works in a variety of media including painting, video, performance, and installation. He has shown in solo exhibitions across Canada and in various international group exhibitions. His work is represented in numerous public and private collections including the National Gallery of Canada, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and the National Museum of the American Indian.

January 20 to March 11, 2012

Since 1982, Canadian artist David Rokeby has focused on interactive works that engage the human body or involve artificial perception systems. The second in a series of works that explore patterns of movement over time, Plot Against Time #2 (Flurry), tracks individual snowflakes whirling in the complex turbulence created by the rigorous and minimal forms of Mies van der Rohe’s Toronto Dominion Centre skyscrapers and an Al McWilliams sculpture in the middle of the complex. From a vantage point within the sculpture, the camera captures falling snow against these stark structures. Processed to separate the snowflakes from the background, the video footage is then reworked to draw out and highlight the complex paths the individual flakes follow. Rokeby plays with a kind of temporal depth of field in which moving objects are in focus and things that are still are blurred, alternately revealing and concealing the trajectories of the snowflakes. The flakes sometimes apparently inscribe their paths, and at other times course through their future paths like blood cells through arteries. The chaos of these turbulent trails is in sharp contrast to the formal simplicity of the architecture and sculpture, but in fact, this complexity is largely a result of the encounter between the forms and the wind passing through them.

Plot Against Time #2 (Flurry) was purchased in 2010 with the generous assistance of the Hansen Family Fund.

2011

Curated by Shirley Madill, in collaboration with Musee d’art de Joliette

September 16 to December 30, 2011

Milutin Gubash has pursued a multidisciplinary practice revolving around video, photography and performance since 2002. This ten-year survey of work by Milutin Gubash includes a residency project with the Department of Dramatic Arts and the School of Fine and Performing Arts at Brock University. Beginning with the work titled, Re-Enacting Tragedies While My Parents Look On, the exhibition includes various works that focus on daily-life occurrences with historical and philosophical narratives. Gubash is interested in exploring how individuals and ideas can overwrite commonly held perceptions of landscape, politics and expectations of representation.

Special performance: Which Way to the Bastille?
Following the premier on September 15 the second of eight short performances by students of the Department of Dramatic Arts (DART) occurs September 23, 2011 after 12 noon. Tanisha Minson and Dylan Mawson, senior students in the DART program have collaborated with the artist and faculty of DART to create a brief interpretation of the text during the course of the exhibition. The performance will function as a dramatic evocation of the principal tenets of the artist’s and the curatorial program.

Performance are scheduled for:
Thursday, September 15, evening, at the opening reception.
Friday, September 23, 12 noon, last day of the artist’s residency
Thursday, September 29, 6:30 pm
Saturday, October 15, 2:30 pm
Sunday, November 6, 2:30 pm
Friday, November 18, 11:30 am
Saturday, December 3, 2:30 pm

Image: Milutin Gubash, The Hotel Tito, 2010. Lambda color print (24″ x 50″). Image courtesy of the artist.

Curated by Marcie Bronson

August 27 to December 30, 2011

Intentionally misleading in its more common association with rarefied aesthetics, the word “exquisite” is used here to express acute intensity. Exquisite takes its cue from tales of conflict and terror. The depictions of landscapes from a selection of war and horror films are presented in the window of the Hansen Gallery as a stream of imagery. Seemingly innocuous and aestheticized, the landscape shots in fact set the psychological stage within the films for fear, violence and mayhem. The original film soundtracks have been replaced with an intense sonic vibration.

Drawn directly on the other surfaces of the two rooms of the gallery is imagery that dialogues with the landscapes. Hair, dreadfully out of place, appears to sprout from the architecture of the rooms. In its predictable place, hair originates from the territory of the body. After death of the body, hair can last for centuries without decomposing. Here it takes on a role, like that of the landscapes, that is akin to a harbinger. It is a disturbance that portends disaster. Hair is manifested in this work as a monstrosity of unrest, turbulence and conflict. But this metaphysical freak of nature is also an active agent in the quest to locate equilibrium by threatening rational order.

Horror exceeds demarcated territories, national boundaries, ethnic and religious delineations. It dwells in the submerged history of the land and in the subconscious of people. It is the expression of our collective, internalized fear – fear of the unknown, fear of each other. It is the result of what humans inflict on one another.

Image: Millie Chen, Exquisite (detail), installation at Rodman Hall Art Centre.

Curated by Marcie Bronson

January 3, 2011 to January 1, 2012

For over thirty years, Micah Lexier has produced projects that illuminate the subtle actions and elements that pass unnoticed in our daily lives. Organization, classification, and measurement are at the heart of his practice, which often involves a guiding set of self-imposed constraints. In this one-year installation made for Rodman Hall, four objects are displayed in the gallery’s project space, which has been converted into a custom-built vitrine. Each Monday, one object is removed and replaced by another drawn from Lexier’s personal collection of everyday items, which includes stationery, the backs of things, printed and cut cardboard, books, games, puzzles, teaching tools, printed envelopes, scribbled notes, and various items found on the street. Following Lexier’s predetermined schedule of exchanges, the installation slowly evolves over the course of the year. The project concludes on the first Sunday of 2012 with a display that is one move away from the first, creating a complete loop that brings the project back to its beginning.

Image: Micah Lexier, A Week At A Glance, 2011-2012, mixed media

Curated by Ryan Doherty
Organized by Southern Alberta Art Gallery in partnership with the Robert McLaughlin Gallery and Rodman Hall Art Centre

May 28 to August 28, 2011

The work of Samuel Roy-Bois resists easy categorization, freely mixing drawing, painting, sculpture, performance, music, architecture and literature to create large-scale installations at once cool, complex and mysteriously affective. In this new body of work, Roy-Bois invites the viewer on an odyssey through corridors of murky darkness punctuated by moments of discovery, reverie and radiance. The experience seems to conflate exterior and interior space, both physically and metaphysically, to arrive at a passage through darkness itself, darkness as prima materia. It is more than negative space, more than a void – it is anything and everything. Pulled through this space, the viewer encounters rooms inhabited by, or perhaps haunted by, enigmatic objects; scenes that feel as much a manifestation of a latent memory as the trace of something dark and violent, yet utterly seductive.

Image: Samuel Roy-Bois, Golden Slumbers, 2009, mixed media. Photo credit: David M.C. Miller

Curated by Lesley Johnstone
Organized by the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal in partnership with Rodman Hall Art Centre

May 7 to August 14, 2011

Known primarily for her hybrid felt and wool sculptures, Luanne Martineau belongs to a generation of artists who use traditional craft techniques and materials to produce critically engaged and formally astonishing artworks. Martineau’s labour-intensive felt sculptures, virtually impossible to describe in all their visual and physical complexity, produce an experience that oscillates between fascination and repulsion, between the macroscopic and the microscopic. This exhibition presents recent works, including felt sculptures, drawings and what Martineau calls “drulptures” – a unique combination of the two latter disciplines.

Image: Luanne Martineau, Form Fantasy (detail), 2009, mixed media

Curated by Marcie Bronson

January 15 to May 1, 2011 

Merging comics and “fine ahtwerk”, Marc Bell’s detailed drawings and mixed media constructions are dense, frenetic mashups of text and imagery drawn from contemporary life. Born out of more dichotomies than you can shake a stick at, his work is characterized by an affinity for phonetic colloquialisms and an aesthetic that approaches the compulsive. Informed by the structure and interdependent relationship of text and image in comics, Bell fashions a rambling, self-reflexive and often baffling world populated with anthropomorphic contraptions and annotations that simultaneously suggest and fracture a sense of narrative. Born in London, Ontario, Marc Bell has self-published books and comics for over a decade. He is the author of Shrimpy and Paul and Friends, and his comics have appeared in many Canadian weeklies, Vice Magazine and The New York Times Magazine. In 2009, Montreal’s Drawn & Quarterly published Bell’s most recent book, Hot Potatoe.

Image: Marc Bell, I Am Not Part of the Dorito Chip Bag Collective (detail), 2009, mixed media.

Miranda Austin, Josh Bellingham, John Gagne, Julie Gemuend, Tyne Demerei Mester, Carley O’Hara, Julia Prudhomme, Bethany Scholl, Bruce Thompson

April 16 to May 1, 2011

Co-curated by Shirley Madill and Dr. Peter Vietgen

December 4, 2010 to March 6, 2011

Born and raised in St. Catharines, Ontario, Edward Burtynsky is known as one of Canada’s most respected photographers. His remarkable photographic depictions of global industrial landscapes are included in the collections of over fifty major museums around the world. He links his early exposure to the sites and images of the General Motors plant in his hometown to the development of his photographic work. His imagery explores the intricate link between industry and nature, combining the raw elements of mining, quarrying, manufacturing, shipping, oil production and recycling into eloquent, highly expressive visions that find beauty and humanity in the most unlikely of places. Burtynsky has returned to St. Catharines to document the General Motors and Dana Holding Corporation plants, the results which will be shown at Rodman Hall Art Centre.

2010

Curated by Marcie Bronson

September 7, 2010 to January 2, 2011

Working in video, sculpture, performance and installation, St. Catharines-based artist Duncan MacDonald creates work that is fundamentally about sound. Combining new and obsolete technologies, MacDonald investigates the relationship of the visual to the aural, overturning the classical hierarchy of the senses and challenging conventions of perception. Through labour-intensive processes at once poetic and absurd, MacDonald draws on his experience as artist, professor, and father to explore the sonic stuff of everyday life, engaging in revolutions both formal and conceptual, in an attempt to gently tweak the world around him.

Image: Duncan MacDonald, Work, Work, 2010, stop-motion animation.

Project Space: July 17 to December 12, 2010
Garden: July 17, 2010 to April 1, 2011

In 1979 Kim Kozzi and Dai Skuse created FASTWÜRMS, a union of two Ontario-based multidisciplinary artists who question nature, the environment and issues of power. Known for melding high and popular cultures, bent identity politics and social exchange, FASTWÜRMS willt transform the grounds of Rodman Hall and the niche project space into realms of commonplace magick that draw attention to the everyday fantastic. FASTWÜRMS has exhibited and created public commissions and installation, performance, video and film projects across Canada and in the United States, Europe, Korea, and Japan.

Image: FASTWÜRMS, Unicorn Tip (prototype), 2010, mixed media.

Residency: September 19 to 29, 2010
Exhibition: October 1 to November 20, 2010

Known for creating self-referential in-situ installations that take over architecture and encompass a gallery’s context, the artist collective BGL (Jasmin Bilodeau, Sébastien Giguère and Nicolas Laverdière) will participate in a residency and exhibition project at Rodman Hall Art Centre. Living and working in and out of the gallery and the City of St. Catharines for a three-week period, BGL will engage with the physical space and grounds of Rodman Hall.

BGL’s work speaks directly to contemporary culture and the nostalgia of memory. Their work is social process, not solely presentation, and the result is a public-spirited art built through experience in which a network of social relations results. By inserting themselves in the space, the public becomes part of their process. To a great extent the contemporary stage they work on includes mass media and their language of signs and symbols penetrates to include the stage of the public mind. Their thinking refers to what extends beyond them and includes participation from the environment in which they work. They raise issues about the role artists play in our culture. These roles are neither exclusively aesthetic nor political in practice, but rather seemingly opposite poles encompassed by a working relationship that is social in nature. BGL will not only work from location but also form the nature of their engagement with the congested, cacophonous intersections of personal interests, collective values, social issues, political events and cultural patterns that mark out civic life. Theirs is a process in which research, dialogue and experimentation take part and the final result is situated between reality and fiction.

May 28 to August 22, 2010

Working with simple materials such as nylon monofilament and clear plastic, Montreal-based artist, Karilee Fuglem explores the intangible and the barely visible, giving form to that which is often overlooked. The weightlessness and organic nature of her work belies the labour-intensive process of hand-weaving and looping kilometer upon kilometer of thread into large-scale installations that alter the viewer’s perception of space and movement through the gallery. In a site-specific exhibition for the Hansen Gallery, Fuglem responds to Rodman Hall and the surrounding area, referencing the natural world and exploring the history of the mansion and its inhabitants.

Image: Karilee Fuglem, steading streams, living rooms, (detail), 2010, nylon monofilament, transparencies. Photo: Danny Custodio.

May 15 to September 5, 2010
Related Programming: The Main Event, Thursday, May 6, 2010, 7 pm

Executed in Graeme Patterson’s signature style, Grudge Match imagines a freestyle wrestling match between the artist and his long-lost childhood friend, Yuki. Best friends at the age of 5, Patterson lost touch with Yuki once his friend returned to Japan four years later. Through sculptural installation and stop-motion animation, puppets of Patterson and Yuki as teenagers engage in a fictional match in a high school gymnasium.  A conflation of personal experience and emotional memory, the installation recreates and plays with Patterson’s memories of his first best friend, exploring boyhood rivalry and the bonds of friendship.

Image: Graeme Patterson, Grudge Match (still),2009, stop-motion animation.

Michael Dirisio, Holly Gabel, Natalie Hunter, Alicia Kuntze, Maeve McCambridge, Elyse Pelletier, Kaitlin Robertson, Gabrielle Tremblay, Leanne Unruh, Tracy Van Oosten.

April 17 to May 2, 2010

In partnership with the Rodman Hall Art Centre, the Brock University Department of Visual Arts, part of Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, is pleased to present this exhibition of work by ten emerging artists who have been working under the guidance of Professors Duncan MacDonald and Jean Bridge.  Their diverse artistic practices and interests are informed by both contemporary and traditional approaches, which range from found object and text works to drawing, sculpture and video. Their examination of the personal and societal significance of mundane, every day objects is a recurring characteristic and each artist examination is individual in nature.

Image: Elyse Pelletier, Domestic vs. Industrial, 2009, mixed media. Photo: Bethany Scholl.

January 21 to July 4, 2010

Simon Frank is a Hamilton-based earth artist whose work incorporates elements of action and performance. The natural world has been Frank’s frame of aesthetic reference for the past ten years. The idea of the scenic view, of “landscape” as such, and the use-value it creates are all central points of enquiry in his work. Using a log marking hammer – designed to brand logs destined for the lumber mill with a proprietary symbol – Frank creates a ghost-like dream forest in the niche project space at Rodman Hall.

In conjunction with Simon Frank: Terra Incognito, on view on the grounds of Rodman Hall.

Image: Simon Frank, View (detail), 2010, installation. Photo: Danny Custodio.

Part of the MOMENTUM series, a touring project from the Collection of the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.

January 16 to March 14, 2010

Born in New York in 1971, Adad Hannah lives and works in Montréal. Cuba Still (Remake) can be seen as a continuation of Hannah’s series of video-recorded tableaux vivants, begun in the early 2000s. The artist calls these videos “Stills”. Starting with a publicity photo for a banal and forgotten film purchased in Havana in 2003, Hannah re-stages the scene, filming individual sequences of each of the six characters from the original photo: in the foreground, a daydreaming man sits in front of a woman dancing on a tiny platform; behind her are a standing woman, a man playing the guitar, a man dancing with a mannequin and, off to the left, a bongo player. In being filmed, each person must assume and hold their pose, moving as little as possible. The resulting six videos are then simultaneously projected so as to fabricate a single cinematic scene, a tableau vivant, from the separate and apparently motionless video images. The installation in its entirety is comprised of the original photograph, the images of the six characters, some production stills taken during the reenactments, and an ingenious method of projection: six crafted wooden stands with a system of cut-out masks. Cuba Still (Remake) masterfully crystallizes notions of the photographic moment and of duration, the contrasting merits of the fixed and the moving image, and proposes a historical and critical re-examination of photography and film.

— Josée Bélisle, Curator of the MACM Permanent Collection

Image: Adad Hannah, Cuba Still (Remake), 2005, installation. Collection Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal.

Curated by Gary Genosko

December 19, 2009 to May 2, 2010

Maria Fernanda Cardoso is a Sydney-based multi-media artist who was born in Colombia. Her best known works involve video and photo-sculptural installations such as Flea Circus that deal with the lower orders of creatures, namely, insects. In all of Cardoso’s work mimesis plays a vitally important role as a lens through which inter-species relations may be examined. In this exhibit Cardoso uses emu feathers to construct unique women’s fashions and home accessories, while accompanying pieces reference stick-insect mimesis. Cardoso is notable for the animal materials with which she works, including cow bones, butterfly wings, and starfish.

Image: Maria Fernanda Cardoso, Black Ruana, 2008.

September 26, 2009 to January 3, 2010

This exhibition brings together the work of Monica Tap and Michel Daigneault, painters who explore issues of perception and representation through abstracted representations of natural and synthetic landscapes. Working from projected Quicktime video stills, Tap’s paintings are rooted in her experience as a commuter watching the landscape whip by through the windows of buses, cars and trains. Each brushstroke traces a pixel of the still, giving the impression that the paint is pulled across the canvas by sheer speed. In contrast, Daigneault works with a personal vocabulary of motifs and approaches to painting, recombining and reconfiguring them in dreamlike images of internal landscapes populated by seemingly architectural constructs and broad fields of colour. Their affinity lies not only in the large scale of their abstracted landscapes, but also in the simultaneous construction and deconstruction of their source material.

Images: Monica Tap, Road to Lily Dale II, 2006, oil on canvas, 80″ x 99″

2009

Curated by Gary Genosko

December 19, 2009 to May 2, 2010

Maria Fernanda Cardoso is a Sydney-based multi-media artist who was born in Colombia. Her best known works involve video and photo-sculptural installations such as Flea Circus that deal with the lower orders of creatures, namely, insects. In all of Cardoso’s work mimesis plays a vitally important role as a lens through which inter-species relations may be examined. In this exhibit Cardoso uses emu feathers to construct unique women’s fashions and home accessories, while accompanying pieces reference stick-insect mimesis. Cardoso is notable for the animal materials with which she works, including cow bones, butterfly wings, and starfish.

Image: Maria Fernanda Cardoso, Black Ruana, 2008.

September 26, 2009 to January 3, 2010

This exhibition brings together the work of Monica Tap and Michel Daigneault, painters who explore issues of perception and representation through abstracted representations of natural and synthetic landscapes. Working from projected Quicktime video stills, Tap’s paintings are rooted in her experience as a commuter watching the landscape whip by through the windows of buses, cars and trains. Each brushstroke traces a pixel of the still, giving the impression that the paint is pulled across the canvas by sheer speed. In contrast, Daigneault works with a personal vocabulary of motifs and approaches to painting, recombining and reconfiguring them in dreamlike images of internal landscapes populated by seemingly architectural constructs and broad fields of colour. Their affinity lies not only in the large scale of their abstracted landscapes, but also in the simultaneous construction and deconstruction of their source material.

Images: Michel Daigneault, Open Sky, 2006-2007, acrylic on canvas.

Curated by Shirley Madill

September 19 to December 6, 2009

In 2004, as a means of subverting his tiny status as a singer and songwriter, Tor Lukasik-Foss began a series of performance works loosely organized under the title “Obscurity is the New Fame.” The idea was to explore the conditions of a public concert, to see how an audience would react the more constricted the performance area became (i.e. a public bathroom, stairwell, bus shelter, etc.). Encouraged by these experiments, he now devotes his time to the design and construction of performance sculptures, stages and furniture, which offer specific barriers and opportunities for the performer and audience.

Tor Lukasik-Foss is a visual artist, performer, and writer based in Hamilton, Ontario. He is a member of the artist collective TH&B, and performs under the name ‘tiny bill cody.

Image: Tor Lukasik-Foss, Protoscenia, 2009.

Organized & presented by Rodman Hall in partnership with Dr. Peter Vietgen, Department of Art Education, Faculty of Education, Brock University.

June 26 to October 18, 2009

Responding to the installation Theatrum Mundi by Catherine Heard, this exhibition presents the “cabinets of curiosities” of senior visual arts students from West Park Secondary School in St. Catharines. Inspired by Heard and the Renaissance concept of the Wunderkammer, the students embarked on their own creative interpretations of the cabinet of curiosity through a consideration of their personal collections.

Image: Melissa McCarthy, My Box, 2009, mixed media.

Slightly Unbalanced is a traveling exhibition organized and circulated by iCI (Independent Curators International), New York. The curator of the exhibition is Susan Hapgood. The exhibition, tour, and catalogue are made possible, in part, by the Horace W. Goldsmith Foundation, the iCI Advocates, and the iCI Partners.

June 12 to August 21, 2009

Slightly Unbalanced is an exhibition of works by artists who have focused on neurosis of various kinds in their work, using themselves and the people around them as fodder for their investigations. During the past fifteen years, inspired by the work of several prominent older artists, a younger generation has expanded the contemporary art vocabulary to encompass a subject that is now well known to the general public. The exhibition brings together 35 works by 18 artists or artists’ groups who make use of psychology as a kind of lingua franca-we all know what the symptoms of neurosis are, if not the particular diagnoses.

Image: David Shrigley, Anti-depressants, 2002, Chromogenic print, 30 x 40 cm. Courtesy Galleri Nicolai Wallner.

Dario Ayala, Evelyn Bialasik, Sonya De Lazzer, Nijah Emery, Jessica Hay, Meighan Healy, Anthony Perri, Alana Schultz

April 3 to 26, 2009

The third floor studios of Rodman Hall have been a veritable incubator for creativity and experimentation over the past eight months. Working with faculty mentors Jean Bridge and Duncan MacDonald, the students in the Brock University Department of Visual Arts Honours Studio program have developed diverse artistic practices that reflect a wide range of explorations in contemporary art and culture.

The Department of Visual Arts has a long tradition of presenting the work of graduating students and its partnership with Rodman Hall has made the Honours Studio an especially valuable and fruitful experience. Students accepted into this course develop a cohesive body of work that will support their entry into graduate programs and professional practice as artists. This exhibition at Rodman Hall is the capstone of their visual arts education at Brock and an opportunity to publicly present the results of their exploration and hard work. Such programs from the Department of Visual Arts are a key part of the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts’ mandate to build connections between the community and the breadth of talent and creativity at Brock University.

March 6 to 26, 2009

Each year, students in the Department of Visual Arts at Brock University submit their strongest work for inclusion in an exhibition juried by leading Canadian arts professionals. Organized from the ground up by students, submissions are accepted from Visual Arts students in all levels of study. This year, jurors Beth Gibson and Rhona Wenger selected 31 works from over 75 submissions. Their selections include a range of media and provide a glimpse into the breadth of activity in the Visual Arts at Brock. Gibson and Wenger observed a strong painting contingent in the submissions, but noted that work in other genres stood out, as students find unusual ways to explore their subjects. Overall, the jurors were impressed by the diversity of the submissions and the students’ willingness to experiment in both traditional and new media.

Curated by Marcie Bronson

January 10 to April 26, 2009

In 2006, Scott Waters followed India Company, Second Battalion of The Royal Canadian Regiment as they prepared for deployment to Afghanistan. In contrast to the ‘boredom and deviance’ of his own time as an infantryman after the Cold War, he found what he had hoped for as a teenager: an army with its eyes wide open and blood in its mission. The paintings born out of this experience examine the military as a society aspiring toward ideals of suffering and sacrifice for the greater good and consider the power of myth over personal experience.

Scott Waters received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the University of Victoria in 1997, and his Master of Fine Arts in 2004 from York University in Toronto. Waters’ recent and ongoing work draws on his period in the Canadian Army from 1989 to 1992. Serving as an infantryman in the Third Battalion of Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry, Bravo “B” Company, he was stationed in Wainwright, Alberta, and Victoria, British Columbia.

Image: Scott Waters, WO Blackmore, 2008, acrylic and oil on plywood.

Curated by Carolyn Bell Farrell
Organized and Circulated by the Koffler Gallery of the Koffler Centre of the Arts, Toronto

October 14, 2008 to February 15, 2009

Blue Republic has continued to produce installations that combine humour, wit and metaphor to stimulate discourse on political ideas, power structures and economic imbalances. Nostalgia for the Present, the collective’s exhibition, includes an array of discrete objects and site-related installations that further the artists’ explorations of urban culture. In this meta-city, artist members Anna Passakas and Radoslaw Kudlinski approach notions of utopia and dystopia though a fictional, futuristic lens, revealing the desires, fantasies and prejudices that drive our contemporary society.

In Nostalgia for the Present, Passakas and Kudlinski assemble artworks from discarded industrial materials and re-fashioned ready-mades, inviting reflection on the commonplace and the ideologies that inscribe them. Alluding to systems of authority, currencies of exchange, and habits of consumption, collection and waste, their project exposes the underlying mechanisms and motivations that govern society’s evolution.

Image: Blue Republic, Speeding from Beautiful Infections, 2008 (Koffler Gallery installation detail).

Tobey C. Anderson, Jean Bridge, Sandy Fairbairn, John Gill, Matt Harley, Ernest Harris Jr., Melanie MacDonald, Tyler Manzon, Bill Ralph, Sheldon Rooney, John Venditti, Carolyn Wren

September 18, 2008 to January 4, 2009

Rodman Hall Arts Centre presents new!, the gallery’s first group exhibition of contemporary artwork by Niagara artists since 2001. Rodman Hall Assistant Curator Marcie Bronson and Niagara Artists’ Centre Director Stephen Remus selected twelve works from over fifty submissions. The exhibition features works by both established and emerging artists working in a variety of media ranging from photography to video installation to painting.

2008

November 8, 2008 to January 3, 2010

Known for her sculptural work depicting things both monstrous and wondrous, Catherine Heard’s Theatrum Mundi recalls the European tradition of the wunderkammer. Transforming the rear bay window wells of Rodman Hall’s historic mansion into her own cabinet of curiosities, Heard displays her personal collection of artworks, objects, and oddities, adding to and rearranging her collection throughout the exhibition.

Catherine Heard’s practice interrogates the histories of the science, medicine and the museum. She graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design (1990), and holds a Master of Visual Studies degree from the University of Toronto (2005).

December 22, 2007 to February 24, 2008

A regionalist, Tobey C. Anderson is a fastidious painter, unafraid of exploring real issues that create conflict and pose unanswered questions. His intrepid concern for the politics of our time has initiated the creation of powerful canvases; in many styles and themes, his controlled yet sensitive brushstroke is consistent and his perspective poignantly compelling. From his early roadkill series to recent portraits of dead terrorists, Anderson has examined major themes of pathos and loss. In contrast, he also painted idyllic, regenerative, meditative and symbolic work both representational and abstract. Dualities are often communicated in themes of life and death, joy and suffering, humour and seriousness. This dichotomy of energies is echoed in his dynamic lines and sophisticated use of colours that vibrate and hold light. Acutely aware of the impact of technology, Anderson echoes the media and executes intuitively, moving from series to series with vibrancy and life. His latest work, The New American Century Project, includes images of dead soldiers, civilian casualties, and terrorists, as well as babies who have been exposed to depleted uranium. Unflinchingly responsive to the issues that challenge our psyche, Anderson’s art avoids sentimentality and directlyexpresses his outrage over the loss of humanity.

Tobey C. Anderson has been exhibiting his work since 1969. In the late 1970’s he was Founding President of Kingston Artists’ Association/Modern Fuel Artist-run Centre and President of Artspace, when he worked closely with David Bierk, Dennis Tourbin and other notables in the provincial and national artist-run network. Most recently, Anderson was Director of Niagara Artists’ Centre from 1990-98 before retiring to work as an artist full-time. He is actively involved in cultural development in Niagara and served as the inaugural Chair of the Culture Committee following his involvement in the development and adoption of a new Cultural Policy for the City of St. Catharines. In 2005 Anderson was the recipient of the Mayor’s Trillium Award for Artistic Excellence and in 2006 he established gallerie CRAM collective, which features contemporary artists with strong ties to St. Catharines.

Image: Tobey C. Anderson, Shades of My Former Self, acrylic and oil stick on canvas, 1988-89. Collection of Lisa Smith and Sandy Fairbairn.

March 7 to 29, 2008

Once a year, students from the Department of Visual Arts at Brock University submit their best artwork for inclusion in an annual exhibition juried by leading Canadian professional artists. The competition for a place in this prestigious exhibition is fierce. Brock’s Visual Arts program, with more than 175 students, is anticipated to generate at least 200 submissions for the exhibition, from which 30 to 50 works will be selected. The exhibition will feature a diverse range of work, from painting to video to art installation.

Students chose an ironic title for this year’s exhibition as recognition that appearances – especially in art – can be deceiving. The title underscores the risks and contradictions that lie beneath the surface of even the most beautiful works of art.

All of the works in this exhibition have been selected by Mary Catherine Newcomb, a Kitchener-based artist whose installation Product of Eden is currently on view at Rodman Hall.

Gustavo Cerquera, Candace Couse, Brian Durocher, Felix Ma, Sara Petranik, Will Postma, Ryan Rivando, Alex Watts

April 4 to 27, 2008

For the past eight months this group of students has been diligently working in the third floor studios of Rodman Hall with Merijean Morrissey and Duncan MacDonald. Their diverse artistic practices and interests – informed by theoretical groundings in contemporary and historical visual arts – range from neo-conceptual to painterly, design-based to absurdist, technocratic to abject and whimsical to the deeply personal.

The Department of Visual Arts, part of Brock University’s School of Fine and Performing Arts, has a long tradition of presenting the work of graduating students mentored in its Honours studio program. The Department’s partnership with Rodman Hall has made the Honours Studio an especially fruitful undertaking. Students accepted into this course develop a cohesive body of work that that will support their entry into graduate school MFA programs and professional practice as artists. The exhibition at Rodman Hall is the capstone of their visual arts education at Brock and an opportunity to publicly present the results of their exploration and hard work.

Image: Gustavo Cerquera, Platyhelminthes (detail), mixed media, 2008.

January 17 to May 5, 2008

Thom Lepp is a St. Catharines-based photographer who has travelled widely in Central America and the Caribbean where he has photographed the exterior lives of people in foreign countries. In Family Album, Lepp turns his camera on the life of his family and creates images at once recognizably familiar and unsettlingly strange.

Family Album was conceived of with the guidance and encouragement of Gordon Hatt, past Curator of Rodman Hall Arts Centre, and created with images culled from hundreds of colour proofs and black and white contact sheets gleaned from the storage depths of my home darkroom. Having met Gordon during an exhibition featuring my black and white documentary photographs of Cuba and Central America, follow-up discussions led to his request to see what it was I photographed when I wasn’t working or travelling. Periodically working professionally as a freelance photographer with a number of Ontario news publications and associations including the Toronto Star and Canadian Press, my journeys sometimes take me out of the country on assignments and speculative documentary work. I was encouraged to present something outside my current concept of photographic art. I had marginalized much of the ‘other’ photographic work I had done and was accumulating at that time, likely because it was of colour negative stock and all of my serious work had always been with black and white film, and likely because much of the work documented the often ordinary experiences of children and a father of a growing family. It had never occured to me that an exhibition of prints exposing the shared lives of my children in our Port Dalhousie home could result from this exploration. It was not until I had sifted through hundreds of colour proofs that I began to see that these private and often personal images could only have been made in the safe and secure parameters created by a parent and progeny, and they now exposed me emotively as much as the subjects captured. It wasn’t until the last image was selected that I realized that the photographs had taken a kind of self-portrait feel, as if the camera lens had been focused on me, documenting my experiences as a father, and as a trusted friend as well. I have now come to experience Family Album as a series of self-portraits and artifacts reminiscent of my own life.

Image: Thom Lepp, untitled, 11″ x 14″ inches, Durst Lambda digital print, 2005.

May 31 to September 7, 2008

Archaeology of Space is the culmination of Spriggs’ ongoing investigation into the thresholds of image and space. Working simultaneously with concepts of space and in real space, Spriggs tangibly explores the manipulation and reconstruction of image and space. A recurrent thread in the exhibition is the artificial environment that is created by painting or drawing on multiple parallel sheets of transparent film. Spaced at specific intervals, the layered collection of images creates illusionary forms free from the laws that constrict both two and three dimensions. These architectures of imagery challenge the nature of the image and traditional notions of form and space, residing somewhere between painting and sculpture. On this threshold, vision is destabilized due to the shifting immaterial nature of the environment. Here forms appear animated by forming, abstracting, materializing, dematerializing, and changing with the viewer’s position. From the side view the apparent reality of the forms disappear. Even the boundaries of the forms are sometimes undefined blurring into their environments. These forms are inextricably part of the artificial layered environment and cannot exist without it.

David Spriggs was born in Manchester, England and currently resides in Montreal. He attended the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design where he received his BFA in 1999, and he received his MFA from Concordia University in 2007. While enrolled at these schools he attended student exchange at Central St. Martins College in London, England and Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany. Spriggs was given the Arts Achievement Award at the annual Immigrants of Distinction Awards in Calgary in 1998 and has since then exhibited in New York, Toronto, London, Calgary, and Vancouver. His work is represented by Galerie Art Mûr, Montreal and Leo Kamen Gallery, Toronto. A catalogue documenting Spriggs’ work was co-produced by Rodman Hall and the Southern Alberta Art Gallery.

Image: David Spriggs, Archaeology of Space (installation at Rodman Hall Art Centre).

June 21 to September 7, 2008

Disappearing Things is a new body of work by Gwen MacGregor that brings together objects, video, audio and photos. Seemingly disparate elements are placed to influence one another or clash against each other to offer observations about things disappearing in these precarious times. A bookwork designed by Lewis Nicholson with text by Jacob Wren was published in conjunction with the exhibition

Gwen MacGregor is a Toronto-based artist working in installation and video. Her work reflects her close observation of time and how its passage shapes small dramas or uncannily familiar situations. In 2001 her work was presented in the Present Tense Project series at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. MacGregor’s work has also been shown in group exhibitions across Canada and in Mexico City, London, Prague, Venice, Shanghai and Los Angeles. In 2003 she was the recipient of the Friends of the Visual Arts, Toronto, Artist of the Year Award. In 2004 she participated in the International Studio/Curatorial Program in New York. MacGregor presented her first solo exhibition at Jessica Bradley Art + Projects in Toronto in 2006. Last year she exhibited her work in Paris, Berlin, and Madrid as part of Rencontres Internationales video festival. Gwen MacGregor is represented by Jessica Bradley Art + Projects.

Image: Gwen MacGregor, Going South (still), 2006, video.

October 19, 2007 to November 14, 2008

Mary Catherine Newcomb is a Kitchener-based artist whose figurative work over the years has included both humans and animals. Her use of animals has been a consistent theme throughout her career and may be likened to the animals of aboriginal and classical myths. Mice, snakes, hyenas, fish, sheep, and alligators make appearances in Newcomb’s narrative bestiary as symbols of a secret knowledge. Rabbits, as carriers and symbols of occult knowledge, frequently occur in her sculpture in papier mache, cast concrete and now as living and preserved vegetal material.

Product of Eden takes advantage of the large southwestern exposure to grow living works of art, where the artist in effect sculpts living plant material. She does this by introducing fruit and vegetable shoots into hand-crafted molds. As the plant grows, the vegetable takes on the shape of the mold. Eggplants, zucchinis, peppers, squash and other plants will be grown and take shape at
Rodman Hall.

The installation and opening coincides with the Greenscapes conference to be held at Brock University from October 18-20, 2007. The conference explores social, cultural, and historical aspects of gardens in human societies.

Image: Mary Catherine Newcomb, Product of Eden (detail), eggplants, bronze, 2007.

June 10 to 15, 2008

The literal translation of CHEZ SOI means “at my place,” or “at my home.” It is French: The child artists in this exhibit call Molière’s language their own.

CHEZ SOI / HOME focuses on artwork created by child students at école Pavillon de jeunesse in Hamilton. In collaboration with Centre de santé communautaire Hamilton / Niagara, the children met once a week for twelve weeks to share moments and memories of family, school, community, and home. They also met to discuss how to better, together, get along. Bringing their art brut (“outsider art”) to this internal space helps reflect their ideas on the need for mainstream response to, and community discourse on, how we feel we belong.

Conceived in response to the complex reality of “citizenship” as ever-increasing numbers of individuals from diverse international backgrounds are present in and populating ‘my Ontario,’ the goal of this project is to help the children better share their feeling of identity. These are migrant voices, who lack transitional space to link their overseas past to the North American present; these are voices from countries like Chad, the Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Togo, whose transitions in Canada have been largely without context to support their (often war-torn) circumstances; these are also second- and third-generation voices, whose transitional space has largely already been forged, and who now live with the struggle of recognising and negotiating their voices’ dominance.

2007

October 19, 2007 to November 14, 2008

Mary Catherine Newcomb is a Kitchener-based artist whose figurative work over the years has included both humans and animals. Her use of animals has been a consistent theme throughout her career and may be likened to the animals of aboriginal and classical myths. Mice, snakes, hyenas, fish, sheep, and alligators make appearances in Newcomb’s narrative bestiary as symbols of a secret knowledge. Rabbits, as carriers and symbols of occult knowledge, frequently occur in her sculpture in papier mache, cast concrete and now as living and preserved vegetal material.

Product of Eden takes advantage of the large southwestern exposure to grow living works of art, where the artist in effect sculpts living plant material. She does this by introducing fruit and vegetable shoots into hand-crafted molds. As the plant grows, the vegetable takes on the shape of the mold. Eggplants, zucchinis, peppers, squash and other plants will be grown and take shape at
Rodman Hall.

The installation and opening coincides with the Greenscapes conference to be held at Brock University from October 18-20, 2007. The conference explores social, cultural, and historical aspects of gardens in human societies.

Image: Mary Catherine Newcomb, Product of Eden (detail), eggplants, bronze, 2007.

December 22, 2007 to February 24, 2008

A regionalist, Tobey C. Anderson is a fastidious painter, unafraid of exploring real issues that create conflict and pose unanswered questions. His intrepid concern for the politics of our time has initiated the creation of powerful canvases; in many styles and themes, his controlled yet sensitive brushstroke is consistent and his perspective poignantly compelling. From his early roadkill series to recent portraits of dead terrorists, Anderson has examined major themes of pathos and loss. In contrast, he also painted idyllic, regenerative, meditative and symbolic work both representational and abstract. Dualities are often communicated in themes of life and death, joy and suffering, humour and seriousness. This dichotomy of energies is echoed in his dynamic lines and sophisticated use of colours that vibrate and hold light. Acutely aware of the impact of technology, Anderson echoes the media and executes intuitively, moving from series to series with vibrancy and life. His latest work, The New American Century Project, includes images of dead soldiers, civilian casualties, and terrorists, as well as babies who have been exposed to depleted uranium. Unflinchingly responsive to the issues that challenge our psyche, Anderson’s art avoids sentimentality and directlyexpresses his outrage over the loss of humanity.

Tobey C. Anderson has been exhibiting his work since 1969. In the late 1970’s he was Founding President of Kingston Artists’ Association/Modern Fuel Artist-run Centre and President of Artspace, when he worked closely with David Bierk, Dennis Tourbin and other notables in the provincial and national artist-run network. Most recently, Anderson was Director of Niagara Artists’ Centre from 1990-98 before retiring to work as an artist full-time. He is actively involved in cultural development in Niagara and served as the inaugural Chair of the Culture Committee following his involvement in the development and adoption of a new Cultural Policy for the City of St. Catharines. In 2005 Anderson was the recipient of the Mayor’s Trillium Award for Artistic Excellence and in 2006 he established gallerie CRAM collective, which features contemporary artists with strong ties to St. Catharines.

Image: Tobey C. Anderson, Shades of My Former Self, acrylic and oil stick on canvas, 1988-89. Collection of Lisa Smith and Sandy Fairbairn.

November 15 to December 30, 2007

Toronto artist Marla Hlady produces kinetic installations and sound works that are contemplative, amusing, and disquieting. Although she is best known for the works that brought her a 2002 Sobey Art Award nomination, Hlady also makes innovative line drawings that render the emotional, physical and metaphorical properties of sound visible. Rodman Hall Arts Centre is pleased to present a selection of these drawingsalongside sound works Wah-wah Teapots (Landscape for Alvin Lucier), (2006) and Mixers (2005-2006).

Marla Hlady has shown in both group and solo exhibitions nationally and internationally, including such places as Galerie René Blouin, Montreal (2006); Klink and Bank, Reykjavik, Iceland (2005); Owen’s Art Gallery, Sackville, NB (2004); Zabriskie Gallery, New York (2003); Museo di San Domenico, Imola, Italy (2002); The Power Plant, Toronto (2001); Tracy Lawrence Gallery, Vancouver (2001); The Nunnery, London, UK (1999). She is a member of the Flywheel and Peregrine Collectives. Hlady has had sound works commissioned by Art Metropole, Charles Street Video and Arraymusic Ensemble (in collaboration with Eric Chenaux, 2005). In 2005 she completed an invitational residency in Iceland; a selection of work from this residency can be seen in the exhibition.

Image: Marla Hlady, Wah-wah Teapots (Landscape for Alvin Lucier) (detail), 2006, porcelain teapots, audio electronics and electrical motors, custom cabinet. Photo courtesy of Jessica Bradley Art + Projects.

Susan Bozic, Meesoo Lee, Jillian McDonald, Maria Legault, Warren Quigley, Tanya Read
Curated by Gordon Hatt

October 5 to December 2, 2007

Objects of Affection is an exhibition about misplaced love. Desire – that intoxicating stirring of affection for someone or something – is a constant throughout our lives. The objects of our affection, however, are constantly changing. What do we desire? Why do we desire, and how do we express this desire?

Desire is of course shaped and channeled by religion, tradition, education, class and culture. We are educated in wants and needs – taught what to hope and wish for and what to disdain. But lurking beneath our educated restraint are subconscious desires – desires motivated by needs other than those determined by culture and society. Our needs may be a striving for personal completion and fulfillment, something which may be little more than a projection of our own narcissism. Never quite satisfied, we are driven to confront a gnawing existential unhappiness, constantly desiring, in an endless search to somehow fill the feeling of an emptiness within.

The six artists in Objects of Affection address this existential longing through their work. Popular culture – that great vehicle for the creation and imaging of desire in the service of the consumer society – is referenced by all of the artists in the exhibition. Romance novels and advertising, Hollywood movies and fan magazines, soap operas and comics are the direct or indirect subjects of these artists. The artifacts of popular culture reflect back to us both our ideal and our comically pathetic selves. We attempt to measure ourselves against these representations but they never seem to fit. Engaging popular culture by appropriating its means – in effect talking back to it – these six artists create spaces for the desiring subject in a culture of publicity and celebrity. They address the inadequacies of popular culture’s representations of who we are and what we feel, and confront the feelings of emptiness that these images of popular culture do much to create.

* * *

Vancouver artist Susan Bozic has created the Dating Portfolio, a series of staged photographs depicting a young woman’s romantic fantasies. Her fantasy date in these photographs is a store window mannequin. Together they enact images that recall romance novels, billboard advertising, television commercials and Hollywood films portraying the blissful co-existence of happy couples. Her matinée idol mannequin is a pliant clothes hanger, providing an amenable but insensate partner in the illustration of the young woman’s impossible desire.

Meesoo Lee, also of Vancouver, has produced a series of videos he calls Pop Songs. Working within the genre of music video, Lee samples television and video, selectively editing and adding soundtracks. His resulting modifications tease out the structural relationships of the media and its content, focussing our voyeuristic gaze on televisual images of figure skaters, rodeo riders, actors and the other shooting stars of our media environment. Lee’s Pop Songs reveal video and film as a virtual peep show that feeds false intimacy to an atomized and insatiably desiring public.

New York-based artist Jillian McDonald ‘s video Me and Billy-Bob is a projection and examination of the obsessional fantasy that fuels our now pervasive celebrity culture. Me and Billy-Bob is a collage of clips from movies starring the actor Billy-Bob Thornton. McDonald digitally inserts herself into existing film clips as the recurring object of actor Billy-Bob Thornton’s affection. They exchange looks of longing, pleasure, and pain, yet the desire remains unconsummated, looping infinitely. McDonald’s intervention is part of a larger body of work that includes other videos, a website, a photo series, music, and a participatory tattoo project for fans.

Toronto-based performance artist Maria Legault’s work is based around a life-sized puppet she calls “Plus One.” As the name implies, “Plus One” is Legault’s imaginary partner – a foil and a projection of her desires and anxieties in being part of a couple. Their marriage and its disintegration is the subject of a performance where intimacy and communication are doomed from the start.

Ridgeway, Ontario artist Warren Quigley creates an installation environment through the arrangement of aspects of a motel room. His Love Motel makes reference to bordellos from New Orleans from the turn of the previous century, to the Love Motels of Asia in the 60s and 70s, to the North American roadside motels spawned by car culture. While other artists attempt to describe the illusiveness of desire through surrogate love objects, Quigley describes desire as a vacant shell of anticipation and regret.

Toronto-based artist Tanya Read created Mr. Nobody in 1998, a black-and-white anthropomorphic animal resembling a cross between a panda bear and a cat. Mr. Nobody is not the ideal integrated self, but the self as fragmented, aimless, confused and desiring. Like his popular television counterpart Homer Simpson, Mr. Nobody is a bottomless well of omnidirectional need and comic pathos.

Image: Susan Bozic, He let me pick the movie, 2005, C-Print, 30 x 40 inches.

September 28, 2006 to October 28, 2007

One hundred and six of the finest works in the collection of Rodman Hall Arts Centre – from the most iconic and best-loved, to new pieces on view in the gallery for the first time – are now on view in the parlour of the historic home and on the second floor.

Since the earliest donations and purchases, Rodman Hall’s permanent collection has grown to include more than 850 paintings, drawings, prints and sculptures. Curated by Assistant Curator Marcie Bronson, this exhibition features historical and modern works from Rodman Hall’s permanent collection.

Dramatically installed from floor to ceiling in the tradition of the French Salon, Forty-Five Years of Collecting: Selections from the Permanent Collection shows the breadth and the depth of collecting at Rodman Hall over the last half century.

October 20, 2006 to October 7, 2007

Toronto-based artist Katharine Harvey has had two significant themes running through her work in recent years: Water and the Store Window. More than any other painter Harvey has sought and achieved a material presence in the representation of water through her unusual application of acrylic medium. Her Store Window series of paintings were initially inspired by her interest in the quirky and sometimes bizarre displays of kitsch merchandise in small store windows. But the Store Window paintings also recall an underwater world of reflections and floating objects. A painting by the artist, Underwater Storefront (2001), brought together in her work the two seemingly disparate themes, conjuring a surreal image of objects shimmering back and forth as if reflected through rippling water.

For an exhibition of her paintings in Calgary in 2001, Harvey created a storefront display. After searching the city’s second-hand and dollar-stores, she assembled a site-specific installation for the gallery window, filling the shelves with a stream-of-consciousness assortment of wares selected for their bright and sparkling surfaces. Later that year she constructed To the Depths Part I, for Solo Exhibition in Toronto and arranged items of similar colour on six successive shelves in a manner that evoked different layers of water. And at YYZ Artists Outlet in Toronto she created Seasick – a collection of transparent blue, green and marine related objects jumbled together on floating glass shelves suggesting a topsy turvy seascape – the reflective surfaces dissolving into spatial and psychological fragments and revealed moments of exotic transport.

Harvey’s Rodman Hall installation Waterfall fills the spaces of the house’s former rear bay windows with an assemblage of blue, green and transparent dollar-store objects that appear to tumble down like waterfalls. During the process of making the piece, the objects are glued together with industrial strength glue but they invariably fall down and smash as they are piled up. The complex interconnection of the commodities and their sculptural construction and de-construction becomes an integral part of the piece. Waterfall brings together the two major themes in Harvey’s work, recalling the local natural and unnatural phenomenon that is Niagara Falls – famous for its spectacular cascade, as well as for its iconic souvenirs.

Image: Katherine Harvey, Waterfall, mixed media, 2006.

Curated by Patrick Jenkins

July 8 to September 16, 2007 

Death Is In Trouble Now is an exhibition that has grown out of a video documentary. The documentary, directed and produced by Patrick Jenkins, is a portrait of Canadian artist Mark Adair. An environmentalist, Adair’s figurative sculpture, painting and graphic work comment on our contemporary relationship to the natural environment and the stress of urban life. His work explores such diverse subjects such as violence, sexual politics, pollution, spirituality, consumerism and the devastating force of nature. This exhibition and the documentary, which will be featured alongside the exhibition, explore the artwork Adair has created over the past 25 years and traces the themes in his work to his childhood experiences of growing up in the country, his observation during his lifetime of environmental degradation and the social changes he has observed in the world around him.

Mark Adair is a graduate of York University, Toronto (BFA) and the University of Victoria (MFA). He was a founding member of the Torontoniensis collective of artists with whom he has exhibited since the mid 1990s. He has had solo exhibitions at Harbourfront Centre, Toronto; Optica Gallery, Montreal and is represented by Loop Gallery, Toronto. He has received support from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ontario Arts Council and his work is represented in the collection of the Canada Council Art Bank.

Patrick Jenkins is a Toronto-based artist, animator, and film maker. He received his BFA (Honours) and MFA at York University, Toronto. Jenkins has 24 video and film productions to his credit and his recent work includes the documentary Of Lines and Men, The Animation of Jonathan Amitay (2006), Jonathan Amitay: A Portrait (2002) and Ralph: Coffee, Jazz and Poetry; The Poetry of Ralph Alfonso (2001). His recent animated films include The Skateboarder (2005), Man Versus Geometry (2004) and Dancing Street (2003). Patrick is active in the animation, documentary film and visual arts communities as a curator, juror, administrator, exhibitor and critic. He has received production grants from the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council and he has works in the collections of the Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa; York University, Toronto and Canada House, London, England.

Image: Mark Adair, Toronto Bank Robbery, (detail) 1983-84, Collection of the Canada Council Art Bank. #86/7-0097.

Curated by Ihor Holubizky
Organized and Circulated by the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa

May 4 to July 1, 2007

“We have no time to reflect. No time to be silent. In my painting I try to listen to the music of silence.”

Don Jean-Louis’s career presents a journey of individual discovery and visual exploration. In broad terms, his practice shifted from a “mark-making of being” – a mapping of nature through organic, precisionist drawings (and paintings) or seed pods and grass in the early 1960s – to orchestrating perceptual situations with new materials such as vacuum-formed uvex (plastic) and neon in the mid-1960s.

The focus of this exhibition is Jean-Louis’s Silver Works done in 1985 and 1986. Using paint and pigment mediums, he generated a visual language by the very process of making and in his own words “to discover the ‘nature of nature’ by supplying the materials that would allow for an observable . . . condition to take place. That is, not observable now [during the making], but observable later.” In this way the artist makes his own science and chemistry, but one in which the results are always different, and always observable. The Silver Works are more than a moment in time, as if plucked from a career that stretches more than 45 years. They represent a key moment for an artist at mid-career. The exhibition brings together works that were both exhibited in their time, and unseen works, and some were altered over the past 20 years.

Image: Don Jean-Louis, As Death Approaches Love Becomes More Willing, white China marker on black board, 1985.

Alicia Bedesky, Lisa Borin, Meegan Bradley, Rena Burns, Alex Chomyshyn, Marlie Huisman, Mark Neufeld

March 29 to April 28, 2007

For the past eight months this select group of exceptional young artists have been hard at work in the studios on the third floor of Rodman Hall. Individually, they have developed their own artistic approaches and directions. Together, they have created an exhibition that will engage viewers on all levels, from the sensory to the intellectual.

Four Flights is the culmination of four years of study for these talented artists. Working in the areas of sculpture, drawing, video, mixed-media, sound and painting, the strength and variety of work included in the exhibition reflects the diversity of their interests and experience.

Josh Bellingham, Kyle Bishop, Rena Burns, Gustavo Cerquera, Candace Couse, Katlyn German, Caleb Goodaker-Craig, Erika Hughes, Kristina Jessame, Clayton Letourneau, Fei Li, Tyler Manzon, Cara Maulucci, Mark Neufeld, Will Postma, Ryan Rivando

March 1 to 25, 2007

Juried by Tobey Anderson and Carolyn Wren.

This annual juried art exhibition gives the Brock University Visual Arts Department an opportunity to showcase it’s wide range of talent. The juried exhibition is open to VISA student whose work has been made within the academic year. It is a great opportunity to illustrate to Brock and surrounding Niagara communities the breadth and scope of talent in our community.
The VISA Juried Exhibition is a student run event that is part of the larger Arts Festival which has been running at Brock University for more than 25 years featuring student works in visual art, music and drama.

Image: Right to left Mark Neufeld, Gustavo Cerquera and Brock Department of Visual Arts Chair Jean Bridge at the opening reception.

Curated by James Patten
Organized and Circulated by the Art Gallery of Windsor
This exhibition has been made possible in part with the support of the Alice Gooch Fund.

January 21 to March 24, 2007

Throughout his career, Iain Baxter& has challenged ideas about what art is and what it does. Using everyday objects and processes, Baxter& creates works that engage audiences in contemporary social, political, and environmental issues. One of Canada’s most recognized conceptual artists, Baxter& has been taking photographs since the 1950s. While many aspects of his practice have been well documented, especially his N.E. Thing projects with Ingrid Baxter, his straight photographs remain largely unknown. Passing Through includes colour prints, Polaroids, and duratrans taken between 1958 and 1983, most of which have never been exhibited.

Informed by the notion of driving a car as a manifestation of consciousness in North American culture, most of these photographs were taken as Baxter& traveled across Canada. His photographic oeuvre, seen in its entirety, functions as a fragmented narrative punctuated by digressions and distractions. Strangers and friends, forbidding industrial sites and backyard parties, expansive natural landscapes, and smalltime road attractions reveal the breadth of the Canadian experience during this critical period.

From the early 1960s to the mid-1980s, Baxter& lived in Vancouver. This exhibition will situate his practice in relation to the development of photography on the West Coast, where he worked concurrently to artists such as Ian Wallace, Jeff Wall, and Christos Dikeakos.

The recipient of many awards, Baxter& received the Order of Canada in 2003, a Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts and the Order of Ontario in 2004, and the Molson Prize in 2005. He is the 2006 winner of the Gershon Iskowitz Foundation Prize. His work is included in most major collections of Canadian art, as well as the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Los Angeles County Museum, and the Gemeentemuseum (The Hague).

Image: Esso Station, North Vancouver, British Columbia, 1967, Chromira print, 148.0 x 106.7 cm.

October 8, 2006 to December 30, 2007

Tracing Night is a veil of suspended glassine paper 45 feet wide by 12 feet high that cuts across the gallery in a gentle curve. Pien’s large-scale ink drawings on the glassine depict a girl asleep, accompanied by images that appear from her dream. A fan causes the entire veil to undulate gently. Beyond this suspended work, a large-scale installation in the form of an elongated figure-eight is laid out on a slight diagonal along the length of the gallery. The outer layer of this work progresses from light to dark blue, evoking the passage of day into night. Pien has overlaid silhouetted images of winged, part-human creatures on the blue-tinted surfaces. Their numbers multiply in a dense swarm as they gather towards the darkened end of the structure. Sound is used to enhance the spatial quality of the installation by activating the entire gallery space.

Ed Pien draws on sources both Eastern and Western to create his fantastic figures, including Asian ghost stories, hell scrolls and calligraphic traditions. The work, says Pien, “is initiated by the childhood wonder and fear of night. In darkness, details are lost and solid forms seem to give way to ephemeral, hard-to-define shapes. In this state, the senses appear to sharpen; yet physical perceptions succumb to wild imagination.”

Ed Pien was born in Taiwan and grew up in London, Ontario. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree from York University, Toronto, and his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, in venues that include The Drawing Centre, New York; The New Paradise, Taipei; La Biennale de Montréal; W139, Amsterdam; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto; Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris; Middlesbrough Art Gallery, UK; Parkhaus, Berlin; Galerie Maurits van de Laar, The Hague; Pruss and Oches, Berlin; and Ex-Concento del Carman, Guadalahara. Ed Pien will also be participating in a national touring drawing exhibition curated by Kim Moodie, David Merritt and Sheila Butler. Ed Pien’s work is in the collections of the Musée des Beaux Arts, Montréal; The Canada Council Art Bank; McIntosh Gallery, London; Hamilton Art Gallery; Agnes Etherington Art Gallery, Kingston and the University of Toronto. Ed Pien is represented by Galerie Pierre-François Ouelette in Montreal and by the Birch Libralato Gallery in Toronto.

Image: Ed Pien, Tracing Night (details), ink on glassine paper, 2004. Photography by Isaac Applebaum.

2006

October 8, 2006 to December 30, 2007

Tracing Night is a veil of suspended glassine paper 45 feet wide by 12 feet high that cuts across the gallery in a gentle curve. Pien’s large-scale ink drawings on the glassine depict a girl asleep, accompanied by images that appear from her dream. A fan causes the entire veil to undulate gently. Beyond this suspended work, a large-scale installation in the form of an elongated figure-eight is laid out on a slight diagonal along the length of the gallery. The outer layer of this work progresses from light to dark blue, evoking the passage of day into night. Pien has overlaid silhouetted images of winged, part-human creatures on the blue-tinted surfaces. Their numbers multiply in a dense swarm as they gather towards the darkened end of the structure. Sound is used to enhance the spatial quality of the installation by activating the entire gallery space.

Ed Pien draws on sources both Eastern and Western to create his fantastic figures, including Asian ghost stories, hell scrolls and calligraphic traditions. The work, says Pien, “is initiated by the childhood wonder and fear of night. In darkness, details are lost and solid forms seem to give way to ephemeral, hard-to-define shapes. In this state, the senses appear to sharpen; yet physical perceptions succumb to wild imagination.”

Ed Pien was born in Taiwan and grew up in London, Ontario. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree from York University, Toronto, and his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Western Ontario. He has exhibited nationally and internationally, in venues that include The Drawing Centre, New York; The New Paradise, Taipei; La Biennale de Montréal; W139, Amsterdam; Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver; Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, Toronto; Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris; Middlesbrough Art Gallery, UK; Parkhaus, Berlin; Galerie Maurits van de Laar, The Hague; Pruss and Oches, Berlin; and Ex-Concento del Carman, Guadalahara. Ed Pien will also be participating in a national touring drawing exhibition curated by Kim Moodie, David Merritt and Sheila Butler. Ed Pien’s work is in the collections of the Musée des Beaux Arts, Montréal; The Canada Council Art Bank; McIntosh Gallery, London; Hamilton Art Gallery; Agnes Etherington Art Gallery, Kingston and the University of Toronto. Ed Pien is represented by Galerie Pierre-François Ouelette in Montreal and by the Birch Libralato Gallery in Toronto.

Image: Ed Pien, Tracing Night (details), ink on glassine paper, 2004. Photography by Isaac Applebaum.

The Ali and Corinne Hansen Family Fund Exhibition for 2006.

July 13 to September 15, 2006

Kumlyun Lee will suspend motion-sensitive fabric tubes from the gallery ceiling at Rodman Hall in her installation entitled Listen for light. See sound. Feel human presence. Visitors to the gallery will walk between the tubes, their movement and interaction initiating sensor activated coloured light and sounds. In recent years Kumlyun Lee has been exploring the possibilities of digital technology as a medium for a reconnection of nature and humanity. For Kumlyun Lee, it is the interaction of the spectator with the art work which brings the art to life.

Kumlyun Lee was born in South Korea. She pursued post graduate studies in Japan, where she received a master’s degree and a PhD in media art at Kyoto Seika University. She has been an active member of various multimedia groups and has participated in numerous international exhibitions. Currently, Lee lives and works in Seoul, South Korea, where she is as a full-time lecturer teaching digital art and scenography at Kaywon School of Art and Design.

Image: Kumlyun Lee, Listen for light. See sound. Feel human presence, multi-media installation, 2006.

Curated by Amanda Bonomo

May 12 to August 27, 2006

The history of western art often places women as the primary subject, model, and the muse of the male artist — the subject of what has come to be known as “the male gaze.” This term was coined by British film theorist Laura Mulvey who identified the dominance of the male point of view in the history of cinema. Similarly, art critic John Berger observed that “men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at” and he went on to deconstruct the subject of the female nude in art. Berger observed that “to be naked is to be one’s self. To be nude is to be seen by others and yet not recognized for oneself. A naked body has to be seen as an object in order to become nude.” It is with this collection of drawings from Rodman Hall’s permanent collection that one can question and compare the two terms; naked and nude.

Each artist has approached the female subject in a different manner. Some have chosen to see “her” as a landscape — the body as a pleasing arrangement of forms and shapes. But others have captured intimate moments of their subjects which seem to connect us to an individual. Sometime the gaze is returned, or a title names a person and a deeper, more complex relationship between the artist and the model.

Image: Sir Edward Burne-Jones (English, 1833-1898), Study for Two Figures in the Pygmalion Series, c. 1865-1870, chalk on paper, Gift of Dr. and Mrs. Albert Taliano, 1977. RH Acc. #308

May 12 to July 2, 2006

Vancouver artists Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky are specialists in the translation of everyday objects into wryly poetic monuments to consumer culture. They produce representations of common objects like staples, coffee cups, flags, shopping carts and cars using processes such as casting, tracing or embossing to record the shape and surface characteristics of an object. The finished works translate the forms into commentary – crumpling slowly under their own weight they have become a presence whose emptiness is deeply felt. Weppler and Mahovksy’s work refers to a culture of things, and indicates the accompanying sense of loss that plagues our collective consciousness.

The exhibition will feature the Thirty Foot Canoe Yawl (Collapsible), 2006, in addition to a new work constructed on site.

Rhonda Weppler and Trevor Mahovsky are Vancouver-based collaborative artists. Their work has recently been exhibited at the Or Gallery, Vancouver, the Ottawa Art Gallery, Owens Art Gallery, Sackville, New Brunswick; Galerie loop-raum, Berlin; Arco, Madrid; Pari Nadimi Gallery, Toronto, and at the Southern Alberta Art Gallery, Lethbridge, Alberta. Rhonda Weppler’s work has also been exhibited in shows such as Art Hypermarkets: Contesting Consumerism, Palazzo delle Papesse, Siena (2004), and Domicile, Centre on Contemporary Art, Seattle (2004). Trevor Mahovsky’s work has been included in Crossing the Line, Queens Museum of Art, New York (2001), and These Days, Vancouver Art Gallery (2001).

Image: Rhonda Weppler & Trevor Mahovsky, Foreground:Thirty Foot Canoe Yawl (Collapsible), fir veneer, resin, clamps; dimensions variable, 2006.
Background: Hummer HZ, tinfoil, glue, 2006.

January 22 to March 4, 2006

Despite their differences, the spaces depicted in Richard Perkins’s painting seemingly belong to the same, hive like structure. Yet it is an artificial world, where exterior walls suspiciously extend towards the four edges of the canvas, and where elements rarely hide their origins as crudely made models. In the absence of life and with the suggestion of abandonment, and in the free mixing of the real and the imaginary, these images depict a world of psychological states as much as physical places.

For the last eight years the painter Richard Perkins has been involved in a multidisciplinary practise. Each of his paintings has been based on a corresponding three-dimensional model. His series of paintings entitled Forms derived from papier mâché tubes that were twisted into knots. His Constructs series developed from models glued together with illustration board, and his series entitled The City emerges from complex mixed media architectural models.

Perkins creates paintings from memory, and in the process investigates the character of memory itself. His new paintings derive, in whole or in part, from specific recollections and observations from his past. His images are an amalgamation of moments, combining at times the distant memory of lived experience with references to vaguely remembered images of architectural modernism.

Richard Perkins received his BFA in Studio Art and Art History from Concordia University in Montreal and his MFA from the University of Guelph, in Guelph, Ontario. He has exhibited his work across Canada and in Sweden. He His is currently based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.For more information about Richard Perkins, go to his web site at http://www.richardperkinsarts.com 

Image: Richard Perkins, The Final Construct, oil on canvas, 2005

April 6 to 29, 2006

Rodman Hall Arts Centre is pleased to announce Fusion, a group exhibition of multimedia art featuring original work by seven fourth year students in Brock University’s Visual Arts Honours Program. The exhibition opens on Thursday, April 6 and closes on Saturday, April 29. The public is invited to a reception with the artists on Thursday, April 6, 2006 from 7 to 9 p.m. Gallery Hours are Monday through Thursday from noon to 9 p.m., and Friday through Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is free.

The works selected span a wide range of artistic practices, techniques, and methods to address the exhibition theme, Fusion. To merge elements into a whole is to create a fusion. Parts coalesce. Individuals unite. But there is ultimately no whole without the diverse; the distinct; the separate from which it is formed. The artists involved in the exhibition have each charted their own individual, conceptual and aesthetic path over the past eight months working at Rodman Hall. Their work represents the fusion of all that each person has accumulated over a lifetime; over this intense period of learning and research, that is university.

Juried by Arnie McBay and Lorraine Zandvliet

March 9 to April 2, 2006 

BLEND is a student run event that is part of the larger Arts Festival which has been running at Brock University for more than 25 years featuring student works in visual art, music and drama. BLEND will be a rich combination of the finest of Brock students’ visual art.

BLEND is open to VISA students at Brock university. There is no fee for entry. No artist is allowed more than two entries. Artists wishing to be a part of BLEND can bring their art work and register at Rodman Hall Arts Centre on Monday, March 6 from 5 to 7 p.m. or Tuesday, March 7 between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Jury awards will be announced at the opening reception on Thursday, March 9 at 7 p.m.

November 27, 2005 to January 14, 2006

Persona Volare is a collective of twelve Toronto-based artists dedicated to the exploration of non museum sites, especially those sites that have a special symbolic charge. While their media is diverse – sculpture, photography, painting, video and new media – their single intention is to invade and transform unlikely spaces.

Catherine Bédard, Director of Visual Arts Service at the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris, France invited the Toronto artist collective to install projects in the galleries and non gallery spaces throughout the Canadian Embassy in Paris in the spring of 2005. Installations took place in hallways, stairwells, and washrooms, in the galleries and in windows, on flagpoles, in the outdoor courtyard, as projections, projectiles and projectables.

The group’s intention was to create an exhibition that contained metaphors of conversation, intoxicating highs and resolute instinct. The exhibition, designed for the unique characteristics and qualities of the Canadian Cultural Centre, will be adapted to the unique character of Rodman Hall and will be comprised of video projections and monitors, sound, digital imagery, text, film, painting, drawing, photography, print making, sculpture, as well as “liquid and electronic diversions.”

Persona Volare is indeed a Canadian Club as is the well known staple of any bar, which leads the artists to describe their work in this exhibition as “spirited, euphoric and stimulating.”

For more information about Persona Volare, please go their web site at http://personavolare.com/

2005

November 27, 2005 to January 14, 2006

Persona Volare is a collective of twelve Toronto-based artists dedicated to the exploration of non museum sites, especially those sites that have a special symbolic charge. While their media is diverse – sculpture, photography, painting, video and new media – their single intention is to invade and transform unlikely spaces.

Catherine Bédard, Director of Visual Arts Service at the Canadian Cultural Centre in Paris, France invited the Toronto artist collective to install projects in the galleries and non gallery spaces throughout the Canadian Embassy in Paris in the spring of 2005. Installations took place in hallways, stairwells, and washrooms, in the galleries and in windows, on flagpoles, in the outdoor courtyard, as projections, projectiles and projectables.

The group’s intention was to create an exhibition that contained metaphors of conversation, intoxicating highs and resolute instinct. The exhibition, designed for the unique characteristics and qualities of the Canadian Cultural Centre, will be adapted to the unique character of Rodman Hall and will be comprised of video projections and monitors, sound, digital imagery, text, film, painting, drawing, photography, print making, sculpture, as well as “liquid and electronic diversions.”

Persona Volare is indeed a Canadian Club as is the well known staple of any bar, which leads the artists to describe their work in this exhibition as “spirited, euphoric and stimulating.”

For more information about Persona Volare, please go their web site at http://personavolare.com/

August 6 to September 18, 2005

Closing reception Saturday, September 17 from 2 to 4 p.m. at Rodman Hall and
from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Niagara Artists Company, 354 St. Paul Street, St. Catharines

This exhibition gathers work from private and public collections throughout Ontario and provides an opportunity to glimpse the lifetime effort of an art-making career: the growth and development of an artist, who stayed within the regional context, explored the avant-garde conventions of the day but followed her own specific course of inquiry. That inquiry saw her designing and painting the stage sets for the first production of the Shaw Festival, honing her consummate drawing skills and investigating sculpture, the medium in which she would realize her potential for provoking the sublime and challenging the obvious.

Her sculptural prowess draws heavily upon the juxtaposition of a common format or familiar object and the unconventional material used in its construction. For example, the hexagonal forms comprising a honeycomb, rendered in urethane soaked silk, expand the prosaic into an ethereal translucence of fragile rigidity. This play between the temporal nature of structure and her affinity for material and its transformative power imbues a speculation of ritual or totemic value to the sculptural form.

From 1950 to the present day Alice has been actively engaged in concerns and issues around art and contemporary art-making practice. As a founding member of one of Canada’s longest standing artist-run centres, the Niagara Artists’ Company in St. Catharines, she played a significant role in the area’s art community: exhibiting gained her much recognition in her efforts to confront the world as a woman, an artist, a parent and a breadwinner.

This exhibition has been organized by the Durham Art Gallery and has been brought to Rodman Hall in collaboration with the Niagara Artists’ Company.

Image: Alice Crawley, Wire Column, wire, 1987. Collection of the Canada Council Art Bank.

September 25 to November 16, 2005

Nancy Rahija’s exhibition at Rodman Hall will feature a selection from two bodies of photographic work: Floating Architecture and Passage. Floating Architecture is a series of oversized photographs and panoramic photo montages of shipping in North American ports. Rahija uses the negative as a documentary tool, photographing in multiple sequences and repeating particular elements. She responds to the rugged waterborne and weather worn character of her subject matter through a process of distressing. During studio production she moves back and forth between the darkroom and light box, adding dies and inks as well as a variety of textured and tinted tapes to change the colour and texture of the negative. Rahija works those materials into a composite glass plate negative to produce a print that is layered and rich – a colour saturated panoramic collage that celebrates this rough grandeur.

Passage is an exploration of the workings of lock systems. These tight focus close-up images, presented as photo assemblies and as diptychs, are a comparison of the architecture of lift locks in relation to the water that is contained and released from them. The impact that water has on the architecture of the lock systems is documented and manipulated by the artist, setting in relief the variety of organic colours and textures found within this functional, artificial part of the waterway. In both Floating Architecture and Passage the artist challenges not only the slick documentary tradition of photography that is associated with industrial architecture, but also the social perception of environments on the fringe, retrieving an aesthetic beauty from steel and water.

Nancy Rahija is a native of Hamilton, Ontario who has recently completed her Master of Fine Arts degree at the University of Nevada Las Vegas. Before entering the Masters program at UNLV, Rahija had established an impressive record of exhibitions in Canada and in the United States. She has been awarded academic graduate scholarships from UNLV in addition to visual arts grants by the Toronto Arts Council, the Ontario Arts Council and the Canada Council. She currently makes her home in Toronto. Illustrations of Nancy Rahija’s photography can be seen at http://mechanicalred.com/nancyrahija.html 

Image: Nancy Rahija, Marchen Maersk, colour photograph.

Organized by Cambridge Galleries and Rodman Hall Arts Centre.

May 20 to July 31, 2005

The Uneasiness of Silence is an exhibition of recent work by Montreal-based artist Joe Lima. Lima’s fresco and casein paintings feature figures in landscapes and interiors. The reference for this work comes from abandoned fields and interiors from Portugal and Canada, recorded in Super 8 film footage. Lima has reconstructed and manipulated this film footage into a series of montages, using these as reference material for the final painted artworks.

Painting with a subdued colour pallette, Lima has created a series of quietly inscrutable images – a child looking like it has stepped out of Gulliver’s travels looms over a landscape, ghostly half figures drift through the picture plane, an indistinct silhouette passes by a tree. Each image connects a frame, a 24th of a second, to the world of dreams and of vaguely remembered images of the past, of spaces linked to a personal past that no longer exists.

Joe Lima was born in Sao Miguel in the Portuguese Azores in 1963. He studied visual arts at Fanshawe College in London, Ontario and at Concordia University in Montreal, where he currently lives.

Featuring works by J.W. Beatty, Leonard Brooks, A.J. Casson, Paraskeva Clark, Charles Comfort, Lawren Harris, E.J. Hughes, A.Y. Jackson, Franz Johnston, David Milne, Goodridge Roberts and Carl Shaeffer.

The Canadian landscape is known for its vastness and variety and for many it is a defining characteristic of Canada. Yet, today Canadians live primarily urban centres. Is our attachment to an aesthetic of wilderness a nostalgia for a simpler time — of a world before massive development and resource extraction? Or perhaps we simply seek to reconnect with the earth and its natural cycles? Decide for yourself in this selection of classic Canadian landscape painting from Rodman Hall’s permanent collection.

Imgae: Lawren Harris, Canadian (B. 1885 – D. 1970), Lake Superior LXVI, nd., oil on board, Gift of the Douglas M. Duncan Estate, 1970. RH #332.

Wayne Corlis, Stephanie Data, Kevin McGuiness,Jennifer Herd, Debra Maney, Courtney Sendzik,Sabrina Van Tyghem, Nancy Zimmerman

April 10 to May 8, 2005

A Time and a Place, an exhibition of art work by Brock’s 4th year Visual Arts Honours class, provides an opportunity for eight evolving artists to make their mark.

During the past academic year, Rodman Hall has been home to the 4th year Visual Art Honors Class under the tutelage of Associate Professor Murray Kropf. The students turned the 3rd floor rooms and the old Rodman Hall laundry into creative places and active studio spaces. This exhibition is a record of their activity.

The title of the exhibition, A Time and a Place, was chosen by the artists to reflect the references to time and space found within the work of each member of the group. Within this common theme a wide range of media is represented from drawing and painting to the photographic documentation of ephemeral projects and installations.

Image: Back left to right: Nancy Zimmerman, Wayne Corlis, Debra Maney, Middle: Jennifer Herd, Stephanie Data, Kevin McGuiness, Sabrina Van Tyghem, Courtney Sendzik.

Adam Bourret, Kate Bryozowski, Rena Burns, Alex Chomyshyn, Emily Colombo, Wayne Corlis, Stephanie Data, Marlie Christine Huisman, Clayton P. Letourneau, Debra Maney, Mark Neufeld, Paige Peressotti, Paul Raskob, Ewelina Torbinski, Katie Webb, Nancy Zimmerman

March 13 to April 6, 2005

Juried by Melanie MacDonald and Gordon Hatt

VGS05: What’s that spell? It spells Visa Group Show 2005 and it is the second year that this juried exhibition of student work will take place at Rodman Hall.

The exhibition, which runs from March 13 through April 6 is a student run event that is part of the larger Arts Festival that has been running at Brock for more than 25 years displaying student works in visual art, music and drama. VGS05 will represent the best of Brock students’ visual art.

Stacey Breault is a third year visual arts student and the coordinator of the juried exhibition. According to Breault, “It’s going to be the best one yet!”

The jurors for this year’s exhibition will be Rodman Hall Director Gordon Hatt and St. Catharines artist Melanie MacDonald. Juror Melanie MacDonald is an alumna of the Brock VISA programme, and a respected painter. When asked if she would be a juror for this year’s show she said, “Sure, I’d love to!”

Gordon Hatt has been director of Rodman Hall Arts Centre since August of last year. When asked to be a juror he said, “I’m in. Brock students rule!”

VGS05 is open to VISA student at Brock university. There is no fee for entry. No artist is allowed more than two entries. Artists wishing to be a part of VGS05 can bring their art work and register at Rodman Hall Arts Centre on Monday, March 7 between 12 noon and 8 p.m. Jury awards will be announced at the opening reception on Wednesday, March 16 at 7 p.m.

Image: Paige Peressotti, Untitled, 2004, acrylic on canvas.

January 23 to March 7, 2005

Gretchen Sankey is interested in storytelling: How it helps us make sense of our lives, where personal narratives originate and how they mutate over time. She has been exploring this material over the past fifteen years, each series of work being informed by everything from cautionary fairy tales to bible stories, urban myths and school-yard gossip.

Recurring themes in her work are the co-existence of tenderness and brutality and the contrast of the mystical and the mundane. Throughout, the work is characterized by an interplay of contradictory narratives which feature a dominant (public) storyline and the more elusive, privately suppressed fragments that simmer just below the surface. Over the past several series, her graphic two dimensional images have lead to many small sculptural objects, some of which are featured in her Rodman Hall exhibition.

Born in Montreal, Sankey received her BFA and MFA degrees from York University. As a member of the 23rd Room curatorial collective, she has participated in the organization of exhibitions in alternative spaces, notably Duke-u-menta ’90, ’94 and ’96. Her work has also been included in numerous national and international group exhibitions, most recently at the Robichon Galleries in Denver, Colorado (2004), and at the Rockefeller Arts Centre in Fredonia, New York (2003). Gretchen Sankey lives in Toronto.

Image: Gretchen Sankey, Over the Rainbow (detail), 2004, ink and gouache on paper.

January 23 to March 6, 2005

Max Streicher’s work may be situated within a discourse of contemporary urbanism, addressing issues ranging from the exploration of the poetics of daily life to the relationship between architecture and public art. Streicher sews together lightweight synthetic cloth, like Tyvek, which is typically used in industry into forms are inflated and animated by industrial fans and simple valve mechanisms.

Streicher will install his inflatable sculpture Endgame in Rodman Hall’s Harris-Godwin Gallery. These clown-like head gaze into the distance with expressions that read as a combination of bewilderment, alarm, and awe. At times they resemble the crassly exuberant commercial advertising of the used car lot, but they may also appear disconsolate and abject — like the discarded heads of giant puppets. While this work plays on the seductive conventions of a kind of advertising (e.g. the inflatable King Kongs increasingly found at car dealerships these days), it in fact behaves quite indifferently to the curiosity of the viewer. Streicher says that if his heads were used to advertise something they would be upright, facing the viewer, initiating and reinforcing the cycle of commercial exchange. ” . . . my heads do not look at the viewer –– they look elsewhere. They refuse to co-operate.”

Streicher’s strategy is to “overwhelm the space to create a very physical experience that is not about the contemplation of a discrete object against a neutral ground. This work can, suggests Streicher “create moments of gathering, not for celebration or remembrance, but for the witnessing of spectacle. As an experiment in public sculpture, this work reflects my sense that our most profound shared public experience is our simultaneous witnessing of disasters wherever in the world they may be occurring.” Max Streicher was born in Olds, Alberta. He received both a BFA and an MFA from York University in Toronto. Since 1989 he has worked extensively with kinetic figurative inflatable forms. Streicher has exhibited across Canada in numerous public galleries and artist-run centres and he has completed several site-related projects, most recently in Kitchener, Venice, Siena, Stockholm and Erfurt, Germany and at the Art Gallery of Ontario. Max Streicher is represented by Artcore Gallery in Toronto. You can learn more about him on his website at http://maxstreicher.com/

Image: Max Streicher, Endgame (detail), 1999, painted Tyvek, electric fans, 6.5 meters high.

December 5, 2004 to January 16, 2005

Since 1992, Toronto-based artist Angela Leach has been working on a project entitled Abstract Repeat — a series of acrylic paintings which investigate the optical ajnd spatial transformation of the picture plane by using repetition in combination with colour and line. Her signature Abstract Repeat Wave series began in 1997 and has continued to the present.

Leach creates the illusion of perspective with the intersection of two linear waves at critical points. Each successive sine wave moving across the surface of the painting appears to taper and thicken in proximity to the next wave. This attenuation leaves the impression of a spatial recession characterized by a rolling wave. Leach then applies to these drawings a restricted colour palette of thirty-two colours which she organizes in complex repeating patterns. By repeating a sequence of colour placed in order from dark to light, for example, following the placement of the four darkest colours, she can complete a painting as a series of logical next steps. By altering the sequence or the colour key, Leach can create an almost infinite variety of unique colour patterns. Most observers of Leach’s work, however, have tended to focus on the optical illusions generated by her drawing and compare her to the British Op artist Bridget Riley. While Riley uses elements of graphic design and colour theory to achieve her optical effects, Leach’s images are arrived at as intellectually conceived complex repeating patterns. Colour rarely plays an illusory role in Leach’s work, rather it is applied as an exercise in complex sequencing.

Angela Leach was born in 1966. She attended Sheridan College School of Crafts and Design in Oakville, Ontario and graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design. Having been introduced to the discipline of painting at OCAD and to textile design at Sheridan College, she eventually found in her work a marriage of the two. Leach has participated in many group exhibitions in her native Toronto as well as showing in Vancouver, Chicago, New York and Madrid. Significant exhibitions include Perspective 96, curated by Jessica Bradley at the Art Gallery of Ontario (1996); Rococo Tattoo: The Ornamental Impulse in Toronto Art, curated by Philip Monk at the Power Plant, (1997); TRANSlinear, co-curated by Michael Davidson and Ihor Holubizky at the McMaster Museum of Art in Hamilton (1999), and Visual Stimulants, with Ken Singer and Jeremy Stanbridge, curated by Keith Wallace for the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2000). The body of work in this exhibition was first exhibited in 2003 at Cambridge Galleries in Cambridge, Ontario and has travelled to the Southern Alberta Art Gallery in Lethbridge, Alberta. After Rodman Hall, the exhibition will travel to the Owens Art Gallery in Sackville, New Brunswick and to the Doris McCarthy Gallery at the University of Toronto’s Scarborough College. Angela Leach’s work was recently featured in Richard Rhode’s “The News at Five” during the this year’s Toronto International Art Fair.

Image: Angela Leach, Abstract Repeat – Wave Large #3, 2002, acrylic on canvas (installation view).

2004

December 5, 2004 to January 16, 2005

Since 1992, Toronto-based artist Angela Leach has been working on a project entitled Abstract Repeat — a series of acrylic paintings which investigate the optical ajnd spatial transformation of the picture plane by using repetition in combination with colour and line. Her signature Abstract Repeat Wave series began in 1997 and has continued to the present.

Leach creates the illusion of perspective with the intersection of two linear waves at critical points. Each successive sine wave moving across the surface of the painting appears to taper and thicken in proximity to the next wave. This attenuation leaves the impression of a spatial recession characterized by a rolling wave. Leach then applies to these drawings a restricted colour palette of thirty-two colours which she organizes in complex repeating patterns. By repeating a sequence of colour placed in order from dark to light, for example, following the placement of the four darkest colours, she can complete a painting as a series of logical next steps. By altering the sequence or the colour key, Leach can create an almost infinite variety of unique colour patterns. Most observers of Leach’s work, however, have tended to focus on the optical illusions generated by her drawing and compare her to the British Op artist Bridget Riley. While Riley uses elements of graphic design and colour theory to achieve her optical effects, Leach’s images are arrived at as intellectually conceived complex repeating patterns. Colour rarely plays an illusory role in Leach’s work, rather it is applied as an exercise in complex sequencing.

Angela Leach was born in 1966. She attended Sheridan College School of Crafts and Design in Oakville, Ontario and graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design. Having been introduced to the discipline of painting at OCAD and to textile design at Sheridan College, she eventually found in her work a marriage of the two. Leach has participated in many group exhibitions in her native Toronto as well as showing in Vancouver, Chicago, New York and Madrid. Significant exhibitions include Perspective 96, curated by Jessica Bradley at the Art Gallery of Ontario (1996); Rococo Tattoo: The Ornamental Impulse in Toronto Art, curated by Philip Monk at the Power Plant, (1997); TRANSlinear, co-curated by Michael Davidson and Ihor Holubizky at the McMaster Museum of Art in Hamilton (1999), and Visual Stimulants, with Ken Singer and Jeremy Stanbridge, curated by Keith Wallace for the Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver (2000). The body of work in this exhibition was first exhibited in 2003 at Cambridge Galleries in Cambridge, Ontario and has travelled to the Southern Alberta Art Gallery in Lethbridge, Alberta. After Rodman Hall, the exhibition will travel to the Owens Art Gallery in Sackville, New Brunswick and to the Doris McCarthy Gallery at the University of Toronto’s Scarborough College. Angela Leach’s work was recently featured in Richard Rhode’s “The News at Five” during the this year’s Toronto International Art Fair.

Image: Angela Leach, Abstract Repeat – Wave Large #3, 2002, acrylic on canvas (installation view).

Curated by Jean Bridge

October 14 to November 25, 2004 

Stunning features the work of three prominent contemporary Canadian artists – Catherine Heard, Suzy Lake and Jane Martin. The exhibition will open October 14. It is curated by Brock University visual arts professor, Jean Bridge. Stunning is part of the Image and Imagery Conference being hosted by Brock University, October 13 to 15.

This exhibition focuses on works that are particularly arresting in their simultaneous presentation of beauty and pain. The artists in the exhibition approach the difficult and often taboo subjects of disease, decay and aging through the lens of beauty and its conventions. In this exhibition the motif of garden, fashion, textile and furniture design is juxtaposed with the visceral — aspects of the human body that social convention renders repugnant.

Jane Martin’s breathtaking paintings of faded roses and human flesh bizarrely compressed into polite cabinets signify containment, even entrapment. She represents the human body even in its metaphorical floral guise as frail flesh, lovingly doomed. Her work has been exhibited in the National Gallery of Canada and was recently the subject of a retrospective at the Carleton University Art Gallery in Ottawa.

Suzy Lake’s photographs and photo-installations such as Lido and Peonies, Lido and Lipstick and My Friend Told Me I Carry Too Many Stones the image of a figure scratching wallpaper from the wall matches the tender vulnerability of the female body with listless anxiety. Lake’s significant body of photographic work has been widely exhibited internationally and across Canada for the last 25 years. Her work is being featured this fall in a survey exhibition at Hart House at the University of Toronto.

Catherine Heard’s papercuts, prints and sculptural work finds its expression in the doll — baby effigies that become metaphors of arrested growth, and deep anxieties centred in the body. She shifts the decorative delight in perfected balance to embodied disorder in Symmetries. In her wax sculptures, collectively titled Stain, she disrupts of purity of innocense with deep-seated disease. Heard’s recent work has been exhibited at the Museum of Canadian Contemporary Art and the Textile Museum of Canada in Toronto.

Image: Suzy Lake, My Friend Told Me I Carry Too Many Stones, 1994, colour photo collage.

October 7 to November 21, 2004

Bill Ralph is a professor of mathematics at Brock University. In his study of dynamical systems Ralph became fascinated by the idea of using algorithms to generate abstract images. He started with simple graphic illustrations of mathematical models, and proceeded to create images of increasing complexity. His images possess qualities not normally associated with formula output such as subtle textures and blends and apparently spontaneous or randomly generated shapes. Ralph assesses each image for aesthetic interest, adjusting the algorithm to achieve a final satisfying result. The completed image, which may in the end constitute a 500 megabyte file size, is then output as a giclée print.

Image: Bill Ralph, Lineal, 2004, giclée print on paper.

Curated by Greta Hildebrand

September 12 to October 10, 2004

Beyond the Bed: A Quilt Retrospective, features works by a group known as the Fabulous Five. The group, consisting of local artisans Irja Donaghue, Cheryl Schonewille, Mary Filek, Marilyn Walker and Marion Hardy, have worked together since the 1980s with a focus for learning new techniques and methodologies in their quilt work.

“Quilts have different meanings to different people,” says Marilyn Walker. “For some, they are bed coverings, while others regard them as heirlooms and treasures. This exhibit will help quilters and non-quilters alike to be inspired by the effort and retrospect that is captured within each piece.”

Walker attributes to the Women’s movement of the 1970’s the growing appreciation of the quilt as an art form. Formerly confined to and admired in the home as a domestic craft, quilts are now widely exhibited in museums and art galleries throughout the world. Morevover the growth in interest in quilts has also led to new developments in the art form. According to Walker, contemporary quilts are very different from their earlier counterparts. New technologies and the availability of a much wider variety of fabrics have allowed quilters a greater freedom of self expression.

Image: Fractured Dreams: Birth of a Galaxy, 2003, by the Fabulous Five: Irja Donaghue, Mary Filek, Marion Hardy, Cheryl Schonewille & Marilyn Walker, 173 x 173 cm.