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Submitted by admin on Tue, 02/02/2010 - 4:24pm

 

The Department of Art is committed to the study and practice of the visual arts as these relate to creative art making, educational practice and theory, and the understanding of art in its diverse historical and cultural settings. The U of C produces graduates well equipped to meet the numerous overlapping skills currently demanded within professional art practice and theoretical discourse.

Announcements and Events

  • At the 2014 Calgary Stampede’s Western Art Showcase, the art of Katie Green and William Downey will be on display in a section devoted to new and emerging student artists.  Green, who received her B.F.A. in June, has two water colours in the show, while Downey, who will graduate in September with an M.F.A., has two pastels.  Both Green and Downey were invited to join the Western Art Showcase after submitting images of their work (Green will also participate in the Artist on Site Day on July 11, where she’ll be painting in public).

    The Head of the Department of Art, Brian Rusted, says the Stampede is encouraging student artists to explore and research Western imagery through initiatives such as scholarship programs and the artists’ ranch residency project and by providing exhibition space for post-secondary students. As many as 10,000 people a day view the Western Art Showcase and for participating artists, the exposure can be invaluable to their professional development.

  • This summer, the Department of Art is offering a course that focuses on the Calgary Stampede's longstanding involvement with western art.  Taught by Brian Rusted, "The Art of the Calgary Stampede" runs from July 2 – 21, 2014.  The course will explore the development of the western art genre and creative responses to the visual language of the west; students will consider issues connected with the significance of convention and stereotype and the visual and tourist construction of place.  A unique feature of the course is that students will attend lectures on campus in a “traditional” classroom setting as well on the grounds of the Calgary Stampede, at the University of Calgary’s Nickle Galleries and at the Glenbow Museum. 

    Rusted is Head of the Department of Art and is an Associate Professor with the Department of Communication and Culture.

  • Denis Gadbois’ entry in the All About the IMAGE’s photo challenge, Every Picture Tells a Story, has won first prize in the "Imagination" category.  Gadbios’ photo, “Survivor Tree Old Wanchai Hong Kong”, was taken in Hong Kong with a 6D camera and a 8-15mm lens; the high dynamic range shots were then stitched together using Kolor software.  Because of real-estate development, trees are becoming increasingly rare in Hong Kong.  The trees are cut down for developments while the growth and health of existing trees is affected by the lack of the sunlight and the amounts of asphalt and concrete that cover the soil. Gadbois, an instructor in the Department of Art, received $1,000 for his winning submission.  To see all of the winning entries, go to http://prophotoblog.ca/industrynews/every-picture-tells-a-story-photo-challenge-the-winners
  • The Department of Art congratulates Katie Green who, in addition to receiving her B.F.A. (Distinction) in Visual Studies degree (Studio Concentration) at the June 10thconvocation ceremony, will also receive the Department's Silver Medallion.  Each Department awards the Silver Medallion every year to the student graduating with the highest academic distinction. 

    For Green, winning the Silver Medallion is an honor; she says “during my degree I worked extremely hard to continually push myself and my artistic practice. My five years at the University showed me discipline, exploration, dedication, and diversity within my practice”.  Green feels blessed that the Department celebrates and supports her efforts and says “though my educational journey was very personal, I could not have attained the success without the help of my professors and fellow students”.  Winning the Silver Medallion is not only a recognition of highest academic standing; for Green, the award “also commemorates… all the late nights in the studio, the tears and the laughs with my fellow students, the mistakes and the feats and to all my family and friends who consistently supported me throughout all the moments that got me here. They are all just as proud to see me receive this award”. 

  • Geoffrey Simmins is co-author of a book about John C. Parkin, a Canadian architect and urban planner.  “John C. Parkin, Archives, and Photography: Reflections on the Practice and Presentation of Modern Architecture” explores the work and career of the Canadian architect and urban planner.  Parkin led the wave of post-war modernism in Canadian architecture, both in how architecture was expressed and in what it represented and he was involved in the creation of numerous projects, including hospitals, airports, schools, shopping malls and factories.

    Simmins has published numerous articles and books on Canadian architecture and he is an emeritus professor with the Department of Art where he taught courses in Art History.  “John C. Parkin, Archives, and Photography: Reflections on the Practice and Presentation of Modern Architecture” is published by the University of Calgary Press; there will be book launch at Shelf Life Books on June 2nd.

  • Elizabeth Herbert and Christine Sowiak of the Department of Art are contributors to the book, “Marion Nicoll: Silence and Alchemy”.  The book explores the life and career of Marion Nicoll,the first female instructor at the Provincial Institute of Art and Technology (now the Alberta College of Art and Design) and one of Alberta’s most influential artists. 
    Herbert is a sessional instructor with the Department of Art and an independent curator and author.  Sowiak is also a sessional instructor with the Department and the curator of art at The Nickle Galleries. 
    On May 22, the University of Calgary Press will launch “Marion Nicoll: Silence and Alchemy”; the launch will coincide with the opening reception of “Fine Lines: Drawings from the Nickle Collection and the Mackie Donation”, an exhibition which features some of Nicoll’s work as well as drawings by a number of other Canadian artists (the reception begins at 5p.m. in Gallery Hall of the Taylor Family Digital Library).

  • The Spring 2014 issue of Canadian Art Magazine has published a review by Department of Art sessional instructor, Laurel Smith; “Arlene Stamp by Laurel Smith”, reviews an exhibition by Stamp at the Nickle Galleries last fall.  Smith was prompted to write the article after she interviewed Stamp as part of her (Smith) doctoral research; both women were investigating the subject of the color red in art.  Smith is a practising artist who creates minimal painting and conceptual art; she has been teaching for the Department of Art since 2006.

  • Congratulations to RICHard SMOLinski for his recent article in Canadian Theatre Review (#158)!  In " Chika Modum. Identity: borrowed, enlarged, projected, traced and modified ", SMOLinski reviews the 2013 performance piece of Modum, a graduate of the Department's Master's program.  Smolinski's insightful and thought-provoking review demonstrates that his abilities and talent reach beyond visual art into performance and theatre research.  SMOLinski is a sessional instructor for the University of Calgary's Department of Art.

  • The Department of Art is pleased and proud to announce that David Bershad , professor of Art History, has won a Students' Union (SU) Teaching Excellence Award (2013/2014).  The following are some of the comments written by students who nominated Bershad for the award:

- He made me fall in love with art history
- The classroom was ...full of respect and kindness
- He inspires and is the Dalai Lama of Art History
- His knowledge of the subject is rivaled only by his sense of humor
- He changed my life. I’ve never had a professor that has been so supportive [of my learning]
- He welcomes each student as they enter the classroom by name, and tries to get to know his students as people

Given the size of the amalgamated Faculty of Arts, the Department (of Art) realizes that this award is no small achievement; it speaks to both the quality of interaction that Bershad has with his students and also the numbers of students he has influenced across the Faculty.  This is the third time that Bershad has won the SU Teaching Excellence Award - Congratulations!

  • Royal College of Art (RCA) students, Maito Jobbe duval and Soojin Hong, will be presenting their work in the Department of Art’s Little Gallery during the week of February 24th – 28th.  Maito and Soojin are graduate students from the RCA in London, England; they are at the Department of Art as part of a six-week exchange program.
    RCA 2014 For Maito, working away from a familiar home was what attracted her to participate in the exchange; “Being an artist means you don’t know what your future is going to be. I wanted to experience how it feels to be so far away from home and how it would affect my work.”  Soojin was attracted by the dynamic of Calgary; “Calgary is changing, different scenes are popping up; it’s a big city with a small town feel.  Calgary is half nature, half city and it relates to a lot of work that I deal with, the threshold and fine line between things, going back and forth but also merging as one.”

    Both Maito and Soojin agree that Calgary is slower paced and more relaxed than London and that this has helped to increase their focus and self-reflection.  Being in Calgary has allowed Maito to confirm that photography is the main part of her work. “I’ve used photography a lot more loosely. I’ve been obsessed with the light in Calgary. It is a symbol of my experience here.”  Soojin, who describes her work as sculptural painting, consisting of different pieces coming together as one, says “I’ve been making a lot of great influenced work because of the environment and interactions."

    An opening reception will be at the Little Gallery (Art Building Room 604) on February 24th from 4 to 7:30 p.m.

  • Royal College of Art (RCA) exchange student, Sarah Gillett , has won the Pushing Print Solo Exhibition Prize for 2013. The prize is a solo exhibition at the Margate Gallery (Kent, U.K.) in October, 2014.  The monoprint collage that won the prize was developed during Sarah’s exchange with the University of Calgary’s Department of Art last year.
  • GalleryFM , an initiative of the Computational Media Design (CMD) graduate program, opened on February 19 th on the main level of the ICT building. The space is an interactive art/media/music/science/design gallery where students and faculty members from the CMD program and other members of the University of Calgary community can showcase their innovative installations and creative work.
    Launched in the fall of 2013, the CMD program is a collaboration between the Department of Art and the School of Creative and Performing Arts (Faculty of Arts), the Department of Computer Science (Faculty of Science) and the Faculty of Environmental Design. Students can earn a Master of Science or a PhD degree in CMD; these research-based graduate degrees explore the relationships among art, music, design, science and technology.  Oksana Kryzhanivska , a PhD student in the CMD program, is one of the directors of GalleryFM.
     

 

Upcoming Events

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Faculty and Student Exhibitions in Calgary and Around the World

  •  The Department of Art is pleased to announce a new exhibition space at the EPCOR CENTRE for the Performing Arts in downtown Calgary. The Plus 15 window galleries are coordinated by Calgary artist-run centres and post-secondary institutions to highlight the work of emerging artists.  The first exhibition, "Mediators", features the work of Katie Green.  Green describes her exhibition as exploring “how our deeply rooted mammalian instincts and emotions may find expression in our unconscious minds. Using the interpretation of dreams as a method to access and visualize an unconscious landscape, I have observed that the heightened states experienced in our dream narratives are those we share with other mammals. Once the visual complexity and abstraction of dreams is made sensible to us, we see the repeated expression of shared emotions, such as fear, sexuality and territoriality. The dreams then become catalysts for the contemplation of our conscious emotional and physical behaviors”. 

    Green will receive her B.F.A. degree in Visual Studies (with a Studio Concentration) at the June 10th convocation ceremony.  She is also this year’s winner of the Department of Art’s Silver Medallion which is awarded to the graduating student who achieves the highest grade point average.

    “Mediators” is sponsored by the EPCOR CENTRE for the Performing Arts and runs until July 30th. The closing reception with take place on July 17th from 6 to 7p.m. (refreshments to follow at Wine-Ohs, 811 - 1st Street S.W.).

  • The photography of Jennifer Norman, a former graduate of the Bachelor of Fine Arts program, is presented at Calgary’s Pith Gallery.  Norman’s exhibit, “The Ecologies of Photography”, is part of the Exposure Photography Festival 2014.  “The Ecologies of Photography”visualizes a selection of heavy industries that are directly and indirectly related to the production of photography itself.  The term ‘ecology’ invokes the complexities involved in ecologically motivated photography to reference both the aesthetic benefits and ecological drawbacks of the photographic medium; the images acknowledge that our successes in industrial production have ironically contributed to our environmental failures, while simultaneously suggesting that we might positively learn from past mistakes by pursuing unlikely and creative avenues in the future.  After receiving her B.F.A. (Honours) from the University of Calgary in 2005, Norman completed a PhD in Photography from the Sydney College of Arts, Australia; she is now based in Victoria, B.

    The exhibition runs from February 14 to March 7, 2014, with an opening reception on Friday, February 14, 8-11p.m. (http://www.pithgallery.com/)