Department of Art
Department of Art
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.
The Department of Art’s Visiting Artists series continues on February 28 with Winnipeg-based artist, curator and writer, J.J. Kegan McFadden. His projects, in exhibition and print form, are informed by questions of memory - its function and implication - in socio-cultural contexts. His exhibitions have been presented across Canada in artist-run, public, and university galleries. CMagazine, Canadian Art, Border Crossings, Fuse, Prefix, Visual Arts News have commissioned critical writing by McFadden and he has a regular column, "Notes with a Broken Camera", in Black Flash. From Making a Point to Pointing, ways of curating - What if exhibitions didn’t have to prove anything? How can we curate in order to investigate boredom, drugs, escape, and murder? Kegan will offer a brief overview of some of his curatorial projects with a focus on exploratory research and ways exhibition-makers can avoid the pitfalls of pigeonholes. McFadden will be speaking at 10a.m. in the Department of Art, room 672.
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.
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.
Congratulations to McCauley Wanner and the Alleles Design Studio (https://www.alleles.ca/). Alleles was a recent winner of the Design Exchange’s Emerging Designer Competition. Wanner is a designer partner for Alleles which creates affordable and accessible cosmetic options for lower limb amputees; the design studio uses fashion and design to transform prosthetic cosmesis from a medical device into a fashion accessory. Wanner, who received her Masters of Industrial Design in 2011 from the Faculty of Environmental Design, was supervised by Denis Gadbois (Gadbois is now an instructor with the Department of Art).
The Design Exchange, located in Toronto, is Canada`s Design Museum; the Emerging Designer Competition provides a platform for up-and-coming Canadian designers representing all design disciplines to receive recognition and exposure.
The Little Gallery in the Department of Art presents “DOCUMENTA (13): Liminality and Aesthetic Experience” by Brady Fullerton from February 10th to 21st. A graduate of the U of C’s Bachelor of Philosophy program, Fullerton’s research focus was on perception and aesthetics and he was awarded a PURE award to travel to dOCUMENTA, a festival of modern and contemporary art which takes place every five years in Kassel, Germany. The resulting exhibition, “DOCUMENTA (13):…”, is a photo essay examining the behaviour of spectators at the festival; it presents and preserves the complexity inherent in aesthetic encounters as explored through a constellation of related essays and photographs. Curated by senior Bachelors of Art History student, Jenna Swift, Fullerton's show has been included as part of the programming for the 2014 Exposure Photography Festival. A reception will take place on February 13th from 4-8p.m. (the Little Gallery is located on the 6th floor, room 621, of the Art Parkade Building).
GalleryFM, an initiative of the Computational Media Design (CMD) graduate program, opened on February 19th 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.
Photographs by Kristine Thoreson, a PhD student and sessional instructor in the Department of Art, are currently on exhibit at the Leighton Art Centre. “The Big Picture” exhibition presents breathtaking photographs of the Canadian landscape - both natural and constructed and features Thoreson’s large-scale composite images exploring the glacial landscape of the Rockies alongside the photographs of Lorraine Field. The exhibition is part of the Calgary Banff Canmore Exposure Photography Festival and will be at the Leighton Art Centre from January 18 to February 22.
The Department of Art’s Visiting Artists series continues on February 14 with interdisciplinary artist, Tanya Rusnak. Rusnak studied at the Alberta College of Art + Design and at École Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Strasbourg before obtaining a Master of Fine Arts degree in Art with a specialization in interdisciplinary work from the University of Calgary. Working predominantly through the mediums of drawing and installation, Rusnak’s research focuses on drawing viewers into a reflective experience in which the environment serves as the temporal dimension around which meanings and processes are formulated. Exhibitions of the artist’s work have been presented across Canada and abroad, including: the Illingworth Kerr Gallery (Calgary, Alberta), the Art Gallery of Alberta (Edmonton, Alberta), the Southern Alberta Art Gallery (Lethbridge, Alberta), The Confederation Centre Art Gallery, (Charlottetown, P.E.I.) and the Walter Phillips Gallery (Banff, Alberta). The recipient of various awards and honors, including grants from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and the Canada Council for the Arts, Rusnak’s work is held in national and international collections. Rusnak lives and works in Calgary and she currently teaches in the School of Visual Studies at the Alberta College of Art + Design. Tanya Rusnak will be speaking from 10-11:30am in the Gallery Hall of the Taylor Family Digital Library.
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.C.
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/)