Visiting Artist series on now

The ever-popular Visiting Artist free lecture series is back once again, presenting a fascinating series of local, national and international artists and cultural figures guaranteed to make you think. Organized this year by new associate professor Paule Walde and presented by the Department of Visual Arts, we’ve already seen the first lecture of the fall 2012 season—Visual Arts grad and current Thompson Rivers University sculpture and intermedia professor Doug Buis—but there’s a full schedule of artists slated to run through November.

Up next is Nicholas Galanin, the 2012/13 Audain Visiting Professor in Contemporary Arts of the Pacific Northwest. Born in Sitka, Alaska, Galanin is a multi-disciplinary Tlingit/Aleut artist who has struck an intriguing balance between his origins and exploration in new perceptual territory. Galanin studied at the London Guildhall University, where he received a BFA with honours in Jewelry Design and Silversmithing, and at Massey University in New Zealand earning a Master’s in Indigenous Visual Arts. Valuing his culture as highly as his individuality, Galanin has created an unusual path for himself by deftly navigating “the politics of cultural representation” and balancing both ends of the aesthetic spectrum. Hear him speak at 8pm Wednesday, September 19, in room A162 of the Visual Arts building.

The following week sees a special double bill of visiting Orion Lecturer Luigi Ferrara and Irish installation artist Susan MacWilliam. Ferrara—an acclaimed architect, designer, entrepreneur, educator and director of the Institute Without Boundaries—comes to us as part of his participation in History in Art’s annual Faculty Research Symposium (more on that below). MacWilliam—a noted Belfast artist who has an ongoing study of significant events in the history of paranormal research—is in town for a pair of shows at Open Space, F-L-A-M-M-A-R-I-O-N and Persistent Personalities. Ferrara speaks at 6:30pm followed by MacWilliam at 8pm Wednesday, September 26, in room A162 of the Visual Arts building. There will even be a bar on hand so attendees can get a drink between sessions!

After that comes Ottawa-based photo and installation artist Andrew Wright. An assistant professor of visual art at the University of Ottawa, Wright’s work is described as “multi-tiered inquiries into the nature of perception, photographic structures and technologies, and the ways we relate to an essentially mediated and primarily visual world.” With linkages to practices as diverse as Alfred Stieglitz and Iain Baxter& (with whom Wright worked in the ’90s), Wright’s use of photography is decidedly non-conventional as it eschews lyricism and traditional pictorial aims. The award-winning artist and six-time Sobey nominee has exhibited both nationally and internationally, participated in residencies including the Banff Centre and Braziers Workshop (U.K.), as a war artist with the Canadian Forces Artist Program aboard Canadian warship H.M.C.S. Toronto and is the founding Artistic Director for Contemporary Art Forum Kitchener and Area. Hear him talk at 8pm Wednesday, October 3, in room A162 of the Visual Arts building.

Following up the next week is Toronto video and installation artist
Deirdre Logue. Her performance-based film, video and installation works are self-portraits uniquely located between comfort and trauma, self-liberation and self-annihilation. By using domestic objects and spaces to contrary ends, Logue’s works capture gesture, duration and the body as both subject and object. Her practice is not production or “master narrative” driven nor is it dependent on the use of tools typically applied in conventional film and video; rather her work is made in a direct move away from an industry model and is expressly personal, emotional and political. Solo exhibitions of her award-winning work have taken place in Canadian, American and European film festivals.   Deirdre is also the co-founder and director of the Feminist Art Gallery in Toronto where she lives and works. See what she’s all about at 8pm Wednesday, October 10, in room A162 of the Visual Arts building.

Still to be confirmed is the actual date in October when noted curator Denise Markonish will be visiting.  Markonish is the curator at MASS MoCA, where she has curated the exhibitions Petah Coyne’s Everything That Rises Must Converge; Inigo Manglano-Ovalle’s Gravity is a force to be reckoned with; and These Days: Elegies for Modern Times and Badlands. Markonish has also curated exhibitions at Artspace (New Haven, CT), the Fuller Museum (Brockton, MA) and the Main Line Art Center (Haverford, PA), and has taught at University of New Haven, Stonehill College and the Rhode Island School of Design. Markonish recently completed Oh! Canada, one of the largest survey shows of Contemporary Canadian Art ever presented outside of Canada. Once the date is set, Markonish will also be in room A162 of the Visual Arts building.

Come November, you can expect a lively evening with well-known British art critic Barry Schwabsky.
The London-based Schwabsky is the art critic for The Nation and has been writing about art for the magazine since 2005; his essays have appeared in many other publications, including Flash Art (Milan), Artforum, the London Review of Books and Art in America. His books include The Widening Circle: Con­sequences of Modernism in Contemporary Art, Vitamin P: New Perspectives in Painting and several volumes of poetry. Schwabsky has contributed to books and catalogs on artists such as Henri Matisse, Alighiero Boetti, Jessica Stockholder and Gillian Wearing, and has taught at the School of Visual Arts, Pratt Institute, New York University, Goldsmiths College (University of London) and Yale University. Hear him at 8pm Wednesday, November 7, in room A162 of the Visual Arts building.

Our final Visiting Artist of 2012 will be New Yorker Brendan Fernandes.
Born in Kenya of Indian descent, Fernandes immigrated to Canada in 1989, then completed the Independent Study Program of the Whitney Museum of American Art (2007), earned a BFA from York University (2002) and his MFA from the University of Western Ontario (2005). He has exhibited nationally and internationally, including exhibitions at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Museum of Art and Design (New York), the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, the National Gallery of Canada, Mass MoCA, the Andy Warhol Museum, Deutsche Guggenheim, the Third Guangzhou Triennial and the Western New York Biennial through The Albright-Knox Art Gallery, among others. Currently splitting his time between Toronto and New York, Fernandes has participated in numerous residency programs including The Canada Council for the Arts International Residency in Trinidad and Tobago (2006), The Lower Manhattan Cultural Council’s Work Space (2008) and Swing Space (2009) programs, and invitations to the Gyeonggi Creation Center at the Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art, Korea (2009) and ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany (2011). Catch him at 8pm Wednesday, November 21, in room A162 of the Visual Arts building.

There will be a new slate of Visiting Artists in 2013. Stay tuned for details!

September starts with a bang

First week back at school and the fall events are already up and running!

First off the mark is Visual Arts instructor Tara Nicholson, whose exhibit of photography Somewhere Beyond Nowhere opens September 7 and runs through to October 6 at Deluge Contemporary Art, 636 Yates.

Tara Nicholson’s Tyvek House, Salmon Beach

A photo-based artist whose work revolves around myths of Canadian wilderness, the BC-born Nicholson weaves visual narratives between the psychological and physical presence of northern territories. Visiting remote landscapes and communities, she has created several bodies of work probing Canada’s underlying historical and present day narratives associated to its isolated landmasses. She uses photography, sound installation, painting and writing to reflect on her fascination with utopian landscapes, secret hideouts and her desire to create proof of the existence of wilderness. Her images hover between reality and fiction representing imagined landscapes and invented states of being.

Next up is Department of Writing alumni and noted author Richard Van Camp, who is returning to campus for a special event to help celebrate UVic’s Indigenous Week of Welcome. While the Week of Welcome includes a number of events and activities, Van Camp will be joined by City of Victoria poet laureate Janet Rogers for a special lunchtime storytelling gathering, 11am to 2pm Tuesday, September 11, in First Peoples House. All are welcome to join in what promises to be a memorable experience.

Van Camp is a member of the Dogrib (Tlicho) Nation from Fort Smith, NWT who currently teaches creative writing for aboriginal students at UBC. He’s written poems, short stories, novellas, children’s books and novels, has written for radio, television and film,  have been published in anthologies and journals since 1992; he’s also the writer-in-residence for their CBC Radio One’s weekend show, North by Northwest.

Looking for some cheesy fun? Don’t miss the annual Fine Arts PizzaQ. Yes, it’s time once again for the ancient and time-honoured annual celebration of the grease wheel, where Fine Arts faculty and staff done their ritual aprons and take up the sacred spatula to serve pizza to their students. It’s great tasting event that’s all in good taste, of course.

Grab your napkin and head into the Fine Arts courtyard from 4:30-6 pm Wednesday, September 12, to get a slice of the action. (If it’s raining, we’ll be in the atrium of the Visual Arts building.)

Then once you’ve had dinner, stick around for the first Visiting Artist Lecture Series of the fall that same day. The season kicks off with multidisciplinary artist Doug Buis. A BFA graduate of UVic’s Visual Arts department, the globe-trotting Buis has lived and exhibited across Canada and the US, has had shows in Holland, Belgium and Korea, and has curated exhibitions in Europe, Montreal, Los Angeles and Saskatoon.

OK Hover by Doug Buis

After residing in Montreal for 18 years, he relocated to Long Beach, California, where he taught at Long Beach State University, and then to Kamloops, where he is currently an associate professor teaching sculpture, intermedia and digital media at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, Buis’ work focuses on the malleable perception of landscape, examined through dioramas,  installation, site specific projects, hand crafted VR, mechanical apparatus, photography, video and writing. His Visiting Artist talk begins at 8pm Wednesday, September 12, in room A162 of the Visual Arts building. (We’ll let you know about the full Visiting Artist lineup for the fall shortly.)

An earlier work by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas

Also over in the Visual Arts department is the much-anticipated opening of the exhibit of new work by Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas. So new is this piece by last year’s Audain Professor in Contemporary Art Practice of the Pacific Northwest that very little information was available in advance—only that it will be a historic hull from the days when industry was first introduced to fisheries, made from white gold, copper and fiberglass. It will be on view in the Audain Gallery in the Department of Visual Arts from Thursday, September 13 through to October 8.

As with inaugural Audain professor Rebecca Belmore’s installation “Liberty” last fall, Yahgulanaas will complete his teaching term with this exhibit. The opening reception begins at 5pm September 13 in the Visual Arts Building, where incoming 2012-13 Audain professor Nicholas Galanin—an internationally acclaimed Tlingit/Aleut artist based in Alaska—will also be officially welcomed.

And that’s all just in the first week of classes! There are many more events coming down the pipe in late September—including the School of Music’s Steinway fundraiser, the annual History in Art Faculty Research Symposium and a full rage of Fine Arts events for Homecoming weekend—so stay tuned and click back often for updated information.