Fine Arts courses for everyone

Looking to fill your Fall/Spring class schedule? Fine Arts has a wide range of great courses guaranteed to compliment whatever else you may be taking—and most Fine Arts courses are open to all students, regardless of discipline. (But be sure to check the pre-requisites on individual courses.)

If you’re looking to change the way you listen to music—or expand your idea of sound in general—the School of Music currently has space in Global Music Traditions (MUS 391) with Jonathan Goldman and Mary KennedyListening to Music (MUS 115) with Anita Bonkowski and Music, Science and Computers (MUS 207) with Andy Schloss, the man behind the recent Trimpin installation at Open Space.

Ever wonder why we wear what we wear? The Department of Theatre is offering a cool fashion/costume history course (THEA 362/363) taught by acclaimed Canadian designer Mary Kerr. Fall focuses on ancient times through to the 17th century, while Spring looks at the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. More than just togas and zippers, however, you’ll learn the cultural, artistic and psychological aspects of clothing, and how what we wear defines our culture.

Things are heating up over in the Department of Writing this fall, where you can explore The Art of the Action Film (WRIT 300) with screenwriter Michael Giampa. Watch action films for course credit? Too cool! Also highly anticipated is the Spring course Public Broadcasting and the Public Good (WRIT 321), featuring this year’s Harvey Southam Lecturer in Journalism, Jo-Ann Roberts. Best known as the host of the top-rated CBC Radio afternoon show All Points West, Roberts’ course will look at the history and future of public broadcasting in Canada, and how Canadian journalism is influenced by the strength of the CBC. It will be of particular relevance to creative and professional writing students with an interest in journalism and media studies, as well as those in political science, public administration, history, sociology, anthropology or other related departments.

From Matt Trahan’s recent MFA exhibit “Come Undone”

If you think the ideas and practice of art hasn’t changed over the past 50 years, the Department of Visual Arts is there to help you learn otherwise. Understand how art is changing, and how you can keep up, with the likes of Introduction to Contemporary Art Theory (ART 150) taught by recent MFA grad Matt Trahan, or Intro to Contemporary Visual Art (ART 151) and Foundation Photography & Video Art (ART 105), both with Laura Dutton, also a recent MFA grad. Remember, you don’t have to be an artist to take—or appreciate—these courses.

Other Visual Arts courses that will appeal specifically to artists include Drawing and Painting (Art 103) with Matt Trahan and Todd Lambeth, Media Technology and Arts (Art 106) with Digital Media staffer Cliff Haman, Painting (Art 212, Mondays 1-3:50) with acclaimed artist Sandra Meigs, Sculpture  (Art 222, Mondays, 1-3:50) with busy local artist Megan Dickie, and Video Art (Art 272, Wednesdays 1:30-4:20pm) with Jennifer Stillwell. Note: these courses open for registration to non-Visual Arts students at noon on Friday, July 27th.

Learn how to see the world differently with the History in Art department. And if you think understanding art doesn’t matter, then you’ve never seen a magazine, TV, photo, painting, book cover, graphic novel, graffiti wall or iPad. Find out Why Art Matters (HA121) with Dennine Dudley and you’re guaranteed never to see the world the same way again.

Also on offer from HIA are such fascinating-sounding courses as Erin Campbell‘s People & Things in the Early Modern Domestic Interior (HA 345)—wherein she looks at toys, games, furniture and jewelry, amongst other everyday household objects—as well as The Image of the Artist (HA 241), documenting how artists have risen from lowly labourers to celebrities, and The 18th Century in Italy (HA 343A), which focuses on all things Venice. (Ah, Venice!)

Meanwhile, HIA’s Marcus Milwright peels back the layers of urban life in Medieval Islam with his Introduction to Islamic Archaeology (HA 348). Looking at life through the lens, Susan Hawkins offers a History of Photography (HA 369) and Carolyn Butler-Palmer is considering Art History and the Lens (HA264). Over on the eastern edge of the Pacific Rim, Asato Ikeda is examining Japanese Modern Art & Contemporary Visual Culture: the 1950s to Today (HA 337), Religion, Philosophy, and the Arts in China & Japan (HA 270) and considers the art of Taoism, Confucianism, Buddhism and Shinto in Religion, Philosophy, and the Arts in China & Japan (HA 270).

Jewell in the Northwest crown

Recent Visual Arts grad Melanie Jewell has been announced as one of the winners of the 2012 Canadian Aboriginal Writing & Arts Challenge.

Melanie Jewell (left) and the other winners of the Canadian Aboriginal Writing & Arts Challenge in Winnipeg. That’s Métis author Joseph Boyden smiling in the centre.

As reported in the Northern Journal, Jewell was the first-place winner in her age group (19-29), with four runners-up. 

The Canadian Aboriginal Writing & Arts Challenge recognizes gifted Aboriginal writers and artists from across Canada, and offers awards in two age groupings (14-18, 19-29) and two categories (writing and arts, naturally).

“It just happened last week so I am still kind of in shock,” Jewell told Northern Journal correspondent Don Jaque in early July. 
”I am inspired to learn more about my culture. I have more confidence and feel I can grow as an artist.”

Jewell’s winning entry, titled The Bourkes, is a mixed-media (watercolour/drawing) piece depicting a traditional Northern family.

Currently based in Fort Smith in the  Northwest Territories, Jewell—who just graduated with a BFA major in Visual Arts in May this year—was flown to a Winnipeg museum to receive her $2,000 award, presented by Giller Prize-winning Métis author Joseph Boyden. Her winning piece—”The Bourkes”—is a painting of a photograph of a traditional northern family, and Jewell credits longtime Fort Smith photographer John Dougherty for letting her work from his images.

Her painting uses a mix of watercolour and drawing—techniques she honed here at UVic—and future plans include trying her hand at animation and possibly a graphic novel.

“It was a surreal experience that I will always remember and cherish,” Jewell notes on her own blog. “My mom and I flew to Winnipeg to receive my award on Aboriginal Day. I even got to meet my favorite author, Joseph Boyden!” She describes winning the award as “one of the highlights of my life.”

The Canadian Aboriginal Writing & Arts Challenge awards are organized by the national charitable organization Historica-Dominion Institute. Jewell’s winning painting will be displayed at the Manitoba Museum in Winnipeg.

New fund to honour Megan Newton’s intrepid spirit

Friends and family of the late Megan Newton have set up a fund at the Victoria Foundation to create a theatre award in her honour. Megan had been the operations manager for Intrepid Theatre at the time of her death from cancer earlier this month. Learn more about Megan from the following tribute by Danielle Baxter, Megan’s mother, and Ian Case, former Intrepid Theatre general manager.

The late, great Megan Newton. Her talent, skill and bright spirit will be sorely missed!

Megan Newton was an artist/set designer/stage manager/crafter and administrator at large. She received her BFA in Theatre from the University of Victoria with a specialty in production management and design. Megan was one of the founding members of Theatre BOMBUS (then known as BumbleBee Theatre).

Megan became the operations manager at Intrepid Theatre in 2007, where she coordinated rentals for the Metro Studio and Intrepid Theatre Club and any other activities, tasks or crafts that came up during production for Intrepid’s annual festivals. For Uno Fest, she created the annual Monobrow Cabaret.

A firm believer in assisting local emerging artists to get their work off the ground, Megan established and curated the YOU SHOW for Intrepid Theatre, an outreach program for artists wanting to road-test original new works in front of an audience. Many YOU SHOWs have gone on to great success on the Fringe and national touring circuits due in large part to Megan’s vision and support. She was always ready to lend advice and guidance to artists and companies navigating the perils of their first full-scale public production.

Highlights of Megan’s arty-ness (and artfulness) include set design for Janet Munsil’s Influence for Intrepid Theatre, The Importance of Being Earnest for Giggling Iguana Productions, Meg Braem’s Potentilla for Theatre Bombus, a summer with Theatre SKAM many years ago, and an assistant director gig with Pacific Opera Victoria on Daphne. She also served many companies as a wonderful and dedicated stage manager. When not inside dark rooms, Megan could be found outside on her bike appreciating the big and small things in life, or painting, knitting or making delicious wheat-free meals in the kitchen or over a camp stove.

Megan’s life was cut short by melanoma; she died on June 16, 2012, shortly after her 30th birthday. Her prodigious organizational skills were in action to the end—even struggling with the catastrophic effects of the disease and under the influence of heavy pain medications, she kept track of every detail of her own treatment. Meg’s mischievous, irreverent humour and enjoyment of each small pleasure were characteristic of her all her life, and sustained her and her loved ones through her illness. Meg stared terminal cancer in the face and never flinched, and in this—as in so many things—she was inspirational to everyone who knew her.

The Megan Newton Memorial Fund has been set up by Meg’s family and colleagues to honour her spirit and resourcefulness through an award for students in theatre.

Donations may be made to the fund via the Victoria Foundation portal at Canada Helps. Select “Megan Newton Memorial Fund” from the fund designation dropdown box or write the fund’s name in the message box.

Thanks to the Victoria Foundation for allowing us to repost this piece about Megan, which originally appeared on their own blog.