A wee sampling of Collier’s current exhibit

If you missed Allan Collier‘s public talk last week—the first visitor of 2013 in the long-running Department of Visual Arts Visiting Artist series—don’t worry: you can still catch his great exhibit of post-WWII Canadian design in the Visual Arts building’s Audain Gallery through to January 25. Collier has curated several exhibitions on the topic in Vancouver, Winnipeg, and Victoria, with the most recent local exhibit being the AGGV’s 2011 The Modern Eye: Craft and Design in Canada 1940-1960. Collier will also be spending some time each day sitting his exhibition, so be sure to drop by the Audain Gallery and say hello. Bet you see something that was in your house when you were growing up!

An installation by Ed Pien

An installation by Ed Pien

This week’s Visiting Artist is Ed Pien. Born in Taiwan, the now Toronto-based artist Pien has been drawing for nearly 30 years, and has exhibited nationally and internationally. He has taught at ECAD, NSCAD and OCAD, and is  currently teaching at the University of Toronto. Pien is in town as part of the AGGV’s January exhibit, Traces: Fantasy Worlds and Tales of Truth. Catch him at 8pm Wednesday, January 16, in room A162 of the Visual Arts building.

blue republicHot on the heels of that session, Visual Arts will have their second Visiting Artist of the year when Blue Republic pops in. Blue Republic—also known as collaborative multidisciplinary artists Anna Passakas and Radoslaw Kudlinski—will talk about their fascinating history working with other artists, groups, and international centres of independent artistic research. That’s at 8pm Wednesday, January 23, in room A162 of the Visual Arts building. They’re in town to open Crystal Palace, an exhibit at Deluge Contemporary, through to March 2.

Baden's "Tender Trepanation"

Baden’s “Tender Trepanation”

While February’s Visiting Artist roster is still being established, we already know that sculptor Mowry Baden will be coming. One of Victoria’s most acclaimed—and often controversial—artists, the Governor General’s Award-winning Mowry Baden has influenced a generation of sculptors in Canada and the U.S. with his engaging, participatory installations. For over 40 years, he has challenged contemporary sculpture through a staggering number of projects and artworks that borrow from psychology, architecture and performance—and he also helped build UVic’s Visual Arts department into the well-respected school it is today, and he remains a Professor Emeritus to this day.

Baden has had solo and group exhibitions across North America, including Los Angeles, Mexico City, Montreal, Vancouver and New York (including MoMA), and his work is represented in collections in Canada and the U.S. He has been commissioned to create public art works in Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, Santa Barbara, Pittsburgh, Washington and Victoria, where he lives. Hear him speak at 8pm Wednesday, February 13
Room A162 of UVic’s Visual Arts building.

Robert Chaplin with an enlarged image of his nanobook

Robert Chaplin with an enlarged image of his nanobook

Also appearing in February is Visual Arts alumnus and Guiness Book of World Records record holder Robert Chaplin. The Vancouver-based Chaplin stepped into the media spotlight by creating the smallest reproduction of a printed book. As reported in the Vancouver Sun, Chaplin’s children’s book Teeny Ted from Turnip Town was “etched onto crystal-line silicon using a focused ion beam with the training and equipment of Simon Fraser University scientists in 2007.” But the 1990 Visual Arts graduate only found out this year that he had been honoured by Guinness.

You'd need very, very strong glasses to read this story to your kids

You’d need very, very strong glasses to read this story to your kids

Chapin’s $20,000 one-of-a-kind “nanobook” measures 0.07 mm by 0.1 mm and is made of 30 linked micro-tablets—but no matter how good your vision is, you’ll need an electron microscope to read it. And in order to make a more generally accessible print version of Teeny Ted, Chaplin launched a Kickstarter campaign to create a “large print” version and successfully raised the $17,000 needed to produce it. Talk about thinking big with a small project!

Robert Chaplin will be on campus from 9:30am to noon on Saturday, February 9, in UVic’s David Lam Auditorium as part of the annual Alumni Week events.

Coming up in March: Dave Dyment (March 6) and Sarah Anne Johnson (March 13).