by John Threlfall | Oct 30, 2013 | Art History & Visual Studies, Events, Faculty, Graduate, School of Music, Theatre, Undergraduate, Visual Arts, Writing
It’s another busy month for Fine Arts events, with a pair of exclusive gallery exhibitions, as well as a full lineup of readings, concerts, visiting artists, the first Phoenix Theatre mainstage production of the 2013-14 season and a special gala literary celebration in honour of Lorna Crozier. Read on to find out what’s going on!
Daniel Laskarin’s “blue chair :: if this”
• The notion of paradox provides an apt means of curating an exhibit by seven divergent artists—thus the title of the Department of Visual Arts group exhibit, Paradox, which continues through to January 12 at UVic’s Legacy Art Galleries Downtown.
It has been nearly 35 years since UVic’s Legacy Art Galleries curated a Visual Arts faculty exhibition. Paradox aims to bring wider understanding to the particular strengths of this nationally acclaimed academic program, which is rooted in explorations of phenomenology and in the perceptual, conceptual, and interactive contexts of contemporary visual art. It also comes on the heels of the recent Department of Visual Arts retrospective exhibit, Core Samples.
As Dr. Sarah Blackstone, Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, notes in her introduction to the Paradox exhibit catalogue, “The department [of Visual Arts] has a long-standing reputation for training generations of successful Canadian visual artists . . . . Students are inspired by the accomplishments and investigations of their teachers, and faculty are inspired by the fresh ideas and questions of their students.”
You can read more about the Paradox exhibit in this separate post.
• Also in the galleries this month is a rare local solo exhibit by Visual Arts faculty member Sandra Meigs: The Basement Panoramas. In this exhibit, Meigs studies the invisible foundations of buildings—basements and crawl spaces—and these forgotten, often neglected areas, become familiar again in Meigs’ exciting new works. “Basement spaces often hold that which we do not want to let go of and are also the foundation of the house, analogous to the psyche,” says Meigs. Many of the pieces in the exhibit relate to the idea of transformation.
The Basement Panoramas runs from November 1 to December 14 at Open Space.
• The next concert by the UVic Orchestra is Harmonious Saints. Ajtony Csaba conducts a program of Bach, Handel, Biber, Gabrieli and Tchaikovsky, with special guest soloist and UVic student Joshua Lovell—winner of the UVic Concerto Competition and fresh off his well-reviewed performance in Pacific Opera Victoria’s Falstaff.
Harmonious Saints begins at 8pm Friday, November 1 at Farquhar Auditorium. Tickets are $13.50 & $17.50 at the UVic Ticket Centre.
• The Department of Visual Arts welcomes Nelson-based sculptor Ian Johnston as the latest in their ongoing Visiting Artist series. An architect turned sculptor, since the mid-’90s Johnston has been pursuing an interest in ceramics and, more recently, large-scale installations that often include ceramic. Prior to opening his Nelson studio in 1996 he spent five years working at the Bauhaus Academy in post-Berlin Wall East Germany, where he developed and facilitated a series of workshops around themes of urban renewal and public intervention in a tumultuous time of cultural transformation. His recent body of work Refuse Culture: Archaeology of Consumption examines our relationship with the environment in a series of installations using ceramic and mixed media appealing to multiple senses of the viewer.
Ian Johnston will speak and show slides of his work starting at 8pm Wednesday, November 6, in room A162 of the Visual Arts building.
• The music of versatile American composer David A. Jaffe is celebrated this month with a trio of events: a lecture by Jaffe himself, a Guitarworks concert, and a special musical event featuring School of Music artists Andy Schloss, Scott MacInnes and the Lafayette String Quartet, as well as past School of Music collaborator Trimpin, plus other guests. (Trimpin was most recently involved with the (CanonX+4:33=100) collaboration between Music and Open Space.)
David Jaffe (right) with Andy Schloss
Jaffe’s compositions range from acoustic to electronic, and the concert will encompass a broad spectrum of his output—from the old time fiddle-inspired Cluck Old Hen Variations to the Canadian premiere of The Space Between Us for radio drum, two string quartets, piano, and robotic percussion. Also in this concert, the Lafayette String Quartet will present the world premiere of the newly commissioned string quartet Fox Hollow.
The Orion Series in Fine Arts presents a lecture by David A. Jaffe at 8pm Wednesday, November 6, in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall. The Music of David A. Jaffe begins at 8pm Friday, November 8, also at Open Space. Admission is $10 or $15. And the UVic Faculty Concert Series: Guitarworks features the School of Music’s Alexander Dunn with Jaffe and guests, at 8pm Saturday, November 9, in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall.
• Three-time Emmy nominee and twice-winning composer Larry Groupé will visit UVic to present a lecture titled “Film Music: An in depth look and discussion on the current state of composing in Hollywood today.” Groupé will discuss his feature film and TV projects, and his latest award-winning score for the remake of Straw Dogs for Sony pictures. As a working Hollywood composer Groupé brings to light all the requirements—be they technical, creative, and political—to be a successful film and television composer today. Presented in colaboration with the UVic School of Music, Victoria Conservatory of Music, and the Computer Music Course Union.
Hear Larry Groupé speak at 3:30pm Thursday, November 7 in MacLaurin A169—for free.
• Wonder what really goes on behind the romantic scenes on campus? Join the Department of Writing for the launch of Campus Confidential, a new collection of creative nonfiction tales by UVic writers exploring the intricacies of relationships . . . by degrees. Inspired by the popular New York Times column “Modern Love,” the new book features 13 student and alumni writers, including work by City of Victoria Butler Book Prize winner and finalist—and current Writing instructor and graduate student (respectively)—Frances Backhouse and JoAnn Dionne, collection editor Liz Snell, and Fine Arts communications officer, Writing instructor [and author of this blog] John Threlfall.
Research for Campus Confidential was funded in part by the Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Award, and the book was produced on the UVic Bookstore’s new Espresso book machine—which will also be in operation at the reading and launch.
Campus Confidential kicks off at 7pm Thursday, November 7, in the UVIc Bookstore—and it’s free. (But the books are not.)
• Phoenix Theatre presents their first mainstage production of the 2013-14 season, The Skin of Our Teeth. Directed by veteran Phoenix professor Linda Hardy, this 1943 Pulitzer Prize-winning satire from Thornton Wilder (the author of Our Town) takes us on a wild and raucous tour through the ages.
Enter New Jersey suburbia: home of the perfect middle class family, George, his wife Maggie, their children Gladys and Henry (previously known as Cain?), and their pet dinosaurs. George is the inventor of the alphabet, the wheel, and the multiplication tables – he’s the pick of the human race! But can the family survive the ravages of ice ages, global warming, storms, floods, depressions and war? Revolutionary when first written, The Skin of Our Teeth remains absurdly funny, very profound, and is absolutely a play for our time.
The Skin of Our Teeth runs November 7-23 in the Phoenix Theatre. Click here for ticket info.
• The UVic Jazz Orchestra, under the jazzy baton of Anita Bonkowski, will be performing at 8pm Friday, November 8 in the Phillip T Young Recital Hall. Tickets $10 & $15 at UVic Ticket Centre.
• A fitting work for the Remembrance Day period, School of Music professor Christopher Butterfield’s Convoy PQ-17 commemorates the tragic near-destruction of an Allied convoy by German forces in July 1942. This sensational requiem features the renowned dance troupe Coleman Lemieux & Compagnie, the Victoria Philharmonic Choir, a stunning set and is conducted by Victoria Symphony Maestra Tania Miller.
Convoy PQ-17 with the Victoria Symphony begins at 2:30pm Sunday, November 10 in UVic’s Farquhar Auditorium. Click here for ticket information.
• The second Visiting Artist for Visual Arts this month is Toronto-based photographer Stan Denniston. Born in Victoria, Denniston’s considerable body of work reflects a consistent
commitment to the photographic medium—though one would never find a stand-alone
photograph. Instead, Denniston has cultivated several series of works that employ the
photographic image as a component, either to be paired with another image or
accompanied by text. His work revolves around the themes of travel, memory and
representation and has been exhibited at the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Biennale de Montréal as well as in France, the Netherlands and Frankfurt.
Stan Denniston speaks at 8pm Wednesday, November 20, in room A162 of the Visual Arts building—and it’s free and open to the public.
• Vancouver-based actor, writer and playwright Carmen Aguirre is the latest author to appear at the long-running Department of Writing / Open Space collaborative series, Open Word: Readings and Ideas. Her 2011 book Something Fierce: Memoirs of a Revolutionary Daughter recounted her childhood experiences regularly moving around with her parents who were part of the Chilean Resistance against Augusto Pinochet. Something Fierce was also the winner of the 2012 edition of CBC Radio’s Canada Reads competition. Aguirre has also written over 20 stage plays to date, including her most recent, Blue Box. Her Open Space reading will be followed by a live interview with Writing professor and award-winning playwright Kevin Kerr.
Open Word with Carmen Aguirre begins 7:30 pm Wednesday, November 20, at Open Space, 510 Fort Street. By donation. She will also appear on campus, 8:50am Thursday, November 21, in room A240 of the Human & Social Development Building. Free.
• Wednesday, November 20, is also the Transgender Day of Remembrance, and Writing professor and filmmaker Maureen Bradley has been invited to speak before the screening of the film Melting Away at Cinecenta, presented by UVic’s own Transgender Archives. Bradley is an apt speaker for this event, given that her own transgender romantic comedy Two 4 One is currently in pre-production for shooting in Victoria in early 2014. Bradley is also seeking financial support for the project via an Indiegogo campaign which has already raised over $13,000 of the needed $20,000—click here to donate to her project and help her film become a reality. You can also find out the backstory to this, her first feature film by reading about her winning the Jim Murphy Filmmakers Bursary, and about her being one of the winning teams for the NSI Features First initiative. You can also read more about Bradley and the Department of Writing’s filmmaking program in this recent article in UVic’s alumni Torch magazine (see pages 30-33).
• Acclaimed Canadian writer, editor and occasional actor Sheila Heti will be visiting UVic as our latest Orion Lecturer this month. An author who is never easily pigeon-holed, Heti’s fourth book—How Should A Person Be?—was described as being “part literary novel, part self-help manual and part bawdy confessional” and was chosen as one of the 100 Best Books of 2012 by The New York Times. Audiences are never quite sure what they’ll get at an evening with Heti, but it’s always bound to be memorable.
Sheila Heti speaks at 7pm Wednesday, November 27, in room 103 of the Fine Arts building. It’s free and open to the public.
• Finally, one of the most eagerly anticipated events of the fall literary celebration occurs near the end of the month: A Literary Celebration of Lorna Crozier, featuring a veritable who’s-who of national and local literary figures.
Lorna Crozier (Gary McInstry)
For over 20 years, Lorna Crozier helped shape the future of Canadian poets and writers as a professor in the Department of Writing. Now you can help us continue Lorna’s legacy by creating a scholarship in the name of this multiple award-winning and much-loved poet and writer. Join host Shelagh Rogers of CBC Radio’s The Next Chapter at this special literary event featuring famed Canadian writers Anne Michaels (Fugitive Pieces), Jane Urquhart (The Stone Carvers) and Brad Cran (former City of Vancouver Poet Laureate) plus UVic writers Patrick Lane (There Is A Season), Esi Edugyan (Half-Blood Blues), Carla Funk (former City of Victoria Poet Laureate), Melanie Siebert (Deepwater Vee), Steven Price (The Year of the Ox) and other special guests . . . including Lorna herself!
Each audience member will also receive a special poem, written for the occasion and signed by Lorna, that will be suitable for framing.
As acting Writing chair Joan MacLeod says, “Lorna’s a brilliant poet, we all know that, but she truly was a brilliant teacher. Her legacy is already in our department in some of our amazing teachers—like Carla Funk and Steven Price, who were both students of Lorna’s and have gone on to rich writing and teaching lives. When I visit their classes now, I see Lorna through their approach to the classroom. I love the idea of the scholarship, just because it’ll be like having a little piece of Lorna still with us. And it’ll be fantastic for our students. It’s important to honour not just what she did for our students but what she did for the whole department.”
A Literary Celebration of Lorna Crozier begins at 7pm Thursday, November 28, in UVic’s David Lam Theatre (MacLaurin Building A144). $20 tickets are available now with all proceeds—and any additional donations—going to the Lorna Crozier Scholarship fund.
by John Threlfall | Oct 20, 2013 | Events, Faculty, Research, Visual Arts
The notion of paradox provides an apt means of curating an exhibit by seven divergent artists—thus the title of the Department of Visual Arts group exhibit, Paradox, opening October 31at UVic’s Legacy Art Galleries Downtown. Despite their widely varying practices, the permanent Visual Arts teaching faculty share fundamental interests in the contradictory nature of our very physical and psychic experiences in, and of, the world around us.
Daniel Laskarin’s “blue chair :: if this” (2012, pigmented resin w/ chopped strand fibreglass, stainless steel)
Curated by Legacy Art Galleries director Mary Jo Hughes, Paradox presents new and recent work by seven faculty members: Vikky Alexander, Lynda Gammon, Daniel Laskarin, Sandra Meigs, Jennifer Stillwell, Paul Walde and Robert Youds. All are mid-career and senior artists with national and international careers. Each artist will be represented by work characteristic of current practice relating to the theme of the paradox implicit in our experience of art.
“Early Mosquito Early” by Robert Youds (enamel on canvas) Photo: Mary Matheson
It has been nearly 35 years since the Legacy Art Galleries curated a Visual Arts faculty exhibition. Paradox aims to bring wider understanding to the particular strengths of this nationally acclaimed academic program, which is rooted in explorations of phenomenology and in the perceptual, conceptual, and interactive contexts of contemporary visual art. It also comes on the heels of the recent Department of Visual Arts retrospective exhibit, Core Samples.
“Interdeterminacy” by Paul Walde (2012, mushroom spores and acrylic on wood, detail)
“The work produced by the faculty here reflects leading practices in the field of contemporary visual arts,” says current department chair Daniel Laskarin. “Embodying current discourses in material and visual culture, it is profoundly engaged with experiential communication in current practices.”
Indeed, the Visual Arts faculty are represented by some of Canada’s leading contemporary galleries, and many of them have work in the permanent collections of the National Gallery and other senior-level public institutions, as well as commissions in the likes of Vancouver, Toronto and Winnipeg, and pieces held in well-respected art collections around the globe.
“High Tide” by Vikky Alexander
But while they may show individually in town from time to time—such as Laskarin’s 2011 AGGV retrospective Agnostic Objects, or Youds’ 2012 Deluge exhibit Room upgrade for Pacific Northwest afternoon—for the most part, the faculty members tend to exhibit nationally and worldwide. Other than the week-long Now Art summer exhibit which was only mounted for UVic’s Congress 2013, it’s not since 1979 that the teaching faculty has shared a gallery together.
As Dr. Sarah Blackstone, Dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts, notes in her introduction to the Paradox exhibit catalogue, “The department [of Visual Arts] has a long-standing reputation for training generations of successful Canadian visual artists. . . . Students are inspired by the accomplishments and investigations of their teachers, and faculty are inspired by the fresh ideas and questions of their students. . . . The breadth and depth of expertise and inquiry obvious in this exhibition clearly demonstrate the validity of visual arts as an academic discipline.”
Paradox runs October 31 to January 12, 2014 at Legacy Art Galleries Downtown, 630 Yates Street. Opening reception is from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Friday, November 1. (And, on a side note, Sandra Meigs is having a concurrent solo exhibit at Open Space; The Basement Panoramas runs November 1 to December 14.)
by John Threlfall | Oct 8, 2013 | Art History & Visual Studies, Events, Faculty, Research
What kind of visual art, objects and buildings are associated with Jewish culture? How and when did synagogues appear? What does art tell us about the daily life of the Jews? How was Judaism in turn received, reflected or rejected in the other artistic traditions of antiquity and the medieval period? These questions and more will be addressed in Canada’s first university course looking specifically at Jewish Art.
Menorah, the Duke of Sussex Catalan Bible (circa 1380)
Jewish Art: Ancient and Medieval (HA 324) is an elective course created by History in Art associate professor Eva Baboula. As the name suggests, the course will focus on Jewish art of the ancient to late medieval periods; and, as an elective, it is open to any UVic student.
“I’ve been incorporating material on the life and art of Jewish communities in several of the courses I’ve been teaching and I think the time is ripe to treat the topic on its own,” says Baboula. “It will be a first for Canada, since there are no other such courses around.”
It was while she was attending the annual Conference for Canadian Medieval Art Historians that Baboula heard a talk by University of Toronto professor Adam Cohen, urging university art historians to include the occasional image of Jewish art in medieval art courses. (eg: a page from an illustrated manuscript). “I told him I was planning a whole course on it and he was enthusiastic,” she recalls. “It will be a challenging first time, but I hope it works well.”
Moses in the river, Dura Europos (circa 250)
Baboula’s course will include much about the actual images the Jews of Europe and the Mediterranean created from antiquity to the 16th and 17th centuries, as well as cultural attitudes to daily life, ritual and death. “But much of the course will involve how important art, architecture and what we generally call ‘material culture’ was for the ways that Jewish communities saw and were seen by the more dominant communities and states they lived in,” says Baboula.
Jewish Art: Ancient and Medieval will also look at questions like, did ancient Judaism preclude the use of the human figure in art? What are the decorated Jewish books like? How did Judaism interact with the visual traditions of the Christian and Muslim communities until the dawn of the modern era?
“Let’s get to know an exciting visual tradition that is often little known or recognised by the wider public,” says Baboula.
HA 324 Jewish Art: Ancient and Medieval (CRN 21732) runs January to April 2014. Classes are from 2:30 to 3:20pm Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.
by John Threlfall | Oct 7, 2013 | Award, Events, School of Music, Undergraduate
What do most major universities have that the University of Victoria has never had? A rally song to get fans and teams pumped up during games! That’s all about to change, however, thanks to a new contest sponsored by Vikes Athletics and UVic’s School of Music. Better still, you can win an iPad if you come up with the winning song.
Vikes Nation needs a Rally Song! (photo: Armando Tura)
While the crowd at any game can readily chant “Let’s go Vikes, let’s go!”, it isn’t quite the same as having a UVic-specific rally song sporting unique and memorable music and lyrics. “To maintain our standard of excellence and build tradition at UVic, it’s important that our fans have a rally song to cheer during games,” says Clint Hamilton, Director of Athletics. “We know it will be popular on game days and will help in growing school spirit as part of the Vikes Nation initiative.”
UVic students, faculty, staff, and the general public alike are invited to submit original material to the Vikes Rally Song Contest. Songs should be no longer than 20 seconds, must include the word “Vikes” and the deadline for submissions is
November 15, 2013. BREAKING NEWS: The deadline has now been extended to November 24, 2013. Lyrics and a YouTube link of the song being performed must be submitted online for judging. (Full contest details are listed at the bottom of this post.)
While the song itself cannot exceed 20 seconds, the video can run longer than that—remember, rally songs are often chanted repeatedly, so contestants can get their friends, supporters and members of the Vikes Nation out to perform it. Any style of music is welcome, from chants and jazz to rock and hip hop. But the winning song should be able to be easily sung and performed by game-day crowds with no accompaniment.
Win an iPad for a 20 second song? Sweet!
The winning songwriter will receive a $500 iPad courtesy of PepsiCo Canada, who is proud to partner with Vikes Nation and the School of Music on this school spirit initiative. Winners will also receive a prize package of CDs and tickets for School of Music performances and Vikes games, and the winning song will be recorded at the School of Music for use in future Athletics events.
“Music plays a vital role in encouraging community, spirit, and success,” says Susan Lewis Hammond, Director of the School of Music. “The School of Music is excited to support the Rally Song Contest at UVic. Our partnership with Vikes Athletics speaks to a shared commitment to teamwork, collaboration, and excellence in student training and performance.”
The judging panel will include new UVic president Jamie Cassels, Athletics Director Clint Hamilton, School of Music Director Susan Lewis Hammond and gold medal-winning athlete Kendra Pomfret, captain of the Vikes women’s cross country/track team. Judging will occur in December, with the shortlisted songs being performed by noted tenor and the School of Music’s Head of Voice Benjamin Butterfield and the UVic Jazz Ensemble at the Vikes Days of Thunder men’s basketball game on January 10, 2014. The crowd at that game will also help decide which song will ultimately win.
It should be noted that, back in its Victoria College days—before its rebranding and relocation as the University of Victoria—there was a Victoria College Fight Song:
“Rack and ruin, blood and gore; Victoria College evermore. Catfish, dogfish, devilfish, sharks / Atta boy, atta boy, raise some sparks / Eat ‘em up, eat ‘em up, eat ‘em up raw /
Victoria College! Rah, rah, rah! Sima, Sima, Sima, Sima, Sima, Sima, Sah / Hi-yick, hi-yick, Hokie, Pokie, Domin-okie / Hong Kong, Kickie Kackie, Um tra Bah! Victoria! College! Rah! Rah! Rah! Rootiti-toot! Rootiti-toot! We are the kids from the institute. Shall we win it? Well, I guess! College, College, Yes! Yes! Yes!”
Imagine memorizing that one and belting it out during a game! Alas, the Victoria College song hasn’t stood the test of time—likely, in no small part, to the fact that the name “Victoria College” hasn’t been used in 50 years. (Interesting that it would include mention of all those fish, however, given UVic’s current association with ocean sciences.)
While music students may seem to have an advantage in our current Rally Song contest, sports fans and athletics students may be more familiar with rally songs in general. This academic year will also see greater collaboration between Music and Athletics, with School of Music students and professors performing at select basketball games throughout the 2013/14 season.
For more information on Vikes Nation, visit govikesgo.com/VikesNation
Vikes Rally Song Contest Rules:
- Songs must include the word “Vikes”
- Lyrics and a YouTube link must be submitted online via this School of Music submission page
- Video performances should reflect the spirit of the song (if it’s aggressive, let’s hear the yell; if it’s bubbly, let’s see some jazz hands; if it’s written for movement, let’s see the choreography)
- Songs must be no longer than 20 seconds, but submitted videos can be longer
- Deadline for submissions is now November 24, 2013
- Shortlisted contestants will be notified by December 15, 2013
- Shortlisted songs will be premiered at the Vikes men’s basketball game on January 10, 2014
- The winner will receive a $500 iPad courtesy PepsiCo Canada, plus tickets & CDs
- The winning song will also be recorded at the School of Music for use in future games
“Uh, go Vikes . . . hmm hmm . . . yeah, Vikes, yeah!” Bet you can write a better 20-second Rally Song than that! (photo: Armando Tura)
by John Threlfall | Oct 1, 2013 | Alumni, Art History & Visual Studies, Events, Faculty, School of Music, Theatre, Visual Arts, Writing
Okay, where did September go? Somehow the first month of the school year zoomed by faster than a speeding bunny pursued by a campus groundskeeper. Ah well, on to October, which has its own busy schedule of events ready to go.
• First up is the Lafayette String Quartet‘s Brahms, Bubbly & Brunch event, which you can read all about here. In a nutshell, UVIc & the LSQ are celebrating the launch of Canada’s first Masters degree program in String Quartet Performance with an exclusive performance brunch featuring champagne and a Brahms performance by the LSQ, renowned cellist Paul Katz and Yariv Aloni. Proceeds from this fundraiser will go towards UVic’s Graduate String Quartet Scholarship Fund, and tax reciepts will be available upon request.
Tickets are $125 and the event starts at 11am on Sunday, October 6, at the Inn at Laurel Point (Terrace Ballroom), 680 Montreal Street. See the LSQ site for more information.
• SATCo, the Student Alternative Theatre Company, is presenting a short season of new student-created work this fall. Unlike the Phoenix mainstage productions, all SATCo shows are written, directed and acted by students, giving them invaluable hands-on experience with the creation and mounting of productions. While the first three shows (Robbie Huebner‘s Archard, Colette Habel‘s Goblin Market and Carl Eggert‘s Beyond the Clouds) are already finished, two more are coming up: Erin Shield‘s Amelia and the Dwarves runs October 2 to 4, and Shel Seigel‘s Last Fall runs October 16 to 18.
All SATCo shows appear in the Phoenix’s MacIntyre Studio, usually at 4:45pm or 5:15pm Fridays. Admission is by a suggested $4 donation.
Anne Heeney’s “Three Cornered World”
• The Department of Visual Arts is welcoming back alumna Anne Heeney with her art exhibit Three Cornered World, a collection of narrative paintings and abstracts. “Drawing will always be a substantial and universal pillar,” says Heeney. “Colour, however, is deeply personal. I believe the more abstract pictures demonstrate both convictions. The only way to get the point of art is to experience it raw, in galleries, in museums and in studios—regularly.”
As for the title of her exhibit, Heeney was inspired by a quote from the early 20th century Japanese novelist, Natsume Sōseki: “An artist is a person who lives in the triangle that remains after the angle which we may call common sense has been removed from our four-cornered world.”
Three Cornered World runs 10am-4pm October 7-19 in the Visual Arts building’s Audain Gallery. Free admission, and Heeney will be present weekends, the afternoon of Wednesday Oct 16 & and all day Friday Oct 18. (Note: closed Thanksgiving Monday)
• Bernard O’Kane: “The Writing on the Wall: the Importance of Epigraphy in Medieval Cairo”
Join History in Art, Medieval Studies, the Centre for Studies in Religion and Society and MEIVIC for this presentation by Bernard O’Kane, professor of Islamic Art and Architecture at the American University in Cairo. A leading scholar in his field, O’Kane is the author of The Illustrated Guide to the Museum of Islamic Art in Cairo, The Appearance of Persian on Islamic Art and Treasures of Islam: Artistic Glories of the Muslim World.
Bernard O’Kane speaks from 12:30-1:20pm, Wednesday, October 9, in Cornett A125 (free)
Poet Emily McGiffin
• Never let it be said that poetry isn’t relevant to the world around us. Case in point: poet Emily McGiffin, whose stunning debut collection Between Dusk and Night reflects the need to find a new way to relate to the Earth at this time of ever-heightening environmental crisis. Far from a political diatribe, however, McGiffin’s poems parallel her desire for a new paradigm with a search for intimacy with her fellow humans. The Toronto-based McGiffin is the latest contemporary author to appear at the ongoing Open Word: Readings and Ideas series, a partnership between the Department of Writing and Open Space, which has a long history of pairing the finest writers with fascinating live interviews.
Recently shortlisted for the CAA Poetry Award, McGiffin won the Bronwen Wallace Award for Emerging Writers in 2008, has twice been a finalist in the CBC Literary Awards and Between Dusk and Night was shortlisted for a pair of national literary awards in 2013. Her reading will be followed by a live interview with UVic Department of Writing instructor and former City of Victoria Poet Laureate Carla Funk.
Emily McGiffin has two dates on Wednesday, October 9: from 12:30 to 2pm in room 209 of the Fine Arts Building (free), and again from 7:30 to 9pm at Open Space, 510 Fort (by donation).
Kitt & Jane (photo: Miles Lowry)
• Phoenix Theatre kicks off their fall season with the annual Spotlight on Alumni, this year featuring SNAFU Dance Theatre’s Kitt & Jane: An Interactive Survival Guide to the Near Post-Apocalyptic Future. Two awkward but imaginative 14-year-olds share their hilarious and fantastical instructions on how to survive the impending apocalypse—accompanied on their ukulele and glockenspiel. Whimsical, playful and yet very illuminating, at its heart Kitt & Jane is a profound exploration of the real-life concerns of today’s youth about the world they are inheriting . . . and what they’re prepared to do about it!
A stand-alone sequel to the highly acclaimed hit Little Orange Man, this 2012 winner of the Critics’ Choice Spotlight Award for Best New Play is a “hilarious, invigorating piece of theatre that will follow you home” (CVVMagazine.com). Featuring the talents of Phoenix grads Ingrid Hansen and Katherine Greenfield, plus Rod Peter Jr., Kitt & Jane previews October 15 & 16, and runs October 17 to 26 in the Phoenix Theatres. Click here for ticket information.
• Department of Writing professor and Associate Dean of Fine Arts Lynne Van Luven is a featured reader at the latest installment of the Brindle & Glass reading series At The Mike. In recognition of Mental Illness Awareness Week, Van Luven will join two other contributing writers from the new book of essays, Hidden Lives: Coming Out on Mental Illness, a groundbreaking anthology featuring evocative personal essays by writers who either suffer from, or have close family members who have been diagnosed with, a serious mental health or developmental disorder. The candid accounts in this collection give readers a place to turn while also looking to break the stigma and silence that continues to exist around mental illness.
Van Luven will be joined by Lenore Rowntree and Andrea Paquette at 7pm Tuesday, October 15, at Russell Books, 734 Fort Street. (The reading is downstairs in Russell’s Vintage.) And hey, it’s free.
Lieder at Lunch
• The School of Music offers the latest in their Lieder at Lunch series this month. Join Music professor Harald Krebs and his wife Sharon for an exploration of the German Lied repertoire—this time focusing on “Songs about Windows”. Don’t forget to bring your lunch!
Lieder at Lunch runs 12:30 – 1:30pm Wednesday, October 16, in the School of Music’s room B037 (MacLaurin building).
• Niall Christie’s “Friends, Foes or Fools? Muslim Views of Crusaders”
Presented by UVic’s Middle East & Islamic Consortium and History in Art, Langara College’s Dr. Niall Christie will discuss the attitudes of the Muslims of the Levant to the western Europeans who came to the region on the Crusades (1095-1291), considering to what extent these attitudes expressed themselves as hostile encounters, or whether they were transformed through ongoing political and cultural interactions into tolerance and sometimes, even, friendship. His research addresses the Muslim response to the crusades, with particular foci on the development of jihad ideology; comparative study of holy war preaching in Europe and the Middle East; and women and the crusades.
Niall Christie speaks at 7pm, Wednesday, October 16, in Turpin building A104
Artist Marla Hlady
• Next up in the Visiting Artist series is Toronto-based artist and Visual Arts grad Marla Hlady. A celebrated sound artist and kinetic sculptor, Hlady’s pieces deal with the nature of sound, often materializing it for viewers and reorienting their connection to
everyday auditory experiences.
After receiving her BFA at UVic and an MFA from York, she began showing in the early 1990s, eventually being
included in several national and international group shows, such as 1996′s Blink at
Toronto’s Power Plant. (In 2001, the same gallery hosted a solo show of her work.) Hlady’s practice developed in scope and ambition through the 2000s—her 2008 piece, Playing Piano was a player piano from the 1920s intricately modified with contemporary
machinery, and in 2012 she did a number of site-specific projects for a solo show at
Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center in New York, and for a residency in Norway. She was nominated for the 2002 Sobey Art Award and her work is now in the collections of the Art Gallery of Ontario and the National Gallery of Canada.
Don’t miss this chance to hear her speak at 8pm Wednesday, October 16, in room A162 of the Visual Arts building—and it’s free, of course.
• Also that same evening is composer, performer, instrument maker, “multiple flutist” and School of Music alum Bruce Gremo, who will be presenting an Electroacoustic concert on his self-invented flute. The 53-year-old musician is on the forefront of Beijing’s hi-tech contemporary music scene and will be playing his latest creation, a flute controlled by computers that he calls the Cilia. “The flute itself doesn’t make any sound,” he said, but when linked to computers it can produce, and measure, almost every sound imaginable.
The invention was approved for a patent just last month. Using combination of computer applications he created and a vertical arrangement of digital sensors, Gremo has spent the last seven years developing the Cilia. He recently returned from a trip touring Taiwan, where he performed at universities and gave lectures on his electronic instrument designs, including his new experimental flute.
Bruce Gremo’s Electroacoustic Music Concert is at 8pm Wednesday, October 16, in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall. Free admission.
Author Marjorie Celona
• Another grad making a big name for herself is Department of Writing alumna Marjorie Celona. Her debut novel Y was longlisted for the 2012 Scotiabank Giller Prize, the Globe and Mail called it “a stunning debut” and the National Post simply calling it “the book of the fall.” (Nicely, the novel’s setting is right here in Victoria and the YWCA on Broughton Street plays a prominent role.) After receiving her BFA from UVic, Celona picked up an MFA from the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow and recipient of the Ailene Barger Barnes Prize; her stories have appeared in Best American Nonrequired Reading, Glimmer Train, and the Harvard Review. (Interdisciplinary note: Celona is also the daughter of School of Music professor and filmmaker John Celona.)
Marjorie Celona will be visiting the Writing department as an Orion Lecturer with a pair of talks about “Fiction in the Big World” on Thursday, October 17—first at 8:30am in HSD A240, then again at 1pm in room 203 of the Fine Arts building. Both talks are free and open to the public.
• Also on October 17, guest performer & composer Lori Freedman will join Music professor Alexandra Pohran Dawkins in her Mus 347B class to explore improvisation and contemporary performance practice. Recognized internationally as one of the most provocative and creative performers in the field of contemporary music, Freedman’s work includes concert repertoire, improvised and electroacoustic music, and her frequent collaborations with dance, theatre and visual artists. (She will also perform her improvisation This Time at 7:30pm Monday, October 21, at Open Space.)
Lori Freedman appears at UVic from 11:30am to 12:50pm Thursday, October 17, in MacLaurin room B037.
• The School of Music’s Faculty Chamber Music Series presents [Mostly] Off the Beaten Path, featuring performances by faculty members Suzanne Snizek (flute), Patricia Kostek (clarinet), Alexandra Pohran Dawkins (oboe), Jenny Gunter (bassoon), Wendell Clanton (saxophone), Louis Ranger (trumpet), Ann Elliott-Goldschmid (violin), Joanna Hood (viola), Pamela Highbaugh Aloni (cello), Ajtony Csaba, Michelle Mares and Art Rowe (piano). Collectively and individually, they’ll be performing a mixed program of familiar and rarely performed works by Rachmaninoff, Hans Gál, Martinu, Copland and others.
[Mostly] Off the Beaten Path runs 8-10pm Saturday, October 19 in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall. Tickets are $13.50 & $17.50.
• The very next night sees an appearance by the University of Victoria Chamber Singers. Conducted by the School of Music’s Garry Froese, their afternoon performance is titled Textura Sonora.
Hear them in action from 2 to 4pm Sunday, October 20, in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall. Admission is by donation.
• Noted Toronto-based jazz trumpet player Mike Harriott will be presenting “The Versatile Musician”, a special School of Music clinic focusing on the concept of versatility in the modern musical market, adopting multi-instrumentalism into one’s own musical arsenal, and the essential elements of recording an album. This workshop draws from Harriott’s latest recording project—a multi-tracked, large brass ensemble album of his own compositions and arrangements in which he performed almost all of the instruments and recorded in his home studio. (He’ll be launching the CD at Hermann’s Jazz Club on October 22.)
Catch Mike Harriott from 12:30pm to 1:30pm on Monday, October 21, in MacLaurin B037.
Artist Adad Hannah
• Rising star of the art world Adad Hannah will appear as the next Visiting Artist for Visual Arts. Born in New York, Hannah spent his childhood in Israel and England before moving to Vancouver in the early 1980s; he now lives and works between there and Montreal. He has extensively exhibited his unique photographic recreations of, and interactions with, classical art both nationally and internationally, and has produced works at the likes of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the National
Gallery of Canada, the Vancouver Art Gallery and the Prado in Madrid.
He’ll be speaking and showing slides of his work at 8pm Wednesday, October 23, in room A162 of the Visual Arts building. His talk is free, and open to the public.
The Aldeburgh Connection
• Later in the month, the Orion Series In Fine Arts presents A Britten Festival of Song: The Canticles. Recently named Members of the Order of Canada and the recipients of a Ruby Award from Opera Canada, the Aldeburgh Connection—piano duo Stephen Ralls & Bruce Ubukata—will be supported in this performance by the School of Music’s Head of Voice, tenor Benjamin Butterfield, plus counter-tenor Daniel Taylor, baritone Alexander Dobson and the UVic Chamber Singers, with Garry Froese conducting. This marks the Aldeburgh Connection’s first appearance in Victoria in a concert that celebrates the 100th anniversary of the birth of famed British composer Benjamin Britten.
The Aldeburgh Connection runs 8 to 10pm Saturday, October 26, in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall. Admission for this special event is free—and if you can’t make it, you can tune in here for the live broadcast.
• Heritage House Publishing and the Department of Writing are proud to present an illustrated reading and book launch of Ted Grant: Sixty Years of Legendary Photojournalism by Writing grad Thelma Fayle. Fayle is a freelance writer who has been published widely in the likes of the Globe and Mail, Reader’s Digest, CBC, The Tyee, the Times Colonist, Boulevard, Focus, and others. Ted Grant will be in attendance at the event and will be showing slides of some of his iconic work.
The book launch runs from 2-4 pm Sunday, October 27, in the David Lam Auditorium (MacLaurin Building A144). It’s free and open to the public.
Daniel Laskarin’s “blue chair :: if this”
• Finally, cap off the month with the much-anticipated Department of Visual Arts faculty exhibit Paradox at downtown’s Legacy Gallery. Presenting new and recent work by the current permanent teaching faculty in Visual Arts, Paradox is the companion exhibit to the foundational Department of Visual Arts retrospective Core Samples, which runs to October 26. The seven faculty members—Daniel Laskarin, Sandra Meigs, Robert Youds, Vikky Alexander, Lynda Gammon, Jennifer Stillwell, and Paul Walde—are all mid-career and senior artists with national and international careers, and each will be represented by works characteristic of his or her current practice. All pieces will relate to the theme of the paradox, implicit in our physical and psychic experience of art.
Surprisingly, in its nearly 40-year history the Legacy Art Gallery (formerly Maltwood) has never curated a faculty of Visual Arts exhibition. Paradox aims to bring wider understanding to the particular strengths of this nationally acclaimed academic program, which is rooted in explorations of phenomenology and in the perceptual, conceptual, and interactive contexts of contemporary visual art.
Paradox also follows up on the week-long Visual Arts faculty exhibit Now Art, which briefly ran during UVic’s Congress 2013. The exhibit runs October 31 to January 12, 2014 at the Legacy Art Gallery, 630 Yates Street—but the opening soiree will be happening on November 1.