As millennia of human progress and innovation has proven, ideas can change everything. And ideas once again take centre-stage on campus with Ideafest, UVic’s annual research festival. Running from March 7-12, Ideafest celebrates some of the brightest minds and ideas on campus and this year’s festival showcases 50 outstanding events—of which the Faculty of Fine Arts is involved in more than a dozen. Ideafest offers yet another opportunity to demonstrate how essential creativity and culture are to UVic’s core research strengths.
The annual Fine Arts panel discussion helps kick off the first day of Ideafest, when we examine “All The Rage: Art in Conflict Zones” from 5-7pm Monday, March 7 in room A240 of the Human & Social Development Building. Global conflict causes destruction & chaos, yet inspiring & enduring creative works are forged in those same fires: consider Picasso’s Guernica, Górecki’s Symphony of Sorrowful Songs or Remarque’s All Quiet on the Western Front. From the Holocaust to Syria, Rwanda, Israel, Cambodia and other conflict zones, Fine Arts faculty members offer a timely & provocative panel about how good art can emerge from terrible events. Moderated by Dr Susan Lewis, Acting Dean of Fine Arts, our panelists will include David Leach (Writing), Suzanne Snizek (School of Music), Allan Antliff & Marcus Milwright (Art History & Visual Studies), and Kirsten Sadeghi-Yekta (Theatre). The audience for last year’s panel was literally filled to overflowing—we had people sitting in the hallway—so be sure to arrive early . . . although we have booked a bigger room this year! Full details here.
Earlier that same day, Writing professor Lee Henderson will once again be participating in “Graphic Ideas @UVic” from noon-2pm Monday, March 7, in McPherson Library room A0025, alongside Visual Arts instructor David Gifford. Henderson’s most recent novel, The Road Narrows As You Go, was all about the 1980s comic book industry and he also teaches a graphic novel elective for Writing, so he knows well of which he speaks. Discover who else is involved with the panel here.
Ever wonder what it’s like to be Artist-in-Residence at UVic? Find out when the School of Music presents “A Day in the Life of the Lafayette String Quartet” from 11am-2:30pm Tuesday, March 8, in rooms B125 & B037 of the MacLaurin building. One of the most renowned string quartets in North America, the LSQ has garnered international acclaim as a talented, all-female string quartet for nearly 30 years. Since 1991, the LSQ—made up of Ann Elliott-Goldschmid, Joanna Hood, Pamela Highbaugh Aloni and Sharon Stanis—has held residency at the UVic School of Music, sharing their passion for chamber music with students and the Victoria community. This event offers a rare opportunity to accompany the LSQ as they rehearse new material, discuss their work, and workshop with students—all in a day’s work! This event will feature an open rehearsal (11am-12:30pm), a brown-bag lunch discussion with the LSQ & their students (12:30-1:30), plus a chamber music masterclass workshop (1:30-2:30). Find out more here.
That same day, the Department of Theatre is examining “The Power of Myth” from 12:30-1:30pm March 8 in the Phoenix Theatre. Myths, legends and fairy tales are a central part of all cultures around the world. But how can Applied Theatre practitioners use them to deal with traumas and difficult experiences, and how do those experiences vary in different cultures? Theatre professor and scholar Warwick Dobson will explore the Applied Theatre techniques used throughout his 40-year career as theatre director, school teacher, drama consultant, educator and professor. Event includes a participatory workshop on the story of the traditional Tamil folk-tale, Kandarubia. See more here.
Also on Tuesday, March 8, Visual Arts students will be participating in the “Pecha Kucha Biomedica & Poster Social” from 3-6pm in room B150 & the foyer of the Bob Wright Centre. The Centre for Biomedical Research is a collaborative collective of scientists, clinicians and research trainees investigating important problems related to human health and medical application—and this year, they’ve paired some graduate students with Visual Arts undergrads to help them illustrate their ideas. See what Jacob Wong Pang and Alexandra Santos have come up with. Read more here.
The Department of Visual Arts is offering the four-day exhibit “Clever and Pleasant Inventions,” running March 8-12 in the Fine Arts courtyard. Drawing on the late 16th century French book La Premier partie des subtiles et plaisantes inventions (Clever and Pleasant Inventions) by J. Prevost—the oldest known book on the topic of prestidigitation—this visual arts exhibit will attempt to bring the book’s text and illustrations to life through student drawing, sculpture and installations. Organized by Visual Arts instructor David Gifford. See what else is happening here.
One of the best aspects of Ideafest is how it offers opportunities to showcase both faculty and student research, with the latter being on display in the annual Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Awards (JCURA), running 11:30am-3pm in the SUB’s Michele Pujol room, upper lounge and hallway. The JCURA fair presents a rare opportunity to connect with the next generation of Canadian researchers and will feature over 100 inspiring projects, ranging from the latest in biomedical technologies to the politics of decolonization. Nearly a dozen Fine Arts students will be participating, including Claire le Nobel (Music), Ellery Rose Lamm (Writing), Hollis Roberts, Kyra McLeod, Luke Fair (Visual Arts), Irina Ridzuan, Jesse York & Saromi Kim (Art History & Visual Studies), and Nicholas Guerreiro (Theatre). Click on each of their links to see what they’re all working on. Also, two of the JCURA Music recipients—Aliayta Foon-Dancoes & Elizabeth Gerow—will be doing their presentations in the Phillip T. Young Recital Hall from 4:30-5:30pm.
2015 Governor General’s Award winner and Visual Arts professor Sandra Meigs will be one of three UVic national award winners sharing the stage with Chancellor and acclaimed broadcast journalist Shelagh Rogers for the panel discussion “When Ideas Come to Life,” running 7-9pm Wednesday March 9 at the Belfry Theatre, 1291 Gladstone Ave. Celebrated scholars astronomer Sara Ellison and ethnoecologist Nancy Turner will join Rogers and Meigs in conversation, as they exchange stories about what it’s like to create knowledge for a living. How has research shaped their professional and personal lives? How do they view their roles as intellectuals in modern society? This intimate look at the life of the research-intensive scholar promises to be a fascinating evening. Note: this event is free, but it does require booking tickets with the Belfry Theatre.
The ongoing Syrian civil war has brought us all sorts of headlines about the wanton destruction of artworks and archaeological sites, which makes the Department of Art History & Visual Studies panel discussion “The Destruction of Art”—running 4:30-6pm Wednesday, March 9 in room C108 of the Strong building—very timely indeed. If you’ve been disturbed by the recent demolitions of UNESCO world heritage sites or upset by the idea of artworks being attacked in galleries, you may be surprised to learn that the destruction of art is a common practice. But why do people—including artists—destroy art? Join our panel of art historians as we debate if the destruction of art can be justified and how it figures as an artistic practice. Presenters include Allan Antliff, Evanthia Baboula, Erin Campbell, Marcus Milwright, and Astri Wright. Find out more here.
Also on Wednesday, March 9, is “Magical Mushrooms: Composers to Decomposers” from 7-9:30pm in room D115 of the MacLaurin building. Presented by UVic’s Centre for Forest Biology, Visual Arts professor and composer Paul Walde will be highlighting his own fascinating with mycological art with his pieces “Interdeterminacy (for John Cage)” and “Music for Mycologists”. This marvelous, multimedia medley of science, music and art offers a trip through UVic’s Lorenzen Ceramic Mushroom Collection, as well as the latest UVic research on fungal symbionts and pathogens. See more here.
Meet the future of Canadian literature when Department of Writing MFA students step into the spotlight with “Brave New Wordsmiths,” 6:30-8:30pm Thursday, March 10, at the Copper Owl, 1900 Douglas Street. A group reading night featuring the literary talents of K’Ari Fisher, Stephanie Harrington, Annabel Howard, Robbie Huebner, Danielle Janess and Susan Sanford Blades. These graduating MFA students will offer short readings from their final projects—and future books—ranging from works of fiction, creative nonfiction, drama and poetry, as well as introductions by their faculty supervisors. Read more here.
Art History & Visual Studies instructor Jamie Kemp will be discussing medieval illumination and bookbinding as part of “Medifest,” running 3-7pm Saturday, March 12, in the Hickman building. A medieval fair of ideas, crafts, demonstrations and conversations, Medifest offers access to the middle ages via calligraphy, geometrical art, stained glass windows art, dance, story telling, crafts, music and magic, along with a pair of fast-paced lectures. But before that, the medieval manuscript round-table “Medieval Minutes” will run 2-3 pm in Special Collections room A003 at McPherson Library. Find out more here.
Finally, Fine Arts is excited to be participating in “Games Without Frontiers 2.0” from noon-5pm Saturday, March 12, in the A-wing foyer of the MacLaurin building. This “pop-up idea arcade” unites professors, graduate researchers, undergrads, K-12 teachers and students, game designers, artists and curious citizens from across Victoria to explore the social and educational power of digital games. Panels of UVic faculty and guest experts will discuss games in education, games to improve mental and physical health, virtual and augmented-reality games and the fine art of game design. In demo rooms, visitors can try games by UVic faculty, students and local studios; use an augmented-reality app to learn a language; discover the learning potential of MinecraftEDU and Mario Maker; and so much more. In a hands-on “hackathon” participants will pitch ideas for how interactive media can help overcome the challenges of integrating new refugees into the community. All demos and talks are free and open to the public. Hosted by UVic’s Technology and Society Interdisciplinary Program, Technology Integrated Learning Unit, and the Faculties of Education, Fine Arts and Social Sciences. Click here to see the full schedule.