Minor in Digital and Interactive Media in the Arts announced

Starting in May 2017, the Faculty of Fine Arts will begin offering a new minor in Digital and Interactive Media in the Arts (DIMA). DIMA will allow you to combine current electives with new training in interactive media as part of your UVic Bachelor degree.

Writing prof David Leach, part of UVic’s Digital Storytelling & Social Simulation Lab

“Our minor in Digital and Interactive Media in the Arts is an innovative program that builds on our strengths in research and creative activity, as well as the kind of hands-on, dynamic learning Fine Arts is known for,” says Susan Lewis, Dean of Fine Arts.

The arts are traditionally at the forefront when it comes to creative applications of new technologies, and the conversion of regular media to digital formats unleashes new possibilities for interactivity. Networked digital media make it possible for groups to form around all sorts of shared interests in order to better coordinate, communicate and collaborate.

Not only has digital media led to emerging genres and forms of art, but it’s also created new areas of inquiry and analysis into social and cultural impacts. And we’re hearing increased demand for digital and interactive media skills from both students and post-degree industries and institutions in general.

As such, DIMA students will learn technological production and collaborative practices to create and curate immersive and interactive stories, games, performances and installations. Courses will be offered in a range of programs, including (but not limited to):

  • interactive media design
  • photography & film production
  • digital art history
  • technology & visual studies
  • game strategy
  • music, science & computers
  • sound recording
  • digital publishing & digital media arts
  • acting for the camera
  • film studies

As well as a foundational course in creativity (FA 101), you’ll build on a selection of electives looking at digital media production and cultural impacts, combined with a capstone course looking at digital and interactive media in the arts. A balance of practice and theory, core lectures, seminars and studio work will explore the conceptual and creative possibilities of this new area of knowledge and study.

Open to anyone across campus, the DIMA is a natural fit for Fine Arts, already home to the Studios for Integrated Media.  DIMA will also join our current batch of minors, including:

The minor in Digital and Interactive Media in the Arts is yet another way we’re looking at how new technologies are revolutionizing the way we carry out our daily lives. From Netflix to smart phone culture, digital media is already a big part of what we do — why not integrate it into the classroom as well?

By taking the DIMA minor, you’ll

  • Develop skills in new media to create and co-create artistic work
  • Understand the intersections of art, media, and culture and their impact on society
  • Enhance visual literacy and the capacity to reflect critically on the social impact of new media
  • Build a critical vocabulary to clearly communicate concepts and analyze new media

To learn more about the minor in Digital and Interactive Media in the Arts, please contact our Fine Arts Advising Officer.

Alumni Week runs February 6-12

Help celebrate the impact of grads at UVic’s 10th annual Alumni Week. More than a dozen free events — including talks, awards and workshops — highlight this event, running February 6 to 12, both on-campus and off. This year we focus on the vital impact of the university’s graduates, locally and around the world.

But, as always, our Fine Arts alumni are busy well beyond Alumni Week activities — scroll down for a few key events featuring our fantastic alumni!

Alumni Week begins on Monday, February 6 with a special kick-off launch with alumni who work on campus at the Welcome Centre (11:30am), followed by a fun presentation for current students at the Petch Fountain (1:30 to 3pm).

Tuesday, February 7, offers a very special presentation by Fine Arts alumnus and retired Art History and Visual Studies professor Martin Segger (BA ’69), who is being honoured as the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient by the UVic Libraries. His presentation on “Built Heritage: UVic’s Architectural Archive of the Pacific Northwest” (3pm, Mearns Centre for Learning room 129) was so popular that it sold out in less than 24 hours!

Martin Segger (photo: Colton Hash)

Drawing on diaries, notebooks, photographs, architectural drawings and other related media in Special Collections and the University Archives, Segger takes us on a digital tour through some of the materials that illuminate the architectural history of this region. These documents together provide fascinating insights — not only into the story of our built environment, but also to the lives of those who made it, recorded it, were inspired by it and lived in it.

The former director and curator of the UVic Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery (1979-2010), Segger has recently has been assisting with the development of the Pacific Northwest Architectural Archive. Following the presentation, attendees are invited to enjoy a special exhibit celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Art History and Visual Studies department in the Mearns Centre’s Legacy Maltwood Gallery.

Beyond Fine Arts, Tuesday also offers a Hi-Tech Co-op & Career Fair (10am to 3pm, Engineering Wing lobby), Child & Youth Care alumni reception (4:30pm, University Club) and a special event on the Etiquette of Networking with UVic Alumni Relations director Terry Cockerline (5pm, Continuing Studies Atrium), and a human rights session called Beyond Differences: How to engage with the world’s greatest challenges (7pm, Continuing Studies 280).

Althea Thauberger

The highlight of Wednesday, Feb 8, is the Distinguished Alumni Awards, which will feature the accomplishments of 13 outstanding UVic grads — including Visual Arts alumnus Althea Thauberger, as well as Westjet vice-president of marketing Bob Cummings, author and former chief of the Xat’sull (Soda Creek) First Nation Bev Sellars, and long-serving Langford city councilor and Capital Regional District director Denise Blackwell. (7:30pm, Songhees Wellness Centre)

But there’s also a special lunch gathering for grads of Health Information Science (11:30am, University Club), and a Young Alumni Paint Nite (6:30pm at Table 21, 777 Douglas), where you can grab a brush, make connections, channel your inner artist and take home your very own masterpiece . . . no painting experience necessary, as you will be guided from start to finish by a professional artist.

Shelagh Rogers

On Thursday, Feb 9, UVic Chancellor Shelagh Rogers will share her personal journey as an honorary witness to the proceedings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in a live interview with CHEK News anchor (and UVic alumna) Stacy Ross. Rogers will be answering questions instead of asking them, as the CBC radio journalist – and keen observer of Canadian life – talks about reconciliation and the country’s future (7pm, First Metropolitan Church).

Also on Thursday, out-of-town alumni in both Calgary and Seattle can take in a pair of regional events in their own cities: the Calgary meet & greet (7pm at the National on 10th), the Seattle meet & greet (7pm at the Rhein Haus).

Friday, Feb 10, is anchored by the Vikes for Life Basketball Night (6pm women’s game, 8pm men’s game), where alumni can cheer as the Vikes take on the Winnipeg Wesmen. Better still, it’s just $7 for four seats!

Saturday offers a special lunch & learn session for Victoria College alumni (from Craigdarroch and Lansdowne campuses) and the Provincial Normal School. Discover the inspiring efforts of UVic’s Victoria Hand Project, which provides 3D-printed upper-limb prosthetics to amputees in the developing world (11:30am, University Club). And all UVic Alumni are invited to an early Valentine’s Day Dinner (5:30pm, University Club) where Alumni ONECard holders are eligible for a free, one-year University Club membership.

Joan MacLeod working on “Gracie” with star Lili Beaudoin

Beyond the specific Alumni Week festivities, however, Fine Arts alumni are active in a number of events and exhibitions around town:

  • Award-winning Writing alumna Joan MacLeod has the world premiere of her latest play, Gracie, at the Belfry Theatre (1291 Gladstone) until Feb 19.
  • Visual Arts alumnus and sessional instructor Neil McClelland has a solo exhibit of paintings, Everything is Being Perfected, at Deluge Contemporary (636 Yates) until March 4.
  • Visual Arts alumnus and sessional instructor Todd Lamebth presents “Friday Night Spectrum” at the Ministry of Casual Living window space (764 Yates) until Feb 15.
  • Filmmakers and Writing alumni Jeremy Lutter (director) and Ben Rollo (writer) have the world premiere of their debut feature film — The Hollow Child, a horror thriller — at the Victoria Film Festival (9pm Feb 9 & 4pm Feb 11 at SilverCity).
  • Also at this year’s VFF is Writing MFA alumnus Connor Gaston and his short film The Cameraman, and the alumni-heavy short film Caw, produced & directed by Jeremy Lutter, screenplay by Ryan Bright, with executive producer Meghan Bell. Both show as part of the BC Shorts Program, 9:45pm Feb 7 at the Odeon. And the local CineVic Soceity of Independent Filmmakers — whose executive director, David Geiss, also holds a screenwriting MFA from the Writing department — will be hosting public receptions for these two VFF homegrown screenings: The Camerman (7-9:30pm Feb 7) and The Hollow Child (6:30-9pm Feb 11) at their CineVic HQ (#102 – 764 Yates).

Finally, the Art History & Visual Studies department presents three exhibits, all involving their alumni:

  • Ellen Neel

    Ellen Neel: The First Woman Totem Pole Carver (until April 1, Legacy Art Gallery, 630 Yates) –  Celebrate the career of Kwakiutl (Kwakwaka’wakw) carver Ellen Neel (1916-1966), the first woman carver of monumental totem poles, who had an undeniable contribution towards the recognition of Northwest coast Indian art as a contemporary art form.

  • The Mystery of Grafton Tyler Brown (Until April 1, Legacy Art Gallery, 630 Yates) –  Grafton Tyler Brown (1841-1918) was one of the first professional landscape artists to work in the Pacific Northwest; his few regional paintings that survive offer vivid windows into the world of 1880s Victoria and British Columbia. Yet, how did this African American artist succeed at a time when racial prejudice prevented most Blacks from entering any skilled profession? Guest curated by UVic History professor John Lutz, with Art History & Visual Studies alumna Emerald Johnstone Bedell and Caroline Riedel.
  • Learning Through Looking (To April 13, Legacy Maltwood at the Mearns Centre – McPherson Library) –  Celebrates the 50th anniversary of Art History & Visual Studies with this exhibit curated by faculty members and graduate students Jaiya Anka and Atri Hatef.

Early 2017 media roundup

2017 is shaping up to be a busy year for Fine Arts faculty and alumni in the media. A number of stories have run in various media outlets in the last weeks of 2016 and early 2017, featuring representatives in all of our departments. Here’s a quick roundup of who’s been saying what to whom.

School of Music alumnus & instructor Paul Beauchesne was interviewed on TV’s CHEK6 news on December 10 (skip to the 8:14 mark), speaking as leader of the annual TubaChristmas concert in Market Square. The popular School of Music event has raised over $50,000 for local charities over the past 38 years.

In this op-ed for the Times Colonist, 2016 Writing Southam Lecturer Vivian Smith explains the impact of fake news and how it can undermines democracy—a notable concern particularly during the recent US elections.

Brian Pollick with UVic archivist Lara Wilson

Back on December 16, Art History & Visual Studies PhD candidate Brian Pollick was quoted in this Times Colonist story about nearly two dozen rare medieval and early modern manuscripts that are available until May 1 in Victoria — thanks to an innovative new collaboration between UVic Libraries and Les Enluminures, a firm based in New York, Chicago and Paris which has the largest inventory of text manuscripts and miniatures from the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. “People of the medieval time would see a whole multiplicity of different messages, and part of what fascinates me is their visual depth,” Pollick said. UVic is the first Canadian institution to partner with Les Enluminures. Pollick donated the initial funds to create the Medieval Manuscript Fund at the UVic Libraries.

Also at the end of 2016, the annual Critics’ Choice Theatre Awards were announced on CBC Radio’s On The Island  and there were plenty of Fine Arts alumni among the 2016 nominees and winners. February’s Phoenix production of Wild Honey was singled out as an outstanding overall production, with Theatre professor Peter McGuire winning Best Director (community production). “It was one of those shows where you had to ask yourself if you were actually watching students or professional theatre,” says CBC reviewer David Lennam. See the full list of winners and nominees here.

Art History & Visual Studies PhD candidate and local Star Wars expert David Christopher spoke to Vancouver’s CKNW radio on Dec 16 about the release of Rogue One, calling it “the greatest spin-off yet.” An authority on all things Force-related, Christopher was also married in full Star Wars regalia.

School of Music professor Benjamin Butterfield talked to the Times Colonist for this story about both his January 2 Victoria Symphony concert “A Viennese New Year’s” and his decade-long teaching role here at UVic. “For some, the holidays couldn’t be long enough,” wrote Mike Devlin. “Butterfield, on the other hand, loves his career on campus. ‘There’s lots on my mind about what the future holds there,’ Butterfield, 52, said of UVic. ‘I could see myself doing at least another 10 years.'”

Visual Arts MFA alumna Rachel Vanderzwet‘s recent Plastic Bangles exhibit at Deluge Contemporary was written up in the Art Openings cultural blog, written by Art History & Visual Studies alumna Kate Cino. “I have a desire for each piece of the puzzle to be unique,” says Vanderzwet, “but harmonize in a composition . . . . I like the challenge of working with unusual colour combinations,” she says, “playing with pigment to create a visual push and pull within the work.” While the exhibit is now closed, Vanderzwet will be teaching a course titled “Conversations in Abstraction” from January 10 – April 4 at the Vancouver Island School of Art, which is run by another Visual Arts alum, Wendy Welch.

Significant Art History & Visual Studies donor Jeffrey Rubinoff was featured in this Globe and Mail article which ran on Dec 30. Globe arts columnist Marsha Lederman visited Rubinoff’s Hornby Island sculpture park, spoke to him about his theories about art, and mentioned his 2016 donation to AHVS.

Visual Art chair Paul Walde‘s installation “Requiem for a Glacier” received a positive mention in the December 2016 issue of Canadian Art magazine as part of the group exhibit “The Edge of the Earth” at Ryerson’s Image Centre in Toronto; it is now featured in a solo exhibition at the WKP Kennedy Gallery in North Bay, Ontario until February 10. And from January 14 until February 28, the Nordnorsk Kunstmuseum in Tromsø, Norway, presents Walde’s “Alaska Variations” as part of a touring version of The View from Here: The Arctic At The Centre of the World.

UVic’s longtime Artists-in-Residence, the Lafayette String Quartet, were featured in the Jan/Feb issue of Focus magazine, highlighting their history together and previewing their upcoming Feb 3-9 performance of the complete Shostakovich Cycle of 15 String Quartets. Now entering their fourth decade of performing and teaching together, the LSQ continue to be a highlight of the School of Music. “UVic has allowed us to take on these kinds of research-based projects—delving into 15 quartets of one composer is a great opportunity,” says violinist Sharon Stanis.

Music professor Patrick Boyle January 21 “Deep in the Groove” faculty concert was featured in the Dec/Jan issue of Boulevard magazine. The concert also features Music alumni Tony Genge and Kelby MacNayr. “If you like to swing deep in the groove, you should definitely be at this concert,” says Boyle. There’s no direct link, but you can click here and navigate to pages 116 & 118.

Art History & Visual Studies professor Victoria Wyatt has once again been asked to participate in the Edge.org 2017 Annual Question.  This year’s question is, “What Scientific Term or Concept Ought to be More Widely Known?” Wyatt’s response is  “Evolve,” is a pitch for more integrated education that synthesizes sciences with humanities, social sciences and fine arts. “Evolved means better, as if natural law normally dictates constant improvement over time. In translating progress from species evolution to the metaphor of evolve, the significance of dynamic relationship to a specific environment gets lost. Through natural selection, species become more equipped to survive in their distinct environment. In a different environment, they may find themselves vulnerable. Divorced from context, their measure of progress breaks down. The popular metaphor of evolve misses this crucial point. Evolve often connotes progress without reference to context.”

A number of School of Music performances—including the January 7 Emerging Alumni concert featuring Jiten Beairsto, Sydney Tetarenko and Emily Burton, and the January 8 “Brass Menagerie” faculty concert by Music instructors Paul Beachesne and Scott MacInnes — were highlighted in a round-up of music events in this Times Colonist article.

Visual Arts professor Megan Dickie‘s new exhibit at Open Space, “One Way or Another”, was previewed in this Times Colonist article on January 12. Described as “her biggest and most ambitious art project to date.”  “Part of this is inspired by reality television shows where they’d doing activities and failing, like running through courses and stuff,” Dickie said. “There is pleasure in seeing somebody — not fall and hurt themselves — but to go to those limits and not succeed. That’s all in there.” The exhibit runs through to February 18.

Phoenix frequent among 2016 Critic’s Choice winners

The 16th annual Victoria Critics’ Choice Theatre Awards were announced on CBC Radio’s On The Island at the end of December and, as always, there were plenty of Fine Arts alumni among the 2016 nominees and winners. We’ve got a breakdown of the awards below, but you can hear the full broadcast with the critic’s comments here. This year’s critics included David Lennam and Monica Prendergast, both reviewers with CBC Radio; interestingly, Prendergast is herself an alumna of the Theatre department.

David Ferry on his Long Day’s Journey

As with every year, the Theatre department figured prominently in the 2016 awards, in all areas of production: direction, design and acting. At a glance, February’s production of Wild Honey was singled out as an outstanding overall production (“It was one of those shows where you had to ask yourself if you were actually watching students or professional theatre,” noted Lennam), as was Theatre professor Brian Richmond‘s production of Long Day’s Journey Into Night at his Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre in May.

This year’s nominees included MFA alumnus Alan Brodie (lighting) for A Christmas Carol at the Belfry, Hank Pine (sound) for The Threepenny Opera at the Phoenix, Gillian McConnell (acting, community) for Summer & Smoke, Art History & Visual Studies alumna Glynis Leyshon (director, professional) for Pacific Opera Victoria’s Simon Boccanegra and Writing alumna/professor Joan MacLeod (professional production) for The Valley at the Belfry.

Jack Hayes & Arielle Permack in Wild Honey (Photo: David Lowes)

But it was Michael Frayn’s Wild Honey, an adaptation of Anton Chekhov’s first play, which gained the most nominations of any Phoenix production.

“Chekhov himself was around the same age as our students when he wrote this play,” director Peter McGuire noted at the time of the show’s mounting in February 2016, “and young people are living the chaotic nature of love every day. This play is about the need for love and the frustration of love. These are people trying to connect but not able to. Some are in a position where they cannot communicate their love because of their social status in the community. And here are our students in the theatre department or the writing department, writing their first plays, looking at human relationships, examining the world that they’re living in. This is the beginning of Chekhov.”

Wild Honey nominees included Theatre students Dallas Ashby (set), Graham McMonagle (costumes) and Jack Hayes (acting, community), with Peter McGuire (director, community production) ultimately winning his category.

Brian Richmond

Other Critic’s Choice winners with a Fine Arts connection include Music alumnus Tobin Stokes (sound) for Speed-The-Plow at the Belfry and the Victoria Shakespeare Society’s production of Twelfth Night, directed by Theatre alumna Janet Munsil, which won best acting ensemble (community) for a cast that included Theatre alumni Trevor Hinton, Cam Culham and Emma Grabinsky plus Writing alumna Karen Lee Pickett.

Finally, Theatre professor Brian Richmond was named winner in the directing category (professional production) for Long Day’s Journey Into Night, which also earned best acting ensemble (professional) for a cast that included Theatre alumni David Ferry and former student Jacob Richmond.

Congratulations to all!

Top 10 Fine Arts stories of 2016 – part one

With over 150 public events a year here in the Faculty of Fine Arts—not to mention classes, research, guest lectures and the kind of creative activity that defines who we are and what we do—the year always just seems to fly by. As always, there was no shortage of things to keep everyone busy in 2016. Here’s part one of our annual wrap-up featuring some—but certainly not all—of the leading Fine Arts stories of the year.

A whole new Dean

Dean Susan Lewis

Back in July, we were proud to announce that Dr. Susan Lewis had been selected as the new Dean of Fine Arts—the ninth Dean since Fine Arts became a faculty in 1969. Her five-year term will continue the momentum already begun by her term as Acting Dean for the 2015/16 academic year. “With Fine Arts being one of only a few freestanding faculties in the country whose focus is entirely devoted to performance, arts scholarship, and creative expression, this gives us an edge as we look to enhance synergies across the faculty, campus and into the community,” she said at the time.

Lewis originally joined the School of Music as an Assistant Professor in 2001, and has since served as the School’s Acting Director (both in 2010 and 2012) and Director. She holds a PhD in Musicology from Princeton University, a Master of Fine Arts (Princeton), Master of Music (University of Arizona), and Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees from Queen’s University. Her international experience includes a year of study at the University of Glasgow and University of Edinburgh, and active research networks that span North America and Europe. Her extensive experience serving on a number of regional, national, and international organizations — including the American Musicological Society, Canadian University Music Society, Society for Seventeenth-Century Music, the Canadian Association of Fine Arts Deans, and Council of Colleges of Arts and Sciences — is sure to benefit the Faculty in the years to come.

“A core mandate of my first year as Dean is leading the collaborative development of a strategic plan for Fine Arts,” she says. “It has been an exciting few months as we work together to develop a vision for the future of the Faculty that builds on our strengths and brings us to new levels of achievement, opportunity, and possibility.”

A monumental donation

Jeffrey Rubinoff (right) with UVic President Jamie Cassels

When BC sculptor Jeffrey Rubinoff and the Jeffrey Rubinoff Foundation presented the Department of Art History and Visual Studies with the largest donor-funded endowed award in UVic’s history in September, he created exceptional opportunities for future doctoral students to study the complexities and richness of the history of modern and contemporary art. The Jeffrey Rubinoff Scholar in Art as a Source of Knowledge Endowment establishes a recurring four-year PhD fellowship in the area of modern and contemporary art history.

“My own sculptural work is completely dedicated to art history,” says Rubinoff. “Original ideas grow out of original work, which led me to see art as a source of knowledge. Since these insights form the context within which the work becomes meaningful, it is imperative that the general public, artists and art educators understand them if the work is to be fully appreciated.”

After receiving his MFA in the USA in 1969, Rubinoff returned to Ontario to pursue his artistic career before moving to a 200-acre farm on Hornby Island in the early 1970s. Living and working on the northern Gulf Island for nearly five decades, he has built the Jeffrey Rubinoff Sculpture Park and the annual Company of Ideas forum held at the park. This remarkable 200-acre site is home to over 100 of his steel sculptures, which he has created unassisted using his one-man steel foundry.

“Jeffrey’s sculptural work is monumental in its scope and his legacy will now create a monument to future scholarship,” Dean Susan Lewis said at the time. “This extraordinary contribution underscores the crucial cultural work done in the Faculty of Fine Arts and reaffirms once again that UVic is a key player in creative innovation and the exchange of ideas about social change.”

AHVS department chair Erin Campbell was equally excited by Rubinoff’s donation. “In our 50th Anniversary year, as we look forward to the next 50 years and beyond, Jeffrey Rubinoff’s generous gift to the department allows us to envision a brighter future for our vibrant and diverse graduate students, who will use this legacy to deepen the impact of art history both at home and around the world.”

Read more about the Rubinoff Endowment here.

50 years of Art History

It was a full house for the Bob Wittman lecture

As Campbell noted, the 2017/18 academic year is the 50th anniversary of the Art History and Visual Studies department. And while the Rubinoff Endowment may well be the most significant event of their anniversary year, it’s certainly not the only one. AHVS began its celebrations with a sold-out guest lecture by former FBI art crime special agent Robert K. Wittman in October, which saw well over 300 people packed the Bob Wright Centre to hear his true-life tales of art adventure, as well as supporting comments from Kilshaw’s Auctions owner and alumna Alison Ross.

“Bob Wittman is the ideal choice for our 50th anniversary event,” said Campbell in October. “He demonstrates the impact art history can have on the world, and his participation in two of our classes during his visit is typical of the kind of exciting, expert-based, hands-on learning that happens in AHVS.”

Wittman signing copies of his books in October

Dubbed “the most famous art detective in the world” by The London Times, Wittman recovered millions of dollars worth of stolen art and cultural property during his 20-year career — including paintings by Rembrandt, Goya, Norman Rockwell, and one of the original 14 copies of the U.S. Bill of Rights. He was instrumental in the creation of the FBI’s rapid deployment Art Crime Team, and has since instructed international police and museums in investigation, recovery and security techniques. Now the New York Times bestselling author of Priceless: How I Went Undercover to Rescue the World’s Stolen Treasures, Wittman also signed copies of both Priceless and his latest book, The Devil’s Diary: Alfred Rosenberg and the Stolen Secrets of the Third Reich.

AHVS was also involved in the special naming dedication of UVic’s Williams Building (formerly the Administrative Services Building) in November, and will continue their 50th anniversary celebrations throughout the first few months of 2017, with an anniversary exhibit at the Legacy Maltwood Gallery in the Mearns Centre/McPherson Library, and a special event during IdeaFest in March.

Read more about Wittman’s visit here.

Feeling distinguished

Leyshon delivering her popular speech at the Distinguished Alumni Awards

The history of AHVS was also in the spotlight back in February, when celebrated director Glynis Leyshon was honoured as a Distinguished Alumni. One of Canada’s most respected opera and theatre directors, with an enviable career working with the most prestigious performance companies in Canada, Leyshon has also been the artistic director of two theatre companies of national repute, was the head of the Opera as Theatre Programme at the Banff Centre and has conducted courses at such diverse locations as UVic, UBC, the Victoria Conservatory of Music and William Head Penitentiary—not to mention the recipient of Canada’s Commonwealth Medal for her contributions to the arts.

But surprisingly for someone so closely associated with Canadian theatre, her academic career culminated in 1973 with a BFA from History in Art. “Who knew that having an art history degree would be so incredibly useful for a theatre director?” Leyshon said with a good-natured chuckle. “In many ways, I can think of no better background—the eye training alone was incredibly useful, but also having the insight and vocabulary to work with designers on sets and costumes.”

It was doubly rewarding having her present at the special Alumni Week event at the Royal BC Museum, considering she had survived a harrowing stabbing in Toronto less than eight weeks prior. Leyshon now joins the likes of previous Fine Arts Distinguished Alumni Esi Edugyan (BA ’99), Michael J. Whitfield (BA ’67), Mercedes Bátiz-Benét (BFA ’02), Carla Funk (BFA ’97), Paul Beauchesne (BMus ’88), Deborah Willis (BA ’06), Valerie Murray (BA ’78) and Andrea Walsh (BA ’91).

Read more about Glynis Leyshon here.

Art on view

Cedric Bomford

It’s been an especially good year for exhibits by Visual Arts professors—notably Cedric Bomford, who exhibited at both Calgary’s Esker Foundation and the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, and is working on a major public art project in Seattle. Bomford, who joined the Visual Arts department in September 2015, also received the Canada Council’s $15,000 Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Award in July, honouring outstanding artistic achievement by Canadian mid-career artists in the disciplines of dance, inter-arts, media arts, music, theatre, visual arts, and writing and publishing.

“I’m extremely pleased on behalf of the Visual Arts department to congratulate our colleague Cedric Bomford on having his research recognized with this national award,” said Visual Arts chair Paul Walde at the time. “Over the past year, Cedric has proven to be a tremendous asset to both the department and the UVic community and we are delighted to have him with us. He has a number of high profile research creation projects underway which will no doubt bring further accolades and recognition in the months and years to come.”

Exhibits were also mounted by sessional instructors Laura Dutton (at Victoria’s Open Space), Jeroen Witvliet (at Victoria’s Slide Room Gallery) and Tara Nicholson (at Kingston’s Modern Fuel artist-run centre), as well as professors Jennifer Stillwell and Paul Walde. Stillwell’s New Work: Smokestacks, Spills and Figures appeared at Toronto’s Pari Nadimi Gallery, while Walde participated in a pair of high-profile group exhibits this year: The View From Up Here at Alaska’s Anchorage Museum—which made USA Today’s “12 must-see summer museum exhibits” list—and The Edge of the Earth: Climate Change in Photography & Video at Toronto’s Ryerson Image Centre. Walde’s work from the Alaska exhibit will also be heading off to Denmark in early 2017.

Visitors at the Audain Exhibition in October

And in his second year in the Audain Professorship of Contemporary Art Practice of the Pacific NorthwestRande Cook presented his exhibit Accumulation in October at the Audain Gallery in the Visual Arts building. Timed to coincide with Intersections, the national conference of the Canadian Society for Education through Art, Visual Arts hosted conference delegates who were able to experience Cook’s exhibit, as well as hear him as a presenter. Also presenting was keynote speaker Michael Nicoll Yahgulanaas, a former Audain Professor himself.

In other Visual Arts news, four of the eight nominees for the inaugural Philip B. Lind Emerging Artist Prize in March had connections with the department: graduate student Kerri Flannigan, undergraduates Brandon Poole and Anna Shkuratoff, and alumna Emily Geen. Flannigan was named runner-up, winning a $1,000 prize.

Stay tuned for part two of our best of coming up next!

 

Long Service Awards mark 335 years at UVic

When UVic’s annual Long Service Awards were presented at the University Club back in October, a surprising number of Fine Arts faculty and staff were among the recipients—and, if you add up all their years of service, it totals a remarkable 335 years at UVic.

Music professor Pamela Highbaugh Aloni with UVic president Jamie Cassels

In the 25-year category were Linda Sheldon (Music), Astri Wright (Art History & Visual Studies) and the members of the Lafayette String Quartet—Ann Elliott-Goldschmid, Pamela Highbaugh Aloni, Joanna Hood and Sharon Stanis (all Music).

Clocking in at 30 years were Sandra Guerreiro (Theatre), Harald Krebs (Music), and Alexandra Pohran-Dawkins (Music), while  two people had achieved the impressive 35-year mark: Eva Kinderman (Music) and Laura Nuttall (Visual Arts).

During her 35 years on campus, Nuttall has worked in food services and the library, but most of her time was spent in the registrar’s office before transferring over to Visual Arts six years ago. “I could smell sawdust the first time I walked into the building, so I knew it was going to be completely different,” she recalls.

Visual Arts staffer Laura Nuttall with fellow 35-year recipient, Jamie Cassels

“I love helping people in Visual Arts,” says Nuttall. “It’s not about volume, like the registrar’s office—it’s about being there for that individual person, from enrollment to graduation. It offers a real sense of satisfaction and completion.”

And while she just earned a Long Service Award for her 25 years in Fine Arts, December also marked the end of an era with the retirement of Advising Officer Anne Heinl—not only did she help create the position 23 years ago, but she’s also the only person ever to have held it. Anne’s dedication and good humour will be sorely missed by faculty, staff and students alike.