From issues in contemporary Indigenous arts to plastic waste, fake news and comic books about very serious topics, UVic’s annual Ideafest always offers one of the most fascinating weeks of the year!
Running March 2-7 at locations both on- and off-campus, Ideafest 2020 is UVic’s week-long festival of research, art and innovation. There are over 35 free events to capture your imagination, and tickets are not required (unless otherwise stated in the event description).
While you can peruse the full list of Ideafest events here, we’ve rounded up the Fine Arts offerings for your quick reference.
Luff: An Exploration of Kites
Take a stroll through UVic’s Fine Arts courtyard for an outdoor exhibit on kites from third-year drawing students in our Visual Arts department and other contributors. With a history dating back more than 10,000 years, the kite has entranced inventors and creative thinkers from Benjamin Franklin to Alexander Graham Bell and the Wright Brothers. This exhibit seeks inter-disciplinary connections and philosophical insights grounded in a fundamental truth: Without good design and careful construction, nothing flies.
Luff runs March 2-7 in the Fine Arts Courtyard
JCURA Student Research Fair
A recent installation by JCURA student Josh Franklin
Nine different students from all five of our departments are presenting their work in the annual Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Awards fair, including:
- Josh Franklin (Visual Arts): “Holon Inc.: A Multidisciplinary Exploration of Holistic Process Based Art”
- Megan Ingram (AHVS): “Police, Prejudice, and Film: Contemporary Perspectives on Filmic Representations of Law Enforcement”
- Emily Markwart (Music): “Florence B. Price: An Antidote to the Whitewashed Classical Music Canon”
- Hana Mason (Writing): “Re-coming of Age: Themes, Motifs and Conventions in New Adult Fiction”
- Hannah Moore (AHVS): “Revisiting the Anarchist Politics of Barnett Newman’s ‘Zip’ Paintings”
- Benjamin Parker (Music): “Post-War Art in Europe: Stravinsky, Sibelius, Vaughn Williams and Schoenberg in the wake of WW1”
- Christian Tervo (Theatre): “Representing War on the Canadian Stage”
- Olivia Wheeler (Theatre): “EVOKE: An Exploration of Theatrical Designs Emotional Stimulus”
- Keren Xu (Music): “The flute solo repertoire ‘Reflections 1’ and reception of female composer Diane Berry”
JCURA runs 11:30am-3pm Wednesday, March 4, in the SUB
Where are the Women Composers?
Even in 2020 there are significant challenges and barriers to women who are composing music. How did a patriarchal concept of art music routinely ignore historical and contemporary achievements by women in the classical music industry? Through performances of four solo flute works by female composers and a discussion with the performers and scholars, this session will explore the reasons why female composers have been excluded, ignored or sidelined.
Presenters include School of Music professor Suzanne Snizek with Sikata Banerjee (Department of Gender Studies) and flute students Emily Morse, Lisa Matsugu, Charlie Mason and Rhiannon Jones.
Where are the Women Composers? runs 12:30-2:20pm Wednesday, March 4, in Mac B037
Artistic Alliances: Indigeneity & Fine Arts
The District of Saanich along with the artist, Carey Newman, officially welcomes Earth Drums to Cedar Hill Park in September 2019 (photo: Kevin Light)
Indigenous arts engage people in multiple ways. Some works are more visible than others for some audiences and for different reasons. What is the social impact of Indigenous arts?
The research and creative activity happening in the Faculty of Fine Arts reflects the dynamic range of contemporary work being created, Indigenous knowledge and both the written and spoken word. Join fine arts teaching faculty and graduate students at this timely interactive session to learn about some of the surprising and engaging approaches to contemporary practices.
Presenters include Gregory Scofield (Writing), Carey Newman (Visual Arts), Lauren Jerke (Theatre) and Lindsay Delaronde (Indigenous Resurgence Coordinator). Hosted and moderated by Allana Lindgren (Acting Dean, Fine Arts).
Artistic Alliances runs 4-6pm Wednesday, March 4, in ECS 116
All Lit Up
Meet the next generation of Canadian literature as Master’s of Fine Arts students from UVic’s legendary Department of Writing read (and perform) groundbreaking graduating manuscripts in fiction, poetry, screenwriting, playwriting and creative non-fiction in this lively literary cabaret.
Hosted by Writing professor Kevin Kerr, readers include MFA candidates Martin Bauman, Daniel Hogg, Ellery Lamm, Troy Sebastian / nupquʔ ak·ǂam̓ and Guochen (Chen) Wang.
All Lit Up runs 7-8pm Thursday, March 5, at the Intrepid Theatre Club, 1609 Blanshard
And while Ideafest offers over 35 events, members of the Fine Arts community may also be interested in some of these other Ideafest offerings:
UVic’s annual Ideafest runs March 2-7. UVic is accessible by sustainable travel options including transit and cycling. For those arriving by car, hourly pay parking is in effect. Evening parking is $3.50. Click here for parking info and campus maps.
No question, Department of Visual Arts undergraduate student Laura Gildner has been having a great year: not only was she shortlisted for the 2018 Lind Photography Prize—for the second year in a row—but she also had a solo exhibit of recent work at Vancouver’s Polygon Gallery, participated in artistic residencies in both Italy and Ontario, and had a solo exhibit locally at the fifty-fifty arts collective. Better still, she was just announced as the recipient of the Victoria Medal in Fine Arts, which is awarded annually to the Fine Arts undergraduate student with the highest GPA during their period of study, and presented during the Fine Arts Convocation ceremony on June 14.
Gildner’s “Tell Me What You Know I Want To Hear” at Vancouver’s Polygon Gallery
An intermedia artist from Ottawa, Laura Gildner creates works that exist primarily as performative events and are later translated into video installations, photographic documents, and archives of the makeshift communities that develop as a result of their creation.
In the four years she has been in the Visual Arts program, Gildner has participated in over 30 exhibitions—including three solo exhibitions outside of UVic—as well as produced several live art events and public performances. Throughout this time, she has shown in Canada, the US, the UK and Italy, including recent exhibitions and performances at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Open Space, the fifty-fifty arts collective and Xchanges Gallery. She has also taken part in residencies and projects in the US and Venice, Italy, and regularly curates and organizes community-based art events in and around Victoria.
Laura Gildner in her studio
“Within my artistic practice I have increasingly become fascinated by the idea of social choreography,” says Gildner. “I’m drawn to bringing unexpected groupings of people together to collaborate on works that reveal themselves as relationships between otherwise strangers are formed. I’m fueled by the exchange of trust and power that can develop from these interactions, while constantly negotiating how ethical lines inherent to lens-based media inform both my relationship with the subjects of my work as well as the works themselves.”
Her fascination with social choreography has been highlighted during her performance at the AGGV exhibit The Changing Landscapes of Emily Carr, and at her “Public Displays of Affection” piece during the 2017 Integrate Arts Festival. “Public Displays of Affection” was a participant-driven performative walking tour between selected Integrate exhibitions in Victoria’s downtown core; fueled entirely through anecdotal recollections sourced by interviewing strangers throughout Victoria, the piece examined layered intersections between the body, identity and art as they relate to urban geography.
In addition to her studies, Gildner presented her work as part of UVic’s competitive Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Awards fair in February 2018, and assisted Visual Arts chair Paul Walde on his recent Ontario-based intermedia projects, The Tom Thomson Centennial Swim and “Of Weather”. Her two-week residency at Ontario’s Luminous Bodies in June 2018 saw her working on a project that would stage a participatory event resulting in a photo/video installation focused on a piece of investigative social choreography specific to Toronto Island, the site of the residency. She also staged a living installation at Victoria’s Pretty Good Not Bad Festival in May 2018 and presented video work as part of a group exhibit at the Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival in Scotland in spring 2019. And she was recently announced as the recipient of the Karl Spreitz Legacy Award at the annual Victoria Visual Arts Legacy Society Awards.
A still from Laura Gildner’s “Informer”, her 2019 8-channel audio-video installation
“What intrigues me perhaps the most about social choreography is its ability to directly confront our languages and patterns of viewing in relation to the human form,” she says. “Can understandings of aesthetic value become challenged through interactions between multiple bodies? Is judgement cooperatively rehearsed just as much as it is performed? Why do we tend to fetishize the body as the ultimate bearer of the truth?”
Definitely watch for more to come from Laura Gildner in her final year of studies—we can guarantee it will always be something fascinating!
It’s neither a surprise nor an exaggeration when UVic describes Ideafest as being about “ideas that can change everything.” This eighth-annual, week-long festival of research, art and innovation runs March 4-9, both on- and off-campus, and offers more than 40 public events designed to inform and engage with thought-provoking and culturally engaging events. And Fine Arts is participating in eight different events this year.
“Ideafest connects research to community. It allows UVic researchers and artists to share knowledge in different ways to appeal to a wide range of audiences,” says David Castle, UVic’s vice-president research. “We invite the public’s engagement so they can better understand how research impacts their own lives and that of society.”
As always, Fine Arts is once again an active Ideafest participant, hosting four separate events of our own and participating in four others across campus. All are free, unless otherwise noted: you can view the full Ideafest schedule here, which is searchable by day or category, but here’s our list of events.
Eva-meta art exhibit
The Visual Arts department’s Drawing 300 class continues its tradition of staging an outdoor drawing exhibition near the Fine Arts building for the duration of Ideafest. Led by Drawing 300 instructor David Gifford, students this year are interpreting meta-drawing and encounters with “aboutness, the recursive and the beyond.” Drawing 300 makes an outdoor exhibit of pictures about pictures. Prepare to have your assumptions challenged!
The Eva-meta exhibit runs Monday-Friday, March 4-9, outdoors in the Visual Arts building courtyard.
Research Reels Video Showcase
Get a taste of the amazing research and creative activity taking place at UVic, as told by our talented students, faculty and staff. A juried collection of short videos highlighting UVic research and how it’s having an impact on our lives and our world will be showcased for one night only. Prepare to be amazed and inspired! Hosted by Lara Lauzon (School of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education) and juried by Jay Cullen (School of Earth and Ocean Sciences), Cody Graham (Filmmaker and multimedia producer) and Katrina Pyne (Hakai Magazine).
Among the entries this year are short films created by current students Peter Ojum, Leah Tidey and Chen Wang, plus recent alumnus and current Artist in Residence at Oceans Network Canada, Colton Hash (also last year’s Research Reels winner). Their films cover topics ranging from applied theatre practice and choral research to the research and creative practice of Visual Arts professor Kelly Richardson, and her current IMAX video installation commission from the XL Outer Worlds project, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the IMAX camera — a Canadian invention! Be sure to attend and vote for our faculty’s films in the viewer’s choice category!
Research Reels: Video showcase runs 5-6:30pm Tuesday, March 5, at Cinecenta in UVic’s SUB. And there will be free popcorn!
Write On: A Night Out with New Writers
Meet the next generation of Canadian Literature as MFA students from UVic’s legendary Department of Writing read (and perform) from ground-breaking graduating manuscripts in fiction, poetry, playwriting and creative nonfiction at this lively (and licensed) literary cabaret. Hosted by Writing professor Maureen Bradley, graduate student readers include Vaughn Gaston (fiction), Taylor Houghton (fiction), Janet Munsil (playwriting), Tom Prime (poetry) and Miles Steyn (creative nonfiction). Watch for guest appearances by faculty mentors.
Doors open at 6:30 pm
Write on: A night out with new writers runs 7-8pm Tuesday, March 5 at the Copper Owl Bar & Lounge, 1900 Douglas Street (above Paul’s Motor Inn).
Meet the next generation of leading Canadian researchers at UVic’s Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Awards (JCURA). Awards go to exceptional undergrad students to carry out research in their field of study. The JCURA research fair will feature over 100 of these inspiring projects, ranging from the effects of meditation on memory retention, to improving emergency water treatment in refugee camps. Fine Arts participants include Hannah Bell (Theatre), Kai Conradi (Writing), Jamie Crystal (Music), Kim Dias (Writing), Pascale Higham-Leisen (AHVS), Sarah Kapp (AHVS), Trevor Naumann (Music) and Lee Whitehorne (Music). Just click on their individual names to read a brief of their research projects.
The JCURA symposium runs 11:30am – 3pm Wednesday, March 6, in the Michele Pujol Room (A121) of UVic’s SUB.
UVic Author Celebration
Each year, UVic faculty, staff, students and alumni publish an incredible amount of intellectual content, reflecting a wide range of research, teaching, personal and professional interests. Join UVic Libraries for this annual celebration of books written by UVic — including Writing professor Bill Gaston, who will be reading from his recent memoir, Just Let Me Look at You: On Fatherhood, and recently retired Writing instructor Patrick Friesen, reading from his latest poetry collection, Songen. Hosted by Jim Forbes, Director of Campus Services, other readers include History professors Jason M. Colby, reading from his Orca: How We Came to Know and Love the Ocean’s Greatest Predator, and Lynne Marks, reading from her Infidels and the Damn Churches: Irreligion and Religion in Settler British Columbia.
The UVic author celebration runs 2-4pm Thursday, March 7 at the UVic Bookstore.
Hear, Hear: Best Seats in the House
Experience the beauty of an orchestra from the inside out at this unique rehearsal of the UVic Orchestra, where seats for visitors will be interspersed among musicians to provide an unforgettable opportunity. Immerse yourself as never before in the works of Tchaikovsky and Debussy. Feel the magic of being in the midst of it all. Hosted by School of Music conductor and professor Ajtony Csaba and featuring the student musicians of the UVic Orchestra.
Hear, hear runs 3:15-4:15pm Thursday, March 7 at The Farquhar in UVic’s University Centre building.
Voice in Motion
Can the impact of dementia be reduced through singing and socializing? An interdisciplinary research team at UVic — including School of Music professor emeritus Mary Kennedy— is studying the impact an intergenerational choir may have on health outcomes for people living with dementia and their caregivers, as well as the impact on perceptions of dementia for participating high school students. Hear about the researchers’ findings and observations, then listen to this joy-filled choir share their music. Hosted by UVic School of Nursing professor Deb Sheets, presenters include not only Mary Kennedy but also Erica Phare-Bergh (Choir Director), Stuart MacDonald (Department of Psychology) and Andre Smith (Department of Sociology). With thanks to project partners Island Health, St. Andrew’s Regional High School, St Aidan’s United Church, the University of Victoria’s School of Nursing, School of Psychology and School of Sociology.
Voices in Motion runs 4-6pm Thursday, March 7 at St. Aidan’s Church Sanctuary, 3703 St. Aidan’s St. Note: registration is required for this free event: register here.
Other Faces of Nihonga
An expansion of the current Legacy Gallery exhibit,Translations: The Art and Life Of Elizabeth Yeend Duer-Gyokushō玉蕉, Ideafest welcomes Vancouver-based contemporary artist Cindy Mochizuki for a collective embroidery and listening experience focusing on the racialized effects on women of Japanese descent in British Columbia. Visitors will work together with Mochizuki to embroider an image informed by historical references to Japanese Canadian women during and after World War II, while listening to audio recordings of interviews of Japanese Canadian women exploring issues of race, class, citizenship, nationhood and diaspora.
Other Faces of Nijhonga runs 4-8pm Friday, March 8, and 11am-3pm Saturday, March 9, at the Legacy Art Gallery, 630 Yates St.
Translations continues to April 6, also at the Legacy Gallery, and showcases the movement of ideas, aesthetics, politics and people between England, Japan and Victoria by looking at the life and work of Anglo-Japanese artist Elizabeth Yeend Duer (1889–1951). Born a British citizen in Nagasaki to an Englishman and a Japanese woman, Duer studied Nihonga, a traditional Japanese-style painting, with the renowned painter and teacher Atomi Gyokushi. 跡見 玉枝. Duer took on the artistic identity of Gyokushō 玉蕉. She immigrated to Victoria in 1940 and is among the remarkably few people of Japanese heritage who were not interned during World War II. Instead, she Japanized her new environment by producing Nihonga-style paintings of local indigenous wildflowers while her own identity was being anglicized.
This exhibit is co-curated by Art History & Visual Studies professor Carolyn Butler Palmer, Mikiko Hirayama (University of Cincinnati) and Janice Okada (BA, MM St). This is a project of the Williams Legacy Chair in Modern and Contemporary Art of the Pacific Northwest.
Other Ideafest events that will have appeal for Fine Arts followers include the Re-imagining Justice: Art, Law & Social Change exhibit (March 4-8), Latin American Muralism and Identity (March 5), the Express Your Thesis performance (March 6), and the Three-Minute Thesis competition (March 7). But again, be sure to view the full Ideafest schedule.
Funding opportunities Grantscrafting Support At the Dean’s Office, the Research, Creative Activity, and Scholarship Coordinator (email@example.com) is available to assist Fine Arts faculty members with their grant applications. Services provided include:...
What compels someone to study art history? It could be a passion for the life and work of a certain artist, like Frida Kahlo, or a fascination with a specific period of visual history, like the Renaissance. But for Josie Greenhill, graduating this month with a BA Honours in Art History & Visual Studies (AHVS), her inspiration came from a movie about Jack and Rose.
Josie Greenhill at UVic’s Library
“I’ve always liked museums, but when it comes to liking history, that was from watching way too many period dramas when I was growing up—specifically Titanic. I was next-level obsessed with James Cameron’s movie, which I used to watch every single day,” laughs Greenhill. “Can this interview just be about Titanic?”
Alas, no, but the legacy of that great ship is a good metaphor for what drives an emerging art historian like Greenhill. “I’ve always liked art, history and culture, and this is an area that mixes them all together,” she says. “I like what objects and material culture can communicate to you; it’s a different approach than just looking at historical texts.”
Born and raised in Nanaimo, Greenhill admits she started out as a “mediocre student” at UVic, but that clearly didn’t last long. Beyond completing an AHVS honours thesis, she’s also taken on leadership roles in student governance, was awarded a JCURA for undergraduate research, had a work-study position, held a co-op placement as a curatorial assistant at Legacy Art Galleries—where she also curated an exhibit about local architects—was hired as an archival assistant in Special Collections, launched her own digital exhibition for UVic’s Electronic Textual Cultures Lab, earned numerous awards and scholarships, presented and published numerous academic papers, and is one of the “faces of art history” in new AHVS recruitment material.
She has also been accepted into the University of Toronto’s highly-competitive art history master’s program, for which she also won a CGS Master’s SSHRC grant—a rare feat for a first-year MA student.
“Josie represents everything UVic stands for,” notes AHVS chair Dr. Erin Campbell. “She is a well-rounded, high-achieving, brilliant, civic-minded, thoughtful and compassionate student who has been shaped by her UVic experience.”
Not that the self-effacing Greenhill would describe herself in such glowing terms. “People think I’m really busy all the time, but I spend a lot of time listening to podcasts and watching Netflix,” she admits. “It’s partially about time management—I wake up early every day—but it’s also about taking risks. Sometimes you just have to take the leap and apply for things you may not have all the qualifications for; it’s surprising how many opportunities will come your way.”
Greenhill in Special Collections
One of Greenhill’s favourite aspects of studying art history has been the sense of discovery that comes through working with archival material. “An object can be your only insight into a time period—if you can hold history or really see it, it has more impact than just reading a document.”
For example, she was thrilled to be able to access a pair of books by Christina and Dante Gabrielle Rossetti through UVic’s Special Collections. “She did the poetry and he did the binding and illustrations,” she explains. “My honours thesis is about Pre-Raphaelite book art—the binding designs, illustrations—which directly ties into why I’m interested in art history. The Pre-Raphaelites were so multi-faceted; they were poets, designers, painters, illustrators . . . there are so many aspects they bring together, and I like studying all those different parts.”
One of her favourite projects was curating a Pride Month exhibit in the lobby display case in UVic Library (seen above)—which she feels doesn’t get the attention it deserves. “People don’t necessarily connect with the lobby case. I often see people just leaning on it with their coffee and I want to say, ‘There’s such cool stuff in here!’”
With her time at UVic coming to an end, how does it feel knowing her face and voice will continue to have a presence on the department’s recruitment material? “It’s kind of intimidating,” she admits. “I’m pretty shy, but I do think it’s cool that I can reach people who I won’t ever meet in person and help motivate them to study art history. I’m grateful that people trust me enough to be a face for the department.”
And is there any wisdom she’d like to share with those future students? “You get out of your degree what you put in to it,” she concludes. “If you get involved, you’ll feel so much better.”