2008 Exhibitions

2008 Exhibitions

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Theatrum Mundi

November 8, 2008 – January 3, 2010

Known for her sculptural work depicting things both monstrous and wondrous, Catherine Heard’s Theatrum Mundi recalls the European tradition of the wunderkammer. Transforming the rear bay window wells of Rodman Hall’s historic mansion into her own cabinet of curiosities, Heard displays her personal collection of artworks, objects, and oddities, adding to and rearranging her collection throughout the exhibition.

Catherine Heard's practice interrogates the histories of the science, medicine and the museum. She graduated from the Ontario College of Art and Design (1990), and holds a Master of Visual Studies degree from the University of Toronto (2005). Heard is represented by Edward Day Gallery. For more information and images of her work, please visit www.edwarddaygallery.com and www.ccca.ca.


Trinities: Thirty-Three Years of Painting

December 22, 2007 - February 24, 2008
Closing Reception Sunday, February 10, 2 p.m.

A regionalist, Tobey C. Anderson is a fastidious painter, unafraid of exploring real issues that create conflict and pose unanswered questions. His intrepid concern for the politics of our time has initiated the creation of powerful canvases; in many styles and themes, his controlled yet sensitive brushstroke is consistent and his perspective poignantly compelling. From his early roadkill series to recent portraits of dead terrorists, Anderson has examined major themes of pathos and loss. In contrast, he also painted idyllic, regenerative, meditative and symbolic work both representational and abstract. Dualities are often communicated in themes of life and death, joy and suffering, humour and seriousness. This dichotomy of energies is echoed in his dynamic lines and sophisticated use of colours that vibrate and hold light. Acutely aware of the impact of technology, Anderson echoes the media and executes intuitively, moving from series to series with vibrancy and life. His latest work, The New American Century Project, includes images of dead soldiers, civilian casualties, and terrorists, as well as babies who have been exposed to depleted uranium. Unflinchingly responsive to the issues that challenge our psyche, Anderson’s art avoids sentimentality and directlyexpresses his outrage over the loss of humanity.

Tobey C. Anderson has been exhibiting his work since 1969. In the late 1970’s he was Founding President of Kingston Artists’ Association/Modern Fuel Artist-run Centre and President of Artspace, when he worked closely with David Bierk, Dennis Tourbin and other notables in the provincial and national artist-run network. Most recently, Anderson was Director of Niagara Artists’ Centre from 1990-98 before retiring to work as an artist full-time. He is actively involved in cultural development in Niagara and served as the inaugural Chair of the Culture Committee following his involvement in the development and adoption of a new Cultural Policy for the City of St. Catharines. In 2005 Anderson was the recipient of the Mayor’s Trillium Award for Artistic Excellence and in 2006 he established gallerie CRAM collective, which features contemporary artists with strong ties to St. Catharines.

For more information visit http://www.tobeycanderson.com/ and http://www.cramart.ca/.

Image: Tobey C. Anderson, Shades of My Former Self, acrylic and oil stick on canvas, 1988-89. Collection of Lisa Smith and Sandy Fairbairn.


Brock University Department of Visual Arts Juried Student Exhibition

March 7 - 29, 2008
Opening Reception: Friday, March 7 at 7 p.m.

Once a year, students from the Department of Visual Arts at Brock University submit their best artwork for inclusion in an annual exhibition juried by leading Canadian professional artists. The competition for a place in this prestigious exhibition is fierce. Brock's Visual Arts program, with more than 175 students, is anticipated to generate at least 200 submissions for the exhibition, from which 30 to 50 works will be selected. The exhibition will feature a diverse range of work, from painting to video to art installation.

Students chose an ironic title for this year's exhibition as recognition that appearances - especially in art - can be deceiving. The title underscores the risks and contradictions that lie beneath the surface of even the most beautiful works of art.

All of the works in this exhibition have been selected by Mary Catherine Newcomb, a Kitchener-based artist whose installation Product of Eden is currently on view at Rodman Hall.


Brock University Department of Visual Arts Honours Exhibition

April 4 - 27, 2008
Opening Reception: Friday, April 4 at 7 p.m.
Artists' Talk: Thursday, April 24 at 12 noon

Featuring work by Gustavo Cerquera, Candace Couse, Brian Durocher, Felix Ma, Sara Petranik, Will Postma, Ryan Rivando and Alex Watts.

For the past eight months this group of students has been diligently working in the third floor studios of Rodman Hall with Merijean Morrissey and Duncan MacDonald. Their diverse artistic practices and interests - informed by theoretical groundings in contemporary and historical visual arts - range from neo-conceptual to painterly, design-based to absurdist, technocratic to abject and whimsical to the deeply personal.

The Department of Visual Arts, part of Brock University’s School of Fine and Performing Arts, has a long tradition of presenting the work of graduating students mentored in its Honours studio program. The Department’s partnership with Rodman Hall has made the Honours Studio an especially fruitful undertaking. Students accepted into this course develop a cohesive body of work that that will support their entry into graduate school MFA programs and professional practice as artists. The exhibition at Rodman Hall is the capstone of their visual arts education at Brock and an opportunity to publicly present the results of their exploration and hard work.

Image: Gustavo Cerquera, Platyhelminthes (detail), mixed media, 2008.


Family Album

January 17 - May 5, 2008
Opening Reception: Thursday, January 17 at 7 p.m.
Artist Talk: Monday, March 17, 1:30 pm
at Brock University Visual Arts Studio, 573 Glenridge Avenue, Room 162.

Thom Lepp is a St. Catharines-based photographer who has travelled widely in Central America and the Caribbean where he has photographed the exterior lives of people in foreign countries. In Family Album, Lepp turns his camera on the life of his family and creates images at once recognizably familiar and unsettlingly strange.

Artist Statement
Family Album was conceived of with the guidance and encouragement of Gordon Hatt, past Curator of Rodman Hall Arts Centre, and created with images culled from hundreds of colour proofs and black and white contact sheets gleaned from the storage depths of my home darkroom. Having met Gordon during an exhibition featuring my black and white documentary photographs of Cuba and Central America, follow-up discussions led to his request to see what it was I photographed when I wasn’t working or travelling. Periodically working professionally as a freelance photographer with a number of Ontario news publications and associations including the Toronto Star and Canadian Press, my journeys sometimes take me out of the country on assignments and speculative documentary work. I was encouraged to present something outside my current concept of photographic art. I had marginalized much of the ‘other’ photographic work I had done and was accumulating at that time, likely because it was of colour negative stock and all of my serious work had always been with black and white film, and likely because much of the work documented the often ordinary experiences of children and a father of a growing family. It had never occured to me that an exhibition of prints exposing the shared lives of my children in our Port Dalhousie home could result from this exploration. It was not until I had sifted through hundreds of colour proofs that I began to see that these private and often personal images could only have been made in the safe and secure parameters created by a parent and progeny, and they now exposed me emotively as much as the subjects captured. It wasn’t until the last image was selected that I realized that the photographs had taken a kind of self-portrait feel, as if the camera lens had been focused on me, documenting my experiences as a father, and as a trusted friend as well. I have now come to experience Family Album as a series of self-portraits and artifacts reminiscent of my own life.

Image: Thom Lepp, untitled, 11" x 14" inches, Durst Lambda digital print, 2005.


Archaeology of Space

May 31 - September 7, 2008

Archaeology of Space is the culmination of Spriggs’ ongoing investigation into the thresholds of image and space. Working simultaneously with concepts of space and in real space, Spriggs tangibly explores the manipulation and reconstruction of image and space. A recurrent thread in the exhibition is the artificial environment that is created by painting or drawing on multiple parallel sheets of transparent film. Spaced at specific intervals, the layered collection of images creates illusionary forms free from the laws that constrict both two and three dimensions. These architectures of imagery challenge the nature of the image and traditional notions of form and space, residing somewhere between painting and sculpture. On this threshold, vision is destabilized due to the shifting immaterial nature of the environment. Here forms appear animated by forming, abstracting, materializing, dematerializing, and changing with the viewer’s position. From the side view the apparent reality of the forms disappear. Even the boundaries of the forms are sometimes undefined blurring into their environments. These forms are inextricably part of the artificial layered environment and cannot exist without it.

David Spriggs was born in Manchester, England and currently resides in Montreal. He attended the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design where he received his BFA in 1999, and he received his MFA from Concordia University in 2007. While enrolled at these schools he attended student exchange at Central St. Martins College in London, England and Bauhaus University in Weimar, Germany. Spriggs was given the Arts Achievement Award at the annual Immigrants of Distinction Awards in Calgary in 1998 and has since then exhibited in New York, Toronto, London, Calgary, and Vancouver. His work is represented by Galerie Art Mûr, Montreal and Leo Kamen Gallery, Toronto. A catalogue documenting Spriggs' work was co-produced by Rodman Hall and the Southern Alberta Art Gallery.

Image: David Spriggs, Archaeology of Space (installation at Rodman Hall Art Centre).


Disappearing Things

June 21 – September 7, 2008
Opening Reception: Saturday, June 21 at 2 p.m.

Disappearing Things is a new body of work by Gwen MacGregor that brings together objects, video, audio and photos. Seemingly disparate elements are placed to influence one another or clash against each other to offer observations about things disappearing in these precarious times. A bookwork designed by Lewis Nicholson with text by Jacob Wren was published in conjunction with the exhibition

Gwen MacGregor is a Toronto-based artist working in installation and video. Her work reflects her close observation of time and how its passage shapes small dramas or uncannily familiar situations. In 2001 her work was presented in the Present Tense Project series at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto. MacGregor's work has also been shown in group exhibitions across Canada and in Mexico City, London, Prague, Venice, Shanghai and Los Angeles. In 2003 she was the recipient of the Friends of the Visual Arts, Toronto, Artist of the Year Award. In 2004 she participated in the International Studio/Curatorial Program in New York. MacGregor presented her first solo exhibition at Jessica Bradley Art + Projects in Toronto in 2006. Last year she exhibited her work in Paris, Berlin, and Madrid as part of Rencontres Internationales video festival. Gwen MacGregor is represented by Jessica Bradley Art + Projects.

Image: Gwen MacGregor, Going South (still), 2006, video. 


Product of Eden

October 19, 2007- November 14, 2008
Opening reception Friday, October 19, at 5:30 p.m.

Mary Catherine Newcomb is a Kitchener-based artist whose figurative work over the years has included both humans and animals. Her use of animals has been a consistent theme throughout her career and may be likened to the animals of aboriginal and classical myths. Mice, snakes, hyenas, fish, sheep, and alligators make appearances in Newcomb's narrative bestiary as symbols of a secret knowledge. Rabbits, as carriers and symbols of occult knowledge, frequently occur in her sculpture in papier mache, cast concrete and now as living and preserved vegetal material.

Product of Eden takes advantage of the large southwestern exposure to grow living works of art, where the artist in effect sculpts living plant material. She does this by introducing fruit and vegetable shoots into hand-crafted molds. As the plant grows, the vegetable takes on the shape of the mold. Eggplants, zucchinis, peppers, squash and other plants will be grown and take shape at
Rodman Hall.

The installation and opening coincides with the Greenscapes conference to be held at Brock University from October 18-20, 2007. The conference explores social, cultural, and historical aspects of gardens in human societies.

Image: Mary Catherine Newcomb, Product of Eden (detail), eggplants, bronze, 2007.



June 10 - 15, 2008
Closing Reception: Saturday, June 14 at 2 p.m.

The literal translation of CHEZ SOI means "at my place," or "at my home." It is French: The child artists in this exhibit call Molière's language their own.

CHEZ SOI / HOME focuses on artwork created by child students at école Pavillon de jeunesse in Hamilton. In collaboration with Centre de santé communautaire Hamilton / Niagara, the children met once a week for twelve weeks to share moments and memories of family, school, community, and home. They also met to discuss how to better, together, get along. Bringing their art brut ("outsider art") to this internal space helps reflect their ideas on the need for mainstream response to, and community discourse on, how we feel we belong.

Conceived in response to the complex reality of "citizenship" as ever-increasing numbers of individuals from diverse international backgrounds are present in and populating 'my Ontario,' the goal of this project is to help the children better share their feeling of identity. These are migrant voices, who lack transitional space to link their overseas past to the North American present; these are voices from countries like Chad, the Congo, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Togo, whose transitions in Canada have been largely without context to support their (often war-torn) circumstances; these are also second- and third-generation voices, whose transitional space has largely already been forged, and who now live with the struggle of recognising and negotiating their voices' dominance.