What's happening at Visual Art and Art History?

Photogravure printmaking workshop

Print media Professor David Armstrong’s creative practice over the past two decades has focused on the relationships between image, things and material temporality through the manipulation of material and light (photograms) and photo-based printmaking. The 19th century photo/printmaking process of photogravure has been integral to his Canada Council-supported project After Images (2012-16), which explores a hybrid of historical and contemporary printmaking, photography, and digital imaging techniques.

In May 2016, Armstrong hosted an intensive three-day photogravure workshop in the Department of Visual Art and Art History’s print media studios. Participants were Visual Arts MFA students Andrew Testa and Tim Laurin, and Paul Taylor, a leading practitioner in the field and founder of the New Hampshire-based Renaissance Press, a photogravure and printmaking atelier specializing in alternative print/photography processes, publishing prints by leading artists such as Sally Mann, Robert Adams, William Anastasi, Aaron Siskind and others.

Photos from the worskop laid out on a table

Brandon Vickerd's "Wildlife" installed in Edmonton

Brandon Vickerd Wildlife

Wildlife, a public art work by Professor Brandon Vickerd, has been installed in Edmonton, Alberta.

The sculpture consists of two life-sized bronze figures that at first glance appear to be citizens leisurely going about their day. However, upon inspection the figures reveal themselves to be composed of squirrels, raccoons, foxes, deer and other animals working together to appear human. Humorously referencing cartoon clichés, the work invites a thoughtful reflection on our relationship to nature.

Brandon Vickerd's Wildlife installed close-up

Wildlife (2015) was commissioned by the Edmonton Arts Council for The Quarters, an urban design project in development near city’s downtown arts, entertainment and business districts. Upon completion, The Quarters is slated to be an environmentally-sustainable, walkable community featuring residential, commercial and civic buildings, social and cultural services and amenities, and green space.

Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage

Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage gift to circumpolar Council 2014

VAAH professor, curator and art historian Anna Hudson is leading a multi-media, multi-platform research-creation collaboration dedicated to re-engaging Indigenous Canadian voices in visual art and performance.

Mobilizing Inuit Cultural Heritage is a six-year (2012-2018), $3.5 million SSSHRC-supported partnership project aimed at recovering, preserving, documenting, facilitating and disseminating Inuit traditional knowledge and creativity.

The project facilitates Inuit leadership in the reparation of the current disconnect between orality – the voice that defines the self in relation to others – and materiality – the environment in which one lives. It brings together 10 academic researchers and nine partner organizations, and employs a dozen Inuit and non-Inuit community members, graduate students and artists. Partner organizations include the Nunavut software start-up Pinnguaq, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the National Gallery of Canada, the Norrbottens Museum in Luleå, Sweden, Nunavut Arctic College, the Nunavut Department of Education, and the West Baffin Eskimo Cooperative in Kinngait (Cape Dorset), Nunavut.

MICH was an active partner in launching SakKijâjuk, the first Inuit Fine Art and Craft Exhibition from Nunatsiavut, held in November 2015 as part of To Light the Fire, Newfoundland and Labrador’s first indigenous arts symposium. SakKijâjuk is now touring nationally.

Currently, MICH is partnering on a Pan Am @ York initiative to create Ahqahizu, a monumental Inuit sculpture to be unveiled on York University’s Keele campus in 2016.