What's happening at Visual Art and Art History?

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.