Michael Davey

Michael Davey
Professor Emeritus

BA (York), PDA (Edinburgh College of Art)

Michael Davey is a sculptor and installation artist who employs photography, drawing and video and whose work often includes cast materials and found objects.  His interests in landscape, industrial technology and the built environment find their way into his pieces which have been shown and collected throughout Canada, the U.S. and overseas.  His most recent initiative is the establishment of M9 Contemporary Art  Centre on the Bruce Peninsula, Ontario  where he exhibits along with guest artists on an annual basis.


Selected Solo Exhibitions
1998 “I couldn’t contain myself”: Notes from the future edge University of Toronto Art Centre,
1997 Floater Red Head Gallery,
1995 Overly Charmed Dunlop Public Art Gallery,
1995 The Staples series Innis College,
University of Toronto,
1994 Overly Charmed Costin and Klintworth Gallery,
1992 Ex-Voto Costin and Klintworth Gallery,
1988 Sculpture Forest City Gallery,
London, Ontario,
1988 Sculpture Mercer Union,


  • Art Bank of Canada, Ottawa
  • Damma Incorporated
  • First Marathon Securities
  • Guild Electric
  • Art Gallery of Hamilton
  • Rogers, Bereskin and Parr Barrs.
  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • Scottish Arts Council Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Scottish Museum of Modern Art, Edinburgh
  • Toronto Dominion Bank
  • Tory, Tory, Deslauriers and Binnington Barrs.
  • Wadsworth Atheneum, Hartford, Connecticut, USA
  • Windsor Art Gallery
  • York University

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Joyce Zemans

Joyce Zemans
Professor Emerita

BA, MA (Toronto)

An art historian, curator, cultural policy specialist and academic administrator, Joyce Zemans served as dean of the Faculty of Fine Arts (1985-88), acting director of the Graduate Program in Art History (1994-95) and chair of the Department of Visual Arts Department (1975-81) at York University.

She also held the Robarts Chair in Canadian Studies (1995-96) and was acting director of the MBA Program in Non-Profit Management and Leadership (2000-01). She currently directs the MBA Program in Arts and Media Administration in the Schulich School of Business at York.

Professor Zemans served as director of the Canada Council for the Arts from 1988 to 1992. She holds honorary doctorates from the University of Waterloo and the Nova Scotia of Art and Design and is an Honorary Fellow of the Ontario College of Art and Design.

Joyce Zemans was appointed a member of the Order of Canada in 2002 in recognition of her contributions to Canadian arts and culture. In 2010, she was chosen to receive The Canadian Conference of the Arts’ Diplôme d’honneur for sustained contribution to the cultural life of the country.

Professor Zemans currently serves on the board of the Institute for Studies in Canadian Art at Concordia University and of the Advisory Boards of the Toronto Arts Council, the Creative Trust, the Magnetic North Theatre Festival and the Asia Pacific Journal of Arts and Cultural Management.

Among her other activities, she is a member of the Culture and Communications Committee of Canadian Commission for UNESCO and of the steering group for the Centre of Expertise on Culture and Communities, for the Creative City Network of Canada. Previously she has served as president of the Laidlaw Foundation, as a member of the Prime Minister’s Canada-Japan Forum, a member of the Department of Canadian Heritage’s Expert Advisory Committee on the Convention on Cultural Diversity, and a member of the Japan – U.S. Comparative Cultural Policy Project (U.C.L.A.): Cultural Policy Advisory Committee.

Professor Zemans’ research focuses on art history and cultural policy with specific reference to the Canadian experience and international comparative cultural policy.

Her publications include Museums after Modernism, Strategies of Engagement, co-editor with Griselda Pollock (Blackwell, 2007); Making Change: A History of the Laidlaw Foundation, co-editor with Nathan Gilbert (ECW Press, Toronto, 2001); The Revenants: Long Shadows: The Paintings of Tony Urquhart (University of Waterloo Art Gallery, 2002); Art Gallery Handbook III, editor (Ontario Association of Art Galleries, 2001); Comparing Cultural Policy: A Study of Japan and the United States, co-editor with Archie Kleingartner (Sage Press, 1999); Where is Here? Canadian Cultural Policy in a Globalized Environment (Robarts Centre, York University, l997); New Perspectives on Modernism in Canada: Kathleen Munn & Edna Tacon (Art Gallery of York University, Toronto, 1988);Jock Macdonald (National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, 1985); Christopher Pratt(Vancouver Art Gallery, 1985); J.W.G. Macdonald: The Inner Landscape (Art Gallery of Ontario, 1981).

Book chapters include: “The History of Abstract Painting in English Canada”, in 20th Century Art in Canada, Oxford ( 2007); “What the Group of Seven would Say” (2000) and “Establishing the Canon: Nationhood Identity and the National Gallery’s First Reproduction Program of Canadian art” (1995) inBeyond Wilderness: The Group of Seven, Canadian Identity and Contemporary Art (McGill Queen’s Press, 2007); “One Hundred Musicians: Youth Arts Policy in Canada,” in Robin Wright, ed. Publication on youth arts (Wilfrid Laurier Press, 2007); “Considering the Canon” in Choice Matters(Art Gallery of Hamilton, 2005); “First Fruits: The Paintings” in Bertram Brooker and Emergent Modernism (Provincial Essays, Vol. 7, 1989); “Varley, An Appreciation” in Fred Varley (Key Porter Press, Toronto, l997).

Tim Whiten

Tim Whiten
Professor Emeritus

B.S. (Central Michigan), M.F.A. (Oregon)

Tim Whiten has exhibited his work in major exhibitions of drawing and sculpture throughout North America and Asia. He is represented in numerous private, corporate and public collections, including Canada’s National Gallery and the Art Gallery of Ontario.

A former student of noted psychologist and philosopher Oscar Oppenheimer, Professor Whiten, in his artistic activity and personal study, reflects the ecumenical interests demonstrated by his mentor. His concern for man’s place in the scheme of things has provided motivation for his investigations of the traditional ideas of man as expressed in culture.

Professor Whiten was the recipient of the 1999/2000 Faculty of Fine Arts Dean’s Teaching Award.

Michael Semak

Professor Emeritus

A professional photographer whose work has been exhibited in more than 300 solo and group shows, Professor Semak received his technical training in photography with Canadian Kodak. His photographs have garnered many awards in Canada, the U.S. and Europe, including the Gold Medal for a solo exhibition and book on Ghana produced by the National Film Board of Canada, two Awards for Excellence in Photo Journalism given by Pravda, and an Excellence F.I.A.P. (Switzerland) Diploma.

Michael Semak’s photographs are found in many private and public collections, among them the National Film Board and the National Gallery of Canada, George Eastman House, the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Public Archives of Canada.

Richard Perry

Professor Emeritus

BA (Harvard), MA (Michigan)

Richard Perry is an authority on the art history of India, China and Japan from early to modern times, with special emphasis on the religions informing these art traditions. For some three decades, he has also published reviews of classical music concerts and recordings for numerous North American journals.

Bruce Parsons

Professor Emeritus

A.O.C.A. (Ontario College of Art)

Bruce Parsons is a painter and installation artist whose work has been exhibited in major Canadian centres. Strongly influenced by ancient art forms, his research has led to extensive travels in Egypt, Mexico, Guatemala and most recently, China. He has had several shows in China, initiated a faculty and student exhibition exchange, and brought several leading Chinese artists to York as artists-in-residence.

For many years, Professor Parsons was the moving force behind York’s annual Mural Competition, commissioning site-specific public art works from York students for placement on campus.

Gerald Needham

Professor Emeritus

BA (Nottingham), MA, PhD (NYU)

Professor Needham’s research interests span two centuries in art history, from the late 18th century to Postmodernism. A specialist in 19th-century painting and graphic art, particularly in France and Britain, he is the author of a book on European Realism, Nineteenth Century Realist Art, and has published extensively on Impressionism and Post-Impressionism. Other research areas include Russian Constructivism and East European painting, in particular that of Ukraine. A member of the board of directors of the Canadian section of the International Association of Art Critics, Professor Needham also writes and lectures on contemporary Canadian art.

Guy P.R. Métraux

Professor Emeritus

BA (Yale College), MA, PhD (Harvard)

Dr. Metraux is an art historian and archaeologist whose research interests include Greek and Roman art, architecture and urban planning; relationships between the visual arts and literary and social developments in antiquity; and the intersection of art and science in Greek and Roman art history.

Dr. Metraux’s numerous scholarly publications include writings on Greek city-planning and political space in Greece and Rome as well as articles and monographs on the archaeological excavations of which he has been a member, in Turkey (Sardis), Italy (Francolise) and Tunisia (Utica and Carthage). His book on Greek medical science and art, Sculptors and Physicians in Fifth Century Greece, was awarded the Raymond Klibansky Prize by the Humanities and Social Sciences Federation. His most recent publication is The Art of Citizens, Soldiers, and Freedmen in the Roman World, a collection of essays on “ordinary” Roman art, to which he contributed an article on Walter Benjamin and the commercial arts in late Roman times.

From 1992 to 1997, Dr. Metraux served as associate director of the Carthage project, Corpus des mosaiques de Tunisie, a program of archaeological field work and research on the Roman mosaic pavements at the ancient site of Carthage in Tunisia. A discovery he made during that excavation is the focal point of his study on the Christian destruction of ancient art in the Roman world 300 – 600 A.D., for which he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2002.


Selected Publications


The Art of Citizens, Soldiers, and Freedmen in the Roman World, co-editor Eve D’Ambra (Oxford, Archaeopress, 2006).

Corpus des mosaiques de Tunisie, IV, Carthage, Fascicule I, Les mosaiques du Parc archeologique des Thermes d’Antonin, with M.A. Alexander, A. Ben Abed, C. Kondoleon, A. Gonosova, F. Miller et al (Tunis, Ceres, 1999)

Sculptors and Physicians in Fifth Century Greece  – A Preliminary Study, (Montreal, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 1995)

The Villa San Rocco at Francolise, with M.A. Cotton (London and New York: British School at Rome and Institute of Fine Arts, NYU, 1985)

Western Greek Land-Use and City Planning in the Archaic Period, (New York: Garland Press, 1978)

Corpus des mosaiques antiques de Tunisie, I, UtiqueFascicules 1 and 2, with M.A. Alexander and M. Ennaifer, eds. (Tunis, Ceres, 1973-1976)


“Ancient Housing. Oikos and Domus in Greece and Rome,” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians 58:3-4 (1999) 392-405.

“Villa Rustica Alimentaria et Annonaria,” in A. Frazer, ed., The Roman Villa: Villa Urbana [First Williams Symposium on Classical Architecture] (Philadelphia, The University Museum, University of Pennsylvania, 1998) 1-19.

“Mosaics, Liturgy and Architecture in the Basilica of Dermech I, Carthage,” Actes du VIIIeme Congres international de l’Association international pour l’etude de la mosaique antique (Bulletin de l’AIEMA18, Paris 1998).

with M.A. Alexander and A. Ben Abed, “The Corpus of the Mosaics of Tunisia: Carthage Project, 1992-1994” Dumbarton Oaks Papers 50 (1996) 361-368.

“Patronage and Style in the Mosaics of the Villa San Rocco, Francolise,” Bulletin de l’Association internationale de l’etude de la mosaique antique X:I (1985) 139-149, figs. 1-8.

Agora and Forum: Civic Spaces in Antiquity,” Cultures: An International Journal 5:3 (1978) 11-26.

Hugh LeRoy

Professor Emeritus

Assoc. Diploma (Sir George Williams); Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, School of Art and Design

A former student of Arthur Lismer and Louis Dudek, Professor LeRoy is a sculptor whose work has been exhibited widely across Canada and is found in many private collections. Among his major commissions are sculptures for the Justice Building in Ottawa and at the Banff Centre. In recent years he has had a series of annual solo shows at Toronto’s Olga Korper Gallery.

Hugh LeRoy’s 1972 work Rainbow Piece, installed on the York University campus grounds, is part of the permanent collection of the Art Gallery of York University.

Vera Frenkel

Professor Emeritus

BA (McGill)

Vera Frenkel, an internationally recognized multidisciplinary artist, left York in 1995 to focus fully on her studio practice. Her installations, videos, drawings, photographs, performances and new media works have been presented at major museums and festivals throughout Canada and elsewhere, including MoMA, New York; documenta IX, Kassel, Germany; Centre culturel canadien, Paris; OK Centrum für Gegenwartskunst, Linz, Austria; Setagaya Museum, Tokyo; the National Gallery of Canada; the Freud Museum, London; the Museum für Angewandte Kunst, Vienna; the Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam; and the Venice Biennale.

Key projects include include Messiah Speaking; ‘…from the Transit Bar’; Body MissingThe Institute: Or What We Do for Love and and ONCE NEAR WATER; Notes from the Scaffolding Archive. Her writings have appeared in Alphabet City, artscanada, C.Magazine, Canadian Art, Descant, Dialog, Fuse, Intermédialités, n.paradoxa, Public and Vanguard, and in anthologies such as Penser l’indiscipline (Optica, 2001), Joseph Beuys: The Reader (M.I.T. Press, 2007) and Museums after Modernism (Blackwell, 2007).

Artist-in-residence venues range from the School of the Chicago Art Institute and the Slade School of Art, University College, London, to the Leverhulme Professorship, Leeds University.

Professor Frenkel’s work has earned many national and international honours, including the Bell Canada Award for Video Art, the Gershon Iskowitz Prize, the Canada Council Molson Prize in the Arts, the Toronto Arts Foundation Visual Arts Award, the 2006 Governor General’s Award in Visual and Media Arts and the 2007 IDMAA (International Digital Media Arts Association) Award. She was inducted into the Royal Society of Canada Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences in 2006.

Vera Frenkel is currently preparing a solo exhibition for the Saidye Bronfman Gallery in Montreal, 2010, and a commission for the inaugural exhibition of the Ryerson University Gallery, 2011.