Class Notes
June 7, 2013


Traffic: Conceptual Art in Canada 1965-1980 has won the Award of Outstanding Achievement in Exhibitions by the Canadian Museums Association. Dr. Jayne Wark (BFA 1979), professor in the Art History and Critical Studies Division at NSCAD, was one of the curators for the exhibition, which is being presented under the title Continental Drift, Conceptual Art in Canada: The 1960s and 70s at Badischer Kunstverein in Germany to September 8, 2013. Dr. Wark will give a talk at the gallery on June 23.

Feminist artist and gallery director Martha Wilson received an honorary doctorate of fine arts degree from NSCAD University at NSCAD's graduation ceremony on May 18. An instructor at NSCAD in the 1970s, she began to make innovated photographic and video works that explored her female subjectivity through role-playing, costume transformations and invasions of other people’s personae. She later moved to New York City, where she continued to develop performance and video-based works. She is the founding director of Franklin Furnace, an artist-run space for avant-garde art.

Deidre Logue (BFA 1986) was awarded the Tom Berner Award by The Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto. The award is presented annually to an individual who has provided extraordinary support to the cause of independent filmmaking in Toronto. Deirdre, who lives and works in Toronto, is currently the Development Director at Vtape.

Spring & Arnaud by Katherine Knight and Marcia Connolly is a documentary about acclaimed Canadian artists Spring Hurlbut and Arnaud Maggs.

Katherine Knight (BFA 1980) and Marcia Connolly (BFA 1995) co-produced and co-directed Spring & Arnaud, which premiered at Hot Docs on April 29. The documentary tells the love story of celebrated photographer Arnaud Maggs and his wife and fellow artist Spring Hurlbut. “This film is itself a work of art, filled with wonderful images and crisply edited. But it’s the human saga of a quirky but richly satisfying personal relationship that will make Spring & Arnaud connect with audiences in a way that cultural documentaries rarely do,” wrote Martin Knelman in The Toronto Star.

Bruce MacKinnon, the long-time editorial cartoonist at The Chronicle Herald in Halifax, was awarded an honorary doctorate of fine arts from NSCAD University.  An Antigonish native, Bruce studied at NSCAD in the 1980s, but had to leave before finishing his degree in 1985 when his baby daughter Robyn (BFA 2009) was born.  A member of the Order of Nova Scotia since 2011, MacKinnon has earned two National Newspaper Awards and six nominations, 15 Atlantic Journalism Awards and another nomination for editorial cartooning this year. He also placed second in the 2004 World Press Cartoon Competition and in 1996 received an honourary doctorate from Saint Mary’s University.

Artist Sarah Maloney (BFA 1988) had an exhibition of her work, Collapse, on display at Kelowna Art Gallery in the month of March. Her sculpture, Water Level, incorporating water lilies and lily pads on steel stems, was on display at Studio 21 Fine Art Gallery from April 12 to May 8. “My current research is engaged with indigenous Canadian plants, which I am modelling in wax and casting in bronze and using to create larger suites of work,” writes Sarah, who teaches in NSCAD’s Foundation Division. “I am interested in the forms of the plants and flowers, their evolutionary histories, how they were used and how they continue to be used.”

Su Rogers (BFA 1984) is a painter based in Lunenburg who creates iconic images inspired by the fishery and its tools, local folk culture and the Nova Scotia landscape. She is a recipient of a 2013 Canada Council Project Grant.

We get the best mail at University Relations. Karen Smith (BDes 1989) of Karen Smith Design entered our recent raffle, noting that she designed the stamp she put on her envelope. She has designed several stamps for Canada Post, including two more coming out next year. By the way, Miguelle Legere of Dartmouth was the winner of the chair raffle, with proceeds going to support the new summer class at Kejimukjik National Park.

Doug Bamford,
(BFA 1995), senior technician with NSCAD’s ceramics department, is working on two public art commissions commemorating the history of steelmaking in Sydney. Once complete, one will be the largest terra cotta wall in Canada, measuring two and a half metres high by 15 metres in length. The second commission comprises seven life-sized bronze figures which will represent a cross-section of Sydney’s population starting with a First Nations person and other heroes such as a homemaker, an industrialist, a writer and steelworkers. Read more

NSCAD graduate and instructor Andrea Dorfman (BFA 1995) makes the prestigious list of the top creative talent in Canada—The Catalysts in The Globe and Mail.

Sandy Stewart, head of the art department at Rothesay Netherwood School in Rothesay, NB, reports NSCAD alumni took three out of four awards at the Art Teachers Conference (Interconnection 2013) held in Montreal from May 9 to 11. Award winners included: Heidi Stoddart (MA 1997), Anglophone School District South,  NB Provincial Affiliate Award Recipient; Paul Syme (MFA 2002) Horton High School, Wolfville, N.S., the Nova Scotia Provincial Affiliate Award Recipient; and herself, Sandy Stewart (BFA 1981) the Canadian Art Educator of the Year for Grades 9 to 12. Standing ovation to our art teachers for carrying the NSCAD torch!

Award winners at the Art Teachers Conference in May: Heidi Stoddart, (MA 1997), Peter Gorham, Sandy Stewart (BFA 1981) and Paul Syme (MFA 2002). 

Becka Barker (BFA 2000), regular part-time faculty member at NSCAD, gave a presentation, "Media Art-making for Multiliteracies in Language Learning,” at the national conference hosted by the Canadian Society for Education through Art and Canadian Art Gallery Educators in Montreal last month. Becka also presented the results of her graduate action-research project, "Comparing Online Social Networks in an EFL Learning Context," at the 2012 TESL Canada national conference in Kamloops, BC, last fall.

Melissa Bennett (BFA 2004), Curator of Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Hamilton, has been named an Ontario juror for the Sobey Art Award. The exhibition The Spectacle of Play, curated by Melissa, is on view at the gallery to January 12, 2014. On display as part of the exhibition is a sculpture by Graeme Patterson (BFA 2003) depicting Daryl Sittler’s famous 10-goal hockey game in 1976.

Arianne Pollet-Brannen’s (BFA 2009) solo exhibition, Saved, was shown at the University of Cape Breton University Art Gallery from March 01 through May 17. The exhibition catalogue is available from CBU Art Gallery. Saved was reviewed in the March/April edition of Alternatives Journal, the University of Waterloo’s environmental magazine. Arianne also discussed her work methods in an interview featured in the summer edition of Visual Arts News. She is currently preparing for a fall exhibition at the Mount Saint Vincent University Art Gallery where she will be number seventeen in the MSVU Art Gallery Prospect Series.

Filmmaker Jason Buxton (BFA 2003) was excited to see his debut feature Blackbird open in theatres nationally. Since its debut at the Toronto Film Festival last September, Blackbird and its creator have been showered with accolades, including best Canadian first feature at the Toronto Film Festival and the Vancouver Film Festival, best Atlantic feature, best director and best Atlantic screenwriter at the Atlantic Film Festival, and recently, grand prize at Cannes Junior. Jason was also named the winner of the Claude Jutra Award by the Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. The award recognizes outstanding achievement by a first-time feature director. Read more

Ceramic artists Ying-Yueh Chuang (MFA 2001) and Eliza Au (BFA 2005) have a two-person exhibition, Variations on Symmetry, traveling across Canada. This stunning exhibition is currently showing Mary E Black Gallery in Halifax until July 14.

Christine Goudie (BDes 2007) recently completed the Master of Design program within the School of Industrial Design at Carleton University in Ottawa.  Prior to graduation, she presented as a research poster presenter at Interdependence 2012: Global Spinal Cord Injury Conference hosted by the Rick Hansen Foundation in Vancouver, May 2012. Post graduation, she received the George A. Lynn Memorial Scholarship Award for excellence in the design of medical equipment for her thesis research titled Investigating Knowledge Exchange Within Interdisciplinary Teams in the Design and Development of Assistive Medical Devices.  She also presented her research at the Canadian Agency for Drugs and Technologies in Health (CADTH) Symposium in St. John's, Newfoundland, from May 5-7.


Christine Goudie (BDes 2007) at Design Indaba in Cape Town, Africa, 2011.

An exhibition of paintings by Yang Hong (MFA 2005)—Focus and Transition—is on display at Studio 21 Fine Art to June 12. Born in Fredericton, NB, he is the studio technician at Emily Carr University of Art and Design in Vancouver.

Fenn Martin (BFA 2006) is raising eyebrows around Antigonish County, Nova Scotia for the life-size sculpture of Peter MacKay that sits in his pickup truck. Fenn is a practicing ceramic artist working from a renovated barn in the Ohio Valley, Antigonish.

Now based in Austria, singer/songwiter Ryan McGrath (BFA 2001) is currently on tour in Europe, with stops in Switzerland, Germany, Iceland, England and Scotland. His latest album is The Pink Lark, a reflection on chasing after love and a relationship the falls apart. In other news, two of his songs were featured in The EastSiders, a dark comedy about a struggling Los Angeles gay couple grappling with the aftermath of infidelity.

Caroline (Wilson) McLeod (BFA 2004) and Shawn McLeod are celebrating the birth of future NSCAD student James Gary Christopher McLeod. Their baby boy was born May 8. Proud grandfather is former faculty member Gary Wilson (BFA 1975).

“I'm a total bad ass international art star now. You should put me on the cover of VIVID,” says Echo Railton (BFA 2004). Echo, an “eco-artist”, has a MFA from Florida State University, Tallahassee. Recent works on paper with charcoal and used motor oil “explore the micro and macro simultaneously.”

Mike Sharpe (BFA 2006) had his work on display at the Art Gallery of Ontario last month as part of the exhibition Moving Metal. Each artist started with a six-inch silver disc. NSCAD professor Kye-Yeon Son, Beth Biggs (BFA, BA 1983), Brigitte Clavette (BFA 1980), Michael Massie (BFA 1991) and Don Stuart also participated in the show. Please see the Moving Metal website to see each artist’s process.

Scott Smith (BFA 2007) has opened a small shop, The Pentper General Shop, at 159 Lincoln Street in Lunenburg. The shop will be soon open online as well.

Will Robinson (BFA 2005) and Khanhthuan Tran (BFA 1999) have been selected as 2013 local artists in residence by the Centre for Art Tapes in Halifax. Will, a multi-media artist and interdisciplinary musician/composer, is investigating the cinematic translation of hearing loss and the individual experience of tinnitus and will create a video installation that explores the poetic, cinematic, and real-life experiences of tinnitus. Khanhthuan “will use layers of appropriated footage to compose scenes of people watching late 20th-century disaster film footage,” says a news release. Born in Vietnam, he was a resident at the Canadian Film Centre and a contributor to the first anthology on Asian-Canadian filmmaking, Reel Asian: Asian Canada on Screen (Coach House Press, 2007).


A jewellery and metal-smithing major at NSCAD, Grand McRuer (BFA 2013) is now a full-time artist-in-residence at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre. See recent work on his blog.


Former NSCAD faculty Eric Fischl has written a memoir, Bad Boy: My Life On and Off the Canvas (Random House). In a story in The New York Times, the American artist who is married to April Gornik (BFA 1976) explains the title was inspired by his most notorious painting of a boy staring at a nude woman.

Bad Boy is the memoir of renowned American artist Eric Fischl.

NSCAD Professor Emeritus Garry Neill Kennedy recently returned from Europe where he was on a book tour to talk about The Last Art College (MIT Press) with university students. Read more and order the book.

The host of a bookbinding podcast, Susan Mills is teaching a new class at New York’s Center for Book Arts, from June 24 to 27. She is a bookbinder who has operated her own bindery since 1990. Her book works can be found in institutions and libraries throughout the United States and Canada. You can see her work at

Michael Uhlarik, who teaches in the Design Division, is a motorcycle designer whose Amarok electric sport bike is being entered in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. See the story in The Globe and Mail.

Nick Webb, professor in the Historical and Critical Studies Division, was recognized by Mount Saint Vincent University with a Teaching Innovation Award. Dr. Webb shared the award with Dr. Jeff MacLeod, chair of the Mount’s Political Science Department. The two professors have been doing joint research and team taught a class Art & Politics.

In memoriam
NSCAD Professor Emeritus Anthony (Tony) Mann, 85, passed away April 19, 2013, in Ashreigney, Devon, England, following a brief illness. Read more