What are you doing after graduation? Seven new grads will launch their artistic careers through NSCAD’s community studio residency programs.
The residency programs are based in three locations across the province: Lunenburg, New Glasgow, and now Sydney. As the current residents pack up at the end of August, the new residents prepare to move in come September.
“The community residency programs really helps to kick-start the careers of our grads, by giving them valuable studio space and allowing them to further develop their studio practice,” says Sharon Blanchard, director of NSCAD’s School of Extended Studies.
“At the same time, these young people really become a part of the community; they work with elementary and secondary students, offer workshops and host lectures. They act as ambassadors for the university, bringing NSCAD out of Halifax and into communities across Nova Scotia.”
A textiles major, Mary MacIntosh becomes the first NSCAD grad to set up stakes at the Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design in Sydney—her hometown. With a practice that combines traditional textile techniques such as embroidery, knitting, dyeing and weaving, Mary will get full access to the centre’s state-of-the-art studio.
“I had already planned on returning to Cape Breton for a short period of time to regain my bearings post-graduation,” she explains. “The opportunity to have a studio space downtown and be involved in the artistic community was something I had to try for. I’m so happy I was accepted.”
The next three residents headed to New Glasgow—Tyler Durbano, Katie Hagan and Jimy Sloan—are all painters. Still fairly new, the New Glasgow program has quickly become an integral part of town life. The residents will share a renovated studio space on Dalhousie Street.
From Barrie, Ont., Tyler Durbano did his first degree at Acadia before coming to study at NSCAD and focusing on painting and drawing. Katie Hagan, from Mississauga, Ont., is finishing two degrees at NSCAD: a BFA and a BA. And Jimy Sloan, from Middle Sackville, N.S., paints large scale, multi-layered canvases which reference historical and contemporary themes.
The program in Lunenburg is finishing its sixth year and many former residents still live and work in the area. Starting in September, it’s Andrew Maize, Hangama Amiri and Craig Bodovitch’s turn to set up in the former fire hall they’ll call home for a year.
“I very excited to work with the community in Lunenburg, as I have been dreaming of starting a kite festival and Lunenburg seems like the perfect place,” says Andrew Maize, an artist from Horseshoe Valley, Ont., who works in a wide variety of mediums. “Some believe that the impetus for the kite may have come when sailors tried to bring in a renegade sail, and the history of sail making adds another level to the festival.”
Hangama Amiri is a painter originally from Afghanistan; her first solo exhibition The Wind-Up Dolls was inspired by a trip to Kabul and her encounters with Afghan women. Craig Budovitch, from Fredericton, N.B., will arrive in Lunenburg after spending the summer in South Africa on the NSCAD Art in Schools Initiative.
A BFA textiles major, Mary MacIntosh is finishing her studies this summer and will have a solo exhibition, O, at the Anna Leonowens Gallery from July 24 to 28. The concept of her exhibition is based entirely on the circle and its symbolic interpretations, including human awareness and the shapes of celestial bodies. Her practice consists of using traditional textile techniques such as embroidery, knitting, dyeing and weaving. “The content of my work varies quite a bit, from slightly off-color humor to more serious meditations on topics both personal or personally intriguing,” she says. She is thrilled to begin her career post graduation in her hometown of Sydney as the first resident of the Sydney program.
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Tyler Durbano was born and raised in Barrie, Ont. Before finding his way to NSCAD, he graduated from Acadia University in 2009 with a Bachelor of Arts in English with a minor in Philosophy. Three years later, he is nearing the end of a BFA with a focus in painting and drawing, and a minor in Art History. During his time in New Glasgow, he will be creating works about the town's citizens and community groups. These works will present themes of abstraction, fragmentation, associative memory and figurative study, striving to encapsulate New Glasgow's sub-communities as individual, all-encompassing portraits.
He was drawn to the residency program in New Glasgow because of its community-focused nature, allowing for opportunities to teach and lead workshops. It also promised a wonderful beginning to an independent career as a visual artist, without completely severing ties with NSCAD.
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| || ||Katie Hagan, from Mississauga, Ont., is completing two degrees from NSCAD: a BFA and a BA in Art History. “In completing two degrees of different study, my time at NSCAD was largely dominated by critical studies, which I will be continuing in the future,” says Katie. “Because I was not able to take as many studio classes, I am hoping that the residency is the perfect opportunity for me to take the time to just make art. Involving the community comes as an added bonus to this opportunity and I am thrilled to share what I can with New Glasgow.” A painter, Katie’s art practice involves delicate and meticulous techniques of applying paint to render the exact likeness of the subject whether it be a live model or an old, weathered photograph. She is beginning to push the boundaries of realism by incorporating imagined colors and spaces. |
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| || ||From Middle Sackville, Jimy Sloan graduated from NSCAD in May 2012 with a BFA, Fine Arts Major in Painting. He paints large-scale canvases which reference historical and contemporary themes from his environment and the conversations which come from within it. He sources imagery from personal photographs, magazines and newspapers, government archives and the Internet. His paintings then integrate that source imagery onto the canvas as a series of overlaid and superimposed images. These paintings become a way to create non-verbal stories, stories of geographical areas, historical events, characters and sociological issues. During the coming year, he hopes to further address the challenge of creating moving images; an idea which was informed by his love of painting, video and the form of aural traditions. |
“I have recently graduated in the rich lineage of art-making practices at NSCAD University. In my explorative process-based practice and correlated research I have created work in a variety of mediums including sculpture, video, sound, radio, paint, installation, electronics, theatre and performance. Current projects explore the transference of energies: light into sound, thought into speech, material into concepts and art into life. In this latter movement I have been investigating socio-political relationships between mental health/societal norms, military/civilian life, and memorials of an ephemeral/permanent nature.” Andrew Maize graduated from NSCAD in May 2012 with BFA (Interdisciplinary).
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| || ||From Fredericton, NB., Craig Budovitch has always had a passion for art. He thrived at NSCAD, where he became involved in student politics and in the Halifax community as a volunteer working with kids on art projects at Inglis Street School and Citadel High School. All the while, he’s discovered a true passion for painting and approaches each canvas with incredible joy. “Painting is where it’s at,” says Craig, who is spending the summer in South Africa on NSCAD’s Art in Schools initiative. There, he will be developing visual art projects with high school students to enhance their learning in other non-art subjects like mathematics and composition. Once in Lunenburg, Craig hopes to further develop his work with children and youth by doing community projects such as mural paintings and urban workshops.|
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| || ||As a newcomer to Canada from Afghanistan, Hangama Amiri is fascinated by cross-cultural dialogue and themes such as childhood ecstasy, identity, language, and expanded memory. She is interested in painting in the styles of representational realism and abstract realism using large-scale two-dimensional surfaces, expanding painting to integrate mixed media including, oil, acrylic, screen-printing, and earth. Hangama graduated from NSCAD University with a BFA (Major in Fine Arts) and has exhibited her paintings in numerous group exhibitions. Her first solo exhibition, The Wind-Up Dolls, was displayed at the Anna Leonowens Gallery in the fall of 2011. The paintings are psychological and social portraits of six Afghan women whom the artist met on a visit back to her homeland Kabul, Afghanistan in the year of 2010. She won the 2011 Lieutenant Governor's Community Voluntarism Award and received an honourable mention for the 2008 Newcomer Achievement Award. During her residency in Lunenburg, Hangama is eager to experience Lunenburg’s rich history, culture and unique identity. |