As NSCAD’s 130th year approaches, the NSCAD Alumni Association has had a shot of adrenalin. New vision and mission statements were adopted, giving members a renewed sense of purpose.
The December meeting of the alumni board was truly an international affair with Jay Rutherford skyping in from Germany, Jeremy Tsang from Toronto and Meg Kelly from New York, while members Craig Moore, Cameron Jantzen, Kelly Markovich, Peter Wunsch and Siobhan Cleary gathered at NSCAD.
The first order of business was the presentation of an opportunity for the Alumni Association to become a partner with NSCAD’s Anna Leonowens Gallery through Art Bar +Projects, the highly successful performance art venue on NSCAD’s Fountain Campus. Through a unanimous vote, members agreed to take on the running of the bar and assist in programming.
In its first year of operation, Art Bar +Projects has been highly successful; more than 140 events have been hosted there, everything from Pecha Kucha nights to Power Point Karaoke and the Totally Wicked Music Festival, a jam-packed night during which folks threw a band together and performed. The Alumni Association is considering holding events such as Creative Breakfasts with alumni speakers and screening nights featuring films and videos by alumni directors.
“I think we all felt the surge in excitement by the potential this partnership brings,” says Siobhan Cleary, NSCAD Alumni Association president and an alumni representative on the NSCAD Board of Governors. “The 130th anniversary is coming and we want to make it special.”
As well, the alumni association decided to form four committees in which to focus activity:
- Special Events – to plan special events such as an alumni reunion and homecoming in September 2017;
- Biennial Exhibition – to plan for an alumni exhibition, building on the success of 2015’s successful I AM NSCAD exhibition, a large salon-style exhibition which included work by 166 alumni artists and designers;
- Partnership and Professional Development – to spearhead new initiatives including an alumni mentorship program and “Creative Breakfast” gatherings and to support the Anna Leonowens Gallery’s artist residencies;
- Community Engagement – to assist in events such as Portfolio Day, Graduation and Artist for a Day and to support the launch of alumni chapters outside of Nova Scotia.
“There is a lot of opportunity for NSCAD alumni to get involved. We want alumni to know that they’re welcome and their participation is valued,” says Siobhan.
“With the focus the committees provide, participation will fit our alumni members' lifestyles and availability. Alumni will discover myriad ways to participate based on their own skills and interests. Whether you're passionate about exhibiting, curating, networking, mentoring, or casual get-togethers, there are large and small ways to become involved.”
The next meeting of the NSCAD Alumni Association will take place Tuesday, January 10th, 5:30 pm at Art Bar +Projects. The meeting is open to all alumni, near or far; everyone is welcome. Jeff Somerville, chair of the NSCAD Board of Governors, will be in attendance to speak to initiatives that the board is undertaking.
Regular meetings of the alumni association will be held every other month (January, March, May, July, September, November) on the second Tuesday of the month at 5:30 pm.
Siobhan Cleary (BDes 1993), President and Board of Governors
Cameron Jantzen (BDes 2003), Vice-President and Board of Governors
Kelly Markovich (MFA 2011), Secretary
Danielle Autran (BDes 2002), Treasurer
Anna Fiander (BFA 2015), Member at large
Claire Hodge (BFA 2003, MFA 2009), Member at large
Craig Moore (BFA 2000), Member at large
Jay Rutherford (BDes 1989), Member at large
Meg Kelly (BFA 2013), New York Chapter Representative
Jeremy Tsang (BFA 2011), Toronto Chapter Representative
Peter Wünsch (BFA 1989), Immediate Past President
Dianne Taylor-Gearing, NSCAD President (Ex officio)
Jessica MacDonald, SUNSCAD President (Ex officio)
The NSCAD University Alumni Association is a dynamic, member-focused organization that aims to enrich the alumni experience and build the profile of its members globally.
By facilitating communication and sponsoring a wide variety of Alumni programs, events and benefits, the Alumni Association:
- Promotes a strong mutually beneficial relationship between alumni, NSCAD University, and the community.
- Fosters an inclusive environment based on cooperation and fellowship.
- Assists and advances present and future alumni in the pursuit of excellence.
- Exerts influence as a valued partner on matters relevant to present and future alumni.