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NSCAD profs dominate Masterworks Award

 Image from David Clark's 88 Constellations for Wittgenstein.

Getting nominated for an award is sweet, but getting nominated alongside friends and colleagues is even sweeter.

As David Clark, chair of the media arts division, remarked while scanning the short list for the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia Masterworks Arts Award: "Yay us!"

"It was a bit of a surprise to see so many visual artists this year and three from my own department," says Prof. Clark. "I think it speaks to the strength of media arts in Halifax."

Prof. Clark is nominated for a digital web work called 88 Constellations for Wittgenstein (to be played with the left hand). Also nominated for the Masterworks award are fellow media arts professor Susan McEachern for the photographic series Equine Studies and part-time faculty member Adam Kelly and Tim Dallett with The Artifact Institute for an interdisciplinary new media project called Investigation 1.

NSCAD textiles professor Robin Muller, along with collaborator Sarah Bonnemaison, professor with Dalhousie's School of Architecture, made the list with The Warming Hut, a shelter created for the Canada Games Oval. Rounding out the top five is artist Susan Feindel for her mixed media installation See Below.

The award will be presented at the Creative Nova Scotia Awards Gala on Friday, Oct. 28 at the Cunard Centre in Halifax. This year, four of the finalists will receive $3,000 while the winner takes home $25,000.

Prof. Clark's digital web work ( was five years in the making and has been shown extensively at galleries, festivals and online—it tops the "10 most fascinating websites" list at Based on the life and work of philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein, Prof. Clark tells 88 stories in interactive fragments that correspond to 88 constellations of the sky. He describes it as "feature length film for the web that everyone experiences differently."

"I feel quite proud of the work," he says. "And to be recognized within Nova Scotia like this, well, I'm quite tickled about that."

Local audiences will soon get a peek at Susan McEachern's nominated photographic series when it opens at the Anna Leonowens Gallery on Tuesday, October 11. Exploring the history of the human-horse relationship, Equine Studies has three parts: Herbivores, Still Seeking Athena and Fight/Flight. The series, which combines photography and text, is inspired by her daughter, a rider, and her own lifelong love of horses—she recently got herself a horse for her 60th birthday.

Robin Muller's nominated work, The Warming Hut, may again be a fixture in Halifax this winter. Installed beside the Canada Games Oval last February, it became a magnet for skaters who warmed cold toes and hands and raved appreciatively at the “crystal jewel box.”

"We put it up in one of the biggest snowstorms of the winter and I felt like I was in the middle of a Jack London novel," she says with a laugh. She adds that The Warming Hut, which featured warming benches and a snowflake chandelier that pulsated along with a heartbeat monitor, was a collaborative effort between researchers in her research group, Architectural Applications of Electronic Textiles, or @rchitextile Lab for short.

"I think it shows the beauty of collaboration--you can achieve so much more as a team than you ever could individually."

A display of the projects developed in the @architextile Lab is on display to October 15 at Dalhousie’s Faculty of Architecture and Planning.

equine-studies-400  From Equine Studies by Susan McEachern
warming-hut-400 The Warming Hut at the 2011 Canada Games by Sarah Bonnemaison and Robin Muller.

 From Investigation 1 by Tim Dallett and Adam Kelly of the Artifact Institute.

Read the latest issue of VIVID


Volume 23, Winter 2015

Featuring stories on Governor General's Literary Award winner Sydney Smith;  Halifax's art district, Prof. Gary Markle's Worn Well fashion line; and a profile of high school art teacher Anna Whalen.