The latest news at NSCAD

Nova Scotia Talent Trust winners

NSCAD students and alumni were among the young artists recognized with Nova Scotia Talent Trust scholarships. Awards and scholarships were presented by Lt. Gov. Mayann Francis at a recent ceremony at Dalhousie Art Gallery. Second-year NSCAD student Isaac Fresia of Beckwith, N.S. received the $1,000 Charlotte Wilson-Hammond Visual Arts Nova Scotia Award. Film production designer Lauren Spalding (BFA 2010) of Head of Jeddore, N.S. received the $1,000 Shelagh Mackenzie Award; she is studying production design at the American Film Institute Conservatory in Los Angeles. Other winners include NSCAD student Alice MacLean of Dartmouth and Jason Skinner (BFA 2011) of Halifax, currently on community studio residency with the Town of Lunenburg.

Award winner Isaac Fresia thanked artist Charlotte Wilson-Hammond, a NSCAD Life Governor, at the awards ceremony.

“The awards have been an enormous help. I'm putting myself through NSCAD with little to no external help and so far my greatest resource has been bursaries and scholarships,” says Isaac. “The NSTT in particular is special since it is so very supportive of local talent. To get this kind of validation so close to home is bolstering, to say the least. I'm honoured that they see in my work something worth fostering.”

Support from Studio 21

The Studio 21 Aspiring Artist Fund recently got an infusion of $4,000.

Studio 21's Deborah Carver pledged a portion of proceeds from the fall group show 20/21 Vision as part of the gallery’s ongoing support for NSCAD through the Studio 21 Aspiring Artist Fund. Since the inception of the fund, six scholarships ranging from $500 to $800 have been awarded to NSCAD students. The latest award goes to Ashley Bedet, a third-year student from Alberta in the BFA program.

 carver-smith-Feb8-300      Studio 21 owner Deborah Carver drops by NSCAD University with support for the Studio 21 Aspiring Artist Fund.

Artist for a day

NSCAD’s marquee 125th anniversary event for May is called Artist for a Day—and volunteers are needed. The idea is to encourage interest and understanding in all that NSCAD has to offer. Artist for a Day will take place on Saturday, May 12 on the Halifax Waterfront close to Bishop’s Landing.

“We’re looking for big, participatory art projects that will get a lot of people involved,” says Peter Wünsch, president of the Alumni Association. “Do you have an idea for something really cool that you’d like to try? Let us know.”

Some ideas include a parade, printmaking in the parking lot using a steamroller, a tile mosaic and historic photo booth with a costumed Anna Leonowens.

Proposals are invited and encouraged. With sponsorship for this day provided by the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Waterfront Development Corporation and Halifax Regional Municipality, there are funds available to cover materials. Present your ideas to Linda Hutchison at

“This is a time to think big—astound us,” she says.

In memoriam

A friend of NSCAD, Winifred Shantz died at the age of 89 in Kitchener, Ont. on February 11, 2012. A potter, she supported and cared for young artists at NSCAD University and the Fine Arts Department at the University of Waterloo by funding summer internships and scholarships. A philanthropist, she was also a founding supporter of the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery and also supported the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, the Stratford Festival, the Grand River Baroque Festival and the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery. A celebration of the life of Win Shantz will be held at the Clay and Glass Gallery, 25 Caroline Street North, Waterloo, Ontario on Sunday, March 18 from 2 to 4 p.m.

Moving on

Provost and Vice-President Academic Affairs and Research James Moy has accepted a position of Dean of the College of Arts at the University of South Florida. Dr. Moy came to NSCAD in August of 2009 and has played a key role in the senior administration helping to strengthen academic programs and supporting research initiatives.

The Last Art College

The Last Art College: Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, 1968-1978, is written by NSCAD Professor Emeritus Garry Neill Kennedy, president of Nova Scotia College of Art and Design from 1967 to 1990. The book, published by MIT Press, will be launched at NSCAD during graduation weekend in May. The book is available to NSCAD alumni by ordering through University Relations.

From MIT Press: "How did a small art college in Nova Scotia become the epicenter of art education—and to a large extent of the postmimimalist and conceptual art world itself—in the 1960s and 1970s? Like the unorthodox experiments and rich human resources that made Black Mountain College an improbable center of art a generation earlier, the activities and artists at Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (aka NSCAD) in the 1970s redefined the means and methods of art education and the shape of art far beyond Halifax."

Alumni reception

Alumni are invited to join NSCAD President David B. Smith and Bernard Riordon, director and CEO of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery, for a reception on Thursday, April 12, 5 to 7 p.m. The reception will take place at the art gallery, 703 Queen Street in Fredericton.
Interested in going? Love to see you! Please RSVP by e-mailing

The March of Anna

NSCAD University’s 125th anniversary events kick off during the “March of Anna.” Events include The King and I singalong (March 2); a juried exhibition of artwork inspired by Anna Leonowens at  Anna Leonowens Gallery (March 5 to 10) and a lecture by historian Lois Yorke (March 7).

“She was a feisty, independent woman at a time when women were not expected to be activists,” says Linda Hutchison, director of the 125th anniversary. “Her role in Halifax and as the founder of the school is generally not known. So we’re inviting people to discover Anna Leonowens and her influence on Halifax and NSCAD.”

As part of the NSCAD Public Lecture Series, NSCAD hosts Judy Pfaff, sculptor and printmaker (March 8) and Jackie Sumell, installation artist (March 22) and as part of the Sculpture Lecture Series, we will host Liz Magor (March 30). Also happening in March are the Wearable Art Show (March 10, the Textiles and Fashion Department show (March 7-25) and the March of Prints exhibition and sale (opens March 28).


Did you know that one of Halifax’s most entrepreneurial companies is powered by NSCAD grads? Do you know the genesis of John Baldessari’s famous “I will not make any more boring art” lithograph? Did you know the designers behind the most talked-about fashion label in Canada are recent NSCAD grads?

There’s so much about NSCAD to celebrate. NSCAD’s 125th anniversary is our opportunity to spread the word about the university we care so deeply about and are working diligently to protect as an essential educational and creative asset for Nova Scotia. With the website for the 125th anniversary—you can find it at—we encourage you to discover the stories behind the best art school in the country.

We’ll keep adding to the roster of stories throughout the year, so there’s always something new and fresh to discover. (By the way, if you’ve got a story tip, let us know. Send your ideas to