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Public Lecture Series

NSCAD has a long and rich history of bringing world-renowned lecturers to the university community, Halifax and Nova Scotia.

  • provides the opportunity for world-renowned artists to visit NSCAD and share their experience and expertise with students, staff, faculty and the greater Halifax community;

  • provides an opportunity to enhance NSCAD's presence while engaging the public; and,

  • enhances academic programs through the enrichment of learning opportunities by superb, master artists during their visit to NSCAD.

2016-17 Public Lecture Series Presents:

Otto Künzli,
artist jeweller

February 9, 2017 at Halifax Central Library

Otto Künzli is one of the most renowned and respected jewellers working today. The Swiss-trained, Munich-based artist has created truly iconic examples of contemporary jewellery including 1995’s 1cm of Love and 1980’s Gold Macht Blind (Gold Makes You Blind). Künzli’s minimalist, yet meticulously crafted work references cultural phenomena, utilizing the power of metaphor and iconography with wit and sophistication. In addition to his highly respected artistic practice, Künzli has an accomplished academic career spanning over 20 years. As director of the Jewellery department at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste Munich from 1991 to 2014, he taught a number of prominent contemporary jewelers including Lisa Walker, Karl Fritsch and Helen Britton.

In March 2013 his major retrospective titled The Exhibition showcased his extensive oeuvre and was accompanied by The Book, a comprehensive catalogue documenting a career spanning over 40 years.

Facebook event:

Otto Dames (ph JC)

Detlef Hartung (Hartung and Trenz) and Bettina Pelz, curator

November 22, 2016 at Halifax Central Library

Cologne based artist Detlef Hartung and curator Bettina Pelz presented the work of Hartung and Trenz with a special focus on their artistic approach to site specific light-text-installations in public space while highlighting light art festivals where Hartung and Trenz participated.

This lecture is an introduction to the upcoming light art festival RESPONSIVE, curated by Melanie Colosimo, Peter Dykhuis and Bettina Pelz, occurring in Fall 2017.

Alan Syliboy

September 27, 2016 at Halifax Central Library

For First Nations artist, activist and musician Alan Syliboy, stories are the threads that tie the Mi’kmaq people together, making them aware of their identity and place in the world.

NSCAD Alumni Alan Syliboy was born and raised in Truro and lives in the Millbrook First Nations community. Among many achievements, in 2007 Alan took part in creating illustrations for the novel The Stone Canoe: Two Lost Mi’kmaq Tales, which inspired him to continue his use of the Little Thunder character throughout his works, even co-writing a song for his band Lonecloud, called Little Thunder.

In 2009 Alan collaborated with Nance Ackerman and Paton Francis to create the animation, Little Thunder for the Vancouver 2010 Olympics using Alan’s interesting and beautiful style. The animation showcased the true magnificence of his artwork and solidified its incredible potential.

Alan has looked to the indigenous Mi'kmaq petroglyph tradition (rock drawings) for inspiration and developed his own artistic vocabulary out of those forms. They are both beautiful and inspirational and speak of a rich culture and tradition. He is currently working on a graphic novel which features Little Thunder.

2015-16 Public Lecture Series
Mark Lewis

March 18, 2016, Bell Auditorium, Fountain Campus

Mark Lewis is a Canadian artist who lives and works in London. His film and digital moving image works are frequently depictions of everyday life produced through the use of cinematographic techniques and they make subtle and often accidental allusion to the wider tradition of film, photography and painting. His most recent works include a series of films shot in the Korean DMZ and the film project Invention that imagines a contemporary city with no cinema or moving image devices. In this scenario, the city itself is the cinema, focussing on the intense concentration of moving bodies, shadows and reflections. The project spans exhibitions Mark Lewis had at the Musée du Louvre in October 2014 and at the 31st Bienal de São Paulo and culminated in a feature film titled Invention which premiered at Toronto International Film Festival in September 2015.

Lewis is also a co-founder and co-director of Afterall, a publication and research organisation based in Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London. In 2009 he represented Canada at the 53rd Venice Biennale and he has exhibited at the Van Abbemuseum (Eindhoven), National Gallery of Canada, MoMA (New York), BFI Southbank (London), Centre Pompidou (Paris) amongst others.

2014-15 Public Lecture Series:

Tim Rollins and Angel Abreu, K.O.S. (Kids of Survival)

February 27, 2015, Bell Auditorium, Fountain Campus

Tim Rollins (BFA, SVA) launched the Art and Knowledge Workshop in 1984 with at-risk students in the Bronx who called themselves K.O.S. (Kids of Survival). The group has exhibited at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (2011), Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, (2011), Museum fur Gegenwartskunst (2012), and Hayward Gallery (2012). Their work is included in collections at the Dallas Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, Hirshhorn Museum of Art, and the Tate Modern. Tim Rollins and K.O.S. are based in New York City.

2013-2014 Public Lectures Series:

Spencer Finch

April 4, 2014, Bell Auditorium, Fountain Campus

Spencer Finch was born in 1962 in New Haven, CT and lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He studied at the Rhode Island School of Design, Hamilton College, and Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan.  Finch has exhibited internationally since the early 1990s. He has completed recent projects at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, FRAC Basse-Normandie and the Montclair Art Museum in Montclair, NJ.  

Oliver Ressler - Artist and filmmaker

February 27, 2014, Bell Auditorium, Fountain Campus

Oliver Ressler, born in 1970, lives and works as an artist and filmmaker in Vienna, Austria, and produces exhibitions, projects in the public space, and films on issues such as economics, democracy, global warming, forms of resistance and social alternatives. His projects have been in solo exhibitions at the Berkeley Art Museum, USA; Platform Garanti Contemporary Art Center, Istanbul; Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade; Centro Cultural Conde Duque, Madrid; Alexandria Contemporary Arts Forum, Egypt; Bunkier Sztuki Contemporary Art Gallery, Krakow and The Cube Project Space, Taipei.

Ressler has participated in more than 250 group exhibitions, including the MASSMoCA, USA; Itaú Cultural Institute, Sao Paulo; National Museum of Contemporary Art, Athens; ZKM, Karlsruhe; Van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven and at the biennials in Prague (2005), Seville (2006), Moscow (2007), Taipei (2008), Lyon (2009), Gyumri (2012), Venice (2013) and Athens (2013). A retrospective of his 17 films took place at Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève throughout 2013. For the Taipei Biennale 2008, Ressler curated an exhibition on the alter-globalization movement, A World Where Many Worlds Fit, which in 2010 traveled to the Foreman Art Gallery of Bishop University, Sherbrooke, Canada. A traveling show on the financial crisis, It’s the Political Economy, Stupid, co-curated with Gregory Sholette, was presented at the Centre of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki and Pori Art Museum, Finland. Their book, It’s The Political Economy, Stupid: The Global Financial Crisis in Art and Theory, was published by Pluto Press in 2013. For more information, visit: