Pedestrians cutting through the Accolade West Building or the Joan & Martin Goldfarb Centre for Fine Arts on York’s Keele campus March 14 may have been surprised by the crowds of people and the spectacular transformation of the space.
The transformation of the Joan & Martin Goldfarb Centre for Fine Arts
Psychopomp, the Department of Visual Arts’ annual open house, served up a visual feast featuring hundreds of works in print media, drawing, painting, photography, sculpture and time-based art created by the rising young talent in the department. The entire Goldfarb Centre was transformed into a giant art gallery, with works on view in studios on all four floors of the building, as well as the Special Project Gallery and Gales Gallery. The energy and enthusiasm of the artists and their patrons, together with live musical entertainment provided by students from the Department of Music, generated a lively art party atmosphere.
The event culminated in an awards ceremony where more than $7,000 in prizes was distributed to dozens of students.
Department chair Judith Schwarz welcomed the crowd. “Tonight is a celebration of visual arts student talent, commitment and passion,” she said. “I’m especially thrilled at the growth of sponsorship for this event, which allows us to reward so many of you who have been working so hard towards your artistic practice.”
The $5,000 Ram Iron & Metal Sculpture Award was presented to Aimie Canavan, a fourth-year student returning to York again next year to finish her concurrent degree in education. Canavan’s untitled winning work, constructed from welded metal, glass and found objects, is a wearable sculpture reminiscent of industrial steam punk armour. “I was inspired to create it by the time I spend in the studio,” said Canavan. “It’s like my second home.”
The Visual Arts Student Association’s People’s Choice Award went to fourth-year student Alina Smith (right) for Chipping, her massive drawing installation of ink on newsprint. “I really appreciate being recognized by my peers and that they took the trouble to vote for me,” she said.
Smith said it took her and a friend nine hours to hang the multiple large paper panels suspended across the Goldfarb Centre atrium from the third-floor railings. After the show, she rolled up the work and took it home, but hopes it can be installed again in the future.
Among the other prizes announced was the list of students selected for the Visual Arts Department’s fifth annual graduation show, also titled Psychopomp, in downtown Toronto. The 11 young artists chosen to present their work are Alexandra Berechet, Kaitlyn Bourden, Ana Cristina Cornejo, Alex Curci, Rebecca Jane Houston, Laura Huddart, Allison Kushner, Jennifer MacDonald, Rron Maloku, Kaitlynn McQueston and Eshan Rafi.
The Propellor artists, from left, Ana Cristina Cornejo, Alexandra Berechet, Allison Kushner, Kaitlyn Bourden, Laura Huddart, Rebecca Houston, Alex Curci, Kaitlynn McQueston and Eshan Rafi
The juried downtown edition of Psychopomp opened March 18 and runs to March 25 at the Propeller Centre for the Visual Arts at 984 Queen St. W. Gallery hours are Tuesday to Saturday, noon to 6pm, and Sunday from noon to 5pm. A closing reception will be held Saturday, March 24 from 2 to 5pm.
The Visual Arts Open House was coordinated by Professors Brandon Vickerd, Richard Hill and Marc Coroux, studio manager Andrew Gugan, and Visual Arts Student Association representatives Josh Vettivelu and Amanda Boulos. The Psychopomp show at the Propeller Centre is coordinated by visual arts Professors Michael Davey and Richard Hill.