Supporting Canada’s emerging artists

The opening reception for the ART@suite 500, a creative collaboration between York University’s Graduate Program in Visual Arts and the Schulich School of Business, takes place Feb. 11 from 2 to 5pm at the Miles S. Nadal Management Centre, Schulich’s downtown Toronto campus which is located in the Toronto Dominion Centre, 222 Bay St., Suite 500.

Now in its ninth year, this annual juried exhibition spotlights recent works by students and alumni of the MFA program in Visual Arts at York. This year, the show features some 20 works by 11 artists, all current students in the program. They are John Abrams, Don Allain, Lise Beaudry, Jesse Bellon, Lucy Howe, Svava Thordis Juliusson, Sunny Kerr, Sholem Krishtalka, Jennifer Lefort, Jeff Menzies and Eric Matthew.

ART@suite 500 remains on view for a year. The works, spanning a wide range of media, were selected for the exhibition by a jury comprising Professor Yvonne Singer, director of the Graduate Program in Visual Arts; Professor James McKellar, director of the Schulich School of Business Real Property Program; art consultant Judy Schulich; and artist and curator Camilla Singh.

Left: Lise Beaudry’s photograph “Starlight Drive-In”

To further foster this creative collaboration, one or more works from the exhibition are selected each year for Schulich’s annual purchase prize and inclusion in its permanent art collection. This year’s prizewinners are Lise Beaudry and Sholem Krishtalka.

Beaudry is currently completing her final year of studies in the visual arts MFA program. Her photographic works have been exhibited in Canada, United States and Romania. She was also featured in Arles, France in Les Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie. In 2002, her video, Le Tourbillon, won Best Upcoming Toronto Video/Filmmaker Award at Inside Out, the Toronto Lesbian and Gay Film and Video Festival, and the Audience Award at the Dublin Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. This award-winning short has now toured 26 festivals in Canada and abroad. In 2003, Beaudry co-founded AlleyJaunt, an annual alternative art show in Toronto, which transforms back alley garages in the neighbourhod of Trinity Bellwoods Park into exhibition venues showcasing visual art, installations, performances, films and videos.

One of the two purchase prizes was awarded to Beaudry’s photograph “Starlight Drive-In”. The work is part of a series titled “Scenes in the Sky”, which features the drive-in theatre and recalls the simple communal pleasures of the past, while revealing a public space that has been marginalized by contemporary culture.

“By studying the dying tradition of the drive-in theatre, my work not only documents the decrepit state of the buildings and their surroundings, but also examines a loss in our larger culture,” explained Beaudry. “I attempt to provide a commentary on the ironies of modern existence, the isolation felt as a result of massive urban sprawl, and the effects of urbanization on a rural setting. This series addresses the transformations both in the landscape and in social relationships.”

The other purchase prize went to Krishtalka’s painting titled, “Judith and Holofernes – Euclid & Dundas”. He is a large-scale, figurative oil painter who has a strong interest in the human form, portraiture and narrative. Like Beaudry, Krishtalka is currently in his final year of studies in the visual arts graduate program. His work recently earned him an international Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation award, valued at $12,500. (See the Dec. 15, 2005 issue of YFile.)

Right: Sholem Krishtalka’s painting titled, “Judith and Holofernes – Euclid & Dundas”

Another featured artist in ART@suite 500, Lefort, is also part of the overarching winner’s circle. A large-scale painter who is interested in abstraction as a means of communication, she received the prestigious, $25,000 Joseph Plaskett Foundation Award last year. (See the Dec. 7, 2005 issue of YFile.)

ART@suite 500 will be on display in public areas within the Miles S. Nadal Management Centre throughout 2006. The public may view the exhibition by appointment by calling 416-360-8850.