Alliance of culture and commerce celebrates visual artists

Collaboration is more than a buzzword in today’s business world; it’s an essential element of success. And collaboration between York’s centres of culture and commerce has turned the ART@suite 500 exhibition into an 11-year success.

On Feb. 10, York’s Graduate Program in Visual Arts and the Schulich School of Business hosted the opening reception of the annual ART@suite 500 at the business school’s downtown campus, the Miles S. Nadal Management Centre. Now in its 11th year, this annual juried exhibition showcases recent works by students and alumni of York’s Master of Fine Arts program in visual arts.

Every year, one or more works of art from the exhibition are selected for the Schulich school’s Purchase Prize, then added to the school’s permanent art collection. This year, the winning work is "Pink and Brown is Sexy" by Jennifer Lefort (MFA ’06). The prize supports work by outstanding emerging artists and helps build an important repository of contemporary Canadian art at York.

Right: Jennifer Lefort with her winning painting

Lefort is a large-scale abstract painter. In her final year of graduate studies at York, she won the prestigious national Joseph Plaskett Foundation Award, valued at $25,000 (see the Dec. 7, 2005 issue of YFile). She has presented her work in solo exhibitions and more than a dozen group shows in and around Toronto and her hometown of Montreal. Her paintings are in the collections of the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs and Abbott Laboratories.

This year’s ART@suite 500 also features works in varying media and styles by artists John Abrams, Don Allain, Kiki Athanassiadis, Nadine Bariteau, Jesse Bellon, Robyn Cumming, Atom Deguire, Joe Hambleton, Lucy Howe, Svava Julusson, Lauren Nurse, Paulette Phillips, Kristi Ropelski and Mike Stevens.

The works were selected by a jury consisting of Prof. Yvonne Singer, director of the Graduate Program in Visual Arts; Professor James McKellar, director of Schulich’s Real Property Program and the "spark plug" behind ART@suite 500; art consultant Judy Schulich; visual arts Prof. Yam Lau; and art dealer Ben Diaz, owner of Diaz Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto.

ART@suite 500 will be on display throughout 2007 at the Miles S. Nadal Management Centre, on the 5th floor of the Ernst & Young Tower at 222 Bay Street. The public may view the exhibition by appointment by calling 416-360-8850.