Glendon’s Marc Audette receives Chalmers Arts Fellowship

Marc Audette, course director in the visual arts program of Glendon’s Department of Multidisciplinary Studies, has been awarded a 2008 Chalmers Arts Fellowship by the Ontario Arts Council.

Audette is a specialist in digital and analogue photography, building on the cross-pollination of these two media, using both fixed and moving images. His work evokes an esthetic and an emotional response. Through elaborate staging and interplay, he presents a body of work imbued with a rich imagination and a narrative line that weaves together various motifs, allowing spectators to develop an intuitive and affective grasp of his art. 

Left: Classe d’art 010 / Art Class 010, one in a series of photographs by Marc Audette in 2008

He has been interested in digital image creation since the mid-1980s. “Images, including digital images, are intimately connected to the main characteristics of human activity, such as religion, nationality, membership in a community or art,” Audette says. “However, language, like image, is not a neutral vehicle. Through establishing a standard vocabulary for digital images, we can develop a language for defining their concepts, ideas and realities. All of these can be presented on a monitor, on print or photographic paper, or on canvas. And it is this detailed and direct relationship between tools and œuvre that animates my work.”

His artwork represents a transition between past and future techniques. It is an appeal to the pure beauty of digital art, as well as the product of thorough understanding of its technology. His creations are influenced by the critical examination of various theories and techniques, such as the Gaussian blur technique, which gives the image a soft blur effect.

As a new media artist, Audette’s work has been part of individual and collective exhibitions in Toronto, Montreal, Hull, Banff and France. In March 2005, he was invited to participate in DiVA, a prestigious US art fair dedicated exclusively to digital and video art. Over the past 15 years, he has been the recipient of several bursaries and awards.

How will Audette use his Chalmers Award funds? “This [award] money will enable me to rent intimate, private spaces which I can transform into suitable locations for my productions, as well as for creating fixed and animated images,” says Audette. “These spaces need to be large enough for staging and documenting the artworks. They also need to be secure enough for me to leave my equipment on site.” Audette is planning to do some writing as well. He says it will be a perfect bridge between his past and future work.

More about Marc Audette

Audette studied fine art at the University of Quebec in Hull and earned a master of fine arts in visual arts from York in 1998. In addition to teaching in the Faculty of Fine Arts at York’s Keele campus, he teaches a visual arts course in the Department of Multidisciplinary Studies at the Glendon campus, and has been curator of the Glendon Gallery since 2001. He is an active member of Le Laboratoire D’Art (or Le LABO), a francophone production space dedicated to research, production, training and showings in the field of multimedia visual arts. Audette was president and a founding member of l’AGAVF – L’Association des groupes en arts visuels francophones, a national arts service organization that represents visual arts groups active in francophone communities outside the province of Quebec. For the past several years, Audette has also been giving workshops on writing bursary and funding applications for francophone artists in minority situations in Canada.

About the Chalmers Arts Fellowships

These awards provide financial support directly to artists so that they may have the opportunity to dedicate themselves to individual creative pursuits. The program aims to provide such support at moments in artists’ careers when a concentration on personal and/or artistic growth or renewal and exploration is most likely to have the greatest impact on their long-term artistic and career development.

Fellowships may be awarded to artists at any stage of their career development, from early to mature, and to artists working in a wide range of esthetics and traditions that reflect Ontario’s regional activity, linguistic and cultural diversity and Aboriginal and Franco-Ontarian identity.

Submitted to YFile by Glendon communications officer Marika Kemeny