Building the Creative Campus
With its strong commitment to creativity, Sheridan is renowned for being the creative campus. And two new campus initiatives—the Graduating Student Awards and Art Lending Library—are working together to further bring the creative campus to life.
Graduating Student Awards
Launched during the 2017/18 academic year by the Faculty of Animation, Arts, and Design (FAAD), together with the Creative Campus Galleries, the Graduating Student Awards reward outstanding work by graduating students in various arts programs. This year’s winning students received cash prizes for their work, thanks to funding provided by Sheridan’s Alumni and Advancement department. Sheridan also acquired the works, which are now part of its permanent public art collection.
The winning graduating student artwork has been on display in the Sheridan Student Showcase throughout Fall 2018, located in the Trafalgar Campus B-Wing. The Student Showcase is an initiative led by FAAD and the Sheridan Student Union (SSU), as a way for students to showcase their projects and sell their artwork. The winning works will later become part of a new Art Lending Library, which will be administered by the Creative Campus Galleries.
“We’re curating the campus,” says Dr. Catherine Hale, Director, Creative Campus at Sheridan. “The breadth of activity around our campuses is not always visible. We wanted to make it visible in a really meaningful way, celebrate this incredible talent, and display the creativity that is thriving at Sheridan.”
Submissions went through a rigorous selection process. Last year the Creative Campus Galleries team, led by Hale, made studio visits to graduating classes and talked with students about their work. Six award recipients were chosen based on the works and the professional profiles the students demonstrated, says Ronni Rosenberg, Dean, Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design.
The artist visits from the Creative Campus Galleries team and the competition process provided students valuable experience in dealing with curators and other professionals from the art world, and in creating artist statements.
Sheridan Honours Bachelor of Photography alumna Christina Gregoire won Best in Show for her photograph “Shaw Park, Tobago,” which depicts two young basketball players in Tobago sitting down on a court after a game. “It’s a great idea that they started to do the Graduating Student Awards; it shows how much Sheridan cares about the work that the students produce,” says Gregoire.
Gregoire says she received the news that she won the award just before Convocation this past June. “I’m very humbled to be getting this award, especially as an emerging photographer who just graduated, it was such a great experience,” she says. “To know I’m leaving a mark at Sheridan is very special, as Sheridan is very close to my heart.”
“I’m very humbled to be getting this award, especially as an emerging photographer who just graduated, it was such a great experience. To know I’m leaving a mark at Sheridan is very special, as Sheridan is very close to my heart.” – Christina Gregoire
For Art and Art History alumna Chelsea Ryan, who was recently hired by FAAD as their new Digital Content Specialist and Creative Campus Co-ordinator, it was one of her professors who inadvertently tipped her off to the win. “I was in one of my final critiques, and my professor said ‘Did you check your email?’ So I checked my email, and I was really surprised, I was shocked,” she says. “I felt really lucky, and it was surreal, and I’m still really excited about it.”
Ryan won for her submission “Rhapsody II”, one of a series of five paintings that combine paint and resin on a circular wooden surface. “To have my work as part of the public collection is really great, and validates my hard work,” says Ryan.
Hale says she was impressed with the professionalism and sophistication the students showed throughout the process. “We had incredible students who were working in very different programs, and they’re producing work that is not only technically rigorous, but also very thoughtful, very reflective,” says Hale. “Our programs are very robust. We’re creating very well-rounded, reflective, and technically proficient students in the world of art, and that’s an incredible skill set to have.”
Art Lending Library
Anyone in the Sheridan community looking to install artwork in their spaces around campus can express interest in borrowing the artwork from the Art Lending Library. Installations of artwork being borrowed will commence in January 2019.
Hale says there was a demand around campus for an initiative like this. “There was a tremendous desire from our community to have the work of our students around campuses, show off their incredible strengths, and create a meaningful learning experience for them,” says Hale. “From my vantage point, when I was doing my creative campus consultations, one of the messages I heard was we need to look like a creative campus, we need to reflect that.“
“There was a tremendous desire from our community to have the work of our students around campuses, show off their incredible strengths, and create a meaningful learning experience for them.” – Dr. Catherine Hale
The Art Lending Library will also include a portfolio of recently-discovered prints from the 1974/75 Creative Arts program, commissioned by then-Dean of the Art School, Bill Firth. The prints were discovered in the FAAD storage area a couple of summers ago, and include lino cuts and silk screens created by faculty and the graduating class. “We were delighted to rediscover this work—and lovingly dubbed it ‘Treasures from the Archive,’” says Rosenberg. Working collaboratively with Patricia Buckley, Digital Curator and Special Collections Librarian, it will be installed serially in the Trafalgar Library’s new display area, called the “Trafalgar Pop-Up Gallery.”
“It’s exciting to have such a wonderful legacy of high quality work from our faculty and alumni to launch our ‘Lending Library’ project—along with current work from our Graduating Student Award recipients,” says Rosenberg. “We have long aspired to make the art work of our faculty and students manifest throughout our campuses, both in public and office spaces. Through the initiative of our Lending Library, which will accrue more work year over year—we hope to achieve this goal.”
The recipients of this year’s Graduating Student Awards are:
Ali Carroll (Honours Bachelor of Illustration, 2018), Racoon Goes to Market—Illustration
Christina Gregoire (Honours Bachelor of Photography, 2018), Shaw Park, Tobago—Best in Show
Nicole Kwon (Honours Bachelor of Photography, 2018), Asian Supermarket—Photography
Chelsea Ryan (Honours Bachelor of Art and Art History, 2018), Rhapsody II—Art and Art History
Evan Wasse (Honours Bachelor of Craft and Design, Ceramics Studio, 2018), Shovel Study #1—Craft and Design
Samuel Williams (Visual and Creative Arts, 2018), Guswenta and Untitled #3—Visual and Creative Arts
More information about each artwork can also be found at: https://www.thessu.ca/studentshowcase/
Pictured at top of page: Sheridan alumna Chelsea Ryan, one of the winners of this year’s Graduating Student Awards, with her work Rhapsody II.
Written by: Tina Dealwis, Digital Communications Officer at Sheridan.