Artist reveals the hidden history of Rodman Hall

maggie groat

Artist Maggie Groat currently has an exhibition at Rodman Hall which focuses on the history of the Hall and its surrounding area

 

Rodman Hall Art Centre is currently hosting an art exhibit featuring the work of visual artist Maggie Groat titled Maggie Groat: Impermanent Collections, Temporary Occupations, and Other Gatherings.

Groat studied visual art and philosophy at York University before attending The University of Guelph, where she received a Masters of Fine Arts degree in 2010. Her interdisciplinary artwork challenges the standard assumptions of art in order to propose new ideas and original thoughts. The focus of this particular exhibition is on Rodman Hall itself and its surrounding area. In researching Rodman Hall’s past, Groat brings forth a depiction of the sites’ geographic, natural and artistic histories for the modern generations.

Groat’s work includes a number of artistic mediums such as collage, sculpture, artists’ books, site-specific interventions and field studies. Her work examines studies for possible futures, salvage practices, relationships and reconnections to place and ancient knowledge systems, from an indigenous perspective. She takes found materials and assembles collages, sculptures and tools that enable have the potential for impact and action.

Rodman Hall Art Centre is a dedicated art gallery for Brock University which prides itself on its support of local artists and cultural workers of southern Ontario. It serves to support the visual arts as well as educate in service of the students and faculty of Brock University. Rodman Hall was originally built in the 19th century by Thomas Rodman Merritt as a present for his new wife, Mary Merritt (formerly Benson). After being passed down for generations since Thomas Merritt’s death, the house was sold by yet another Thomas Rodman Merritt to the St. Catharines and District Arts Council as opposed to the alternatives of keeping the overly large house for himself or having it torn down for housing development. Rodman Hall became an arts centre in 1960 and has since developed a strong partnership with Brock.

Groat will be bringing this history into the light of modern day by working on site at Rodman Hall to integrate its indigenous practices into the project space. She will do this by culling objects from the grounds, the permanent collection, the archives and the offices for a series of temporary installations within the exhibition space. She does this in the hopes of bringing what has previously been marginalized, such as issues of power and displacement, into the light for all to see.

Maggie Groat: Impermanent Collections, Temporary Occupations, and Other Gatherings opened on Jan. 29 and will be on display at the Rodman Hall Art Centre until May 10. Entrance to Rodman Hall is by donation and is open for guests from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday to Saturday and has hours extended to 9:00 p.m. on Thursdays. Rodman Hall is located at 109 St. Paul Crescent and can be reached by phone at 905-684-2925 or found online at brocku.ca/rodman-hall.

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