This month at MIWSFPA

October is set to be a busy month for the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts (MIWSFPA) in downtown St. Catharines.

To kick off the month, the MIWSFPA held its season launch and Donor Dedication on Monday, October 5. This featured the debut of the Department of Music in the newly built Cairns Recital Hall. At the event, there was also the first performance on the department’s new Steinway piano which was donated by long-time donors, Art and Val Fleming. The piano was broken in by the Chair of the Music Department, Dr. Karin Di Bella, joined by violinist Vera Alekseeva and cellist Gordon Cleland.

Looking forward, on October 9, the MIWSFPA is holding a Cello Drawing Performance at 7:00 p.m. in the VISA Painting Studio. The performance will be done entirely by Gordon Cleland, the principal cellist for the Niagara Symphony Orchestra, who also gives lessons in the Department of Music at Brock.

During the performance, 25 student and professional artists will be working on low set drawing benches surrounding him. Admission is free but has limited seating so be sure to get there early for a good seat.

Also going on this month are a variety of art exhibits ready for enjoyment at the MIWSFPA.
Starting on October 10, Donna Szoke’s Cloud will be on display at the Rodman Hall Art Centre, located at 109 St. Paul Crescent. Cloud was designed to explore relational meaning using limited edition prints and objects. The messages held within the collection are absurd and humorous but, although they are all individual pieces to themselves, they also work relationally to the other pieces in the collection in some way. The exhibit, curated by Stuart Reid, will hold its opening ceremony on October 25 and will be at Rodman Hall until January with free admission.

Christy Mitchell/ The Brock Press

Christy Mitchell/ The Brock Press

Tuesday, September 8, marked the opening of Elizabeth Chitty’s Confluence Field Trips Walking Project. It is a website, a walking project and an exhibition set in downtown St. Catharines. It is a free event that encourages student involvement. It explores the area around the MIWSFPA and invites those interested to come along with it. The Walking Project is set to be held until November 15. More information can be found at

October 10, marks the end of Shifting Practices at the MIWSFPA. It began on September 10, timed with the unveiling of the new downtown campus. Shifting Practices is the culmination of work from six alumni from the Department of Visual Arts. These alumni have gone on to become professional artists after receiving their degrees. The artists, whose work is on display, are Sarah Beattie, Candace Couse, Alicia Kuntze, Ben Mosher, Carrie Perreault and Bruce Thompson. The exhibition displays the evolution of these artists during their time at Brock. The exhibit will be held in the Visual Arts Gallery at the MIWSFPA and is free for all to see, but it will only be there until later this week so be sure to check it out before it’s gone.

Last but not least, Exquisite Vine is being held at the MIWSFPA until the end of the winter semester in April. Exquisite Vine is an initiative seeking to cultivate the creative cluster that downtown St. Catharines has become in recent years. The area surrounding the downtown campus is largely populated with artists, media and software developers, designers and architects. It seeks to put these in partnership with Brock students to create a continuous flow of artwork all centred around the common theme of the vine. Students and community members will be put into teams and will be given the task of producing a segment of the vine in whatever way they choose. This mentorship process will go on for six months and will result in an evolution of skills, ideas and finished artwork to be put on display. The team’s artwork will be displayed in the MIWSFPA gallery as well as in decals and murals downtown along with QR codes that direct those who scan them to the work of the artists involved. The initial showing of the exhibition will be in the VISA Studio Space at the MIWSFPA between December 17, and April 26, 2016.

With so much going on at the new downtown campus, there is always something to be experienced. Be sure to check out all the events and support the Brock artists who made them. For more information on the various events at the Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts, go to

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