Past lectures

Tuesday January 5th, 7 pm to 8.30pm

ADRIAN GOR http://adriangor.com

Artist Statement, 2020

My artistic practice derives from an earlier experience of making Byzantine icons using hand- crafted organic materials as wood and egg-tempera and witnessing how beholders adored these icons. This medieval, “slow-paced” media does not only invite viewers to get closer to feeling nature in our consumerist-digital age, but also to search for a sense of sacredness that would venerate our bodies as living ‘containers’.

As an image-maker, I am concerned with our consumerist culture, which is designed and triggered to engage our bodies in unhealthy habits. My focus is on the violence and sexualized symbolism of surrounding images that hide behind objects of daily living. Leitmotivs in my work are the shopping carts and drone machines that symbolize ‘containers’ of desires and notions of truth.

In experimenting with medieval materials such as natural pigments, wood, animal hide, cheesecloth, gold leaf and techniques of engraving and egg-tempera, my recent works release the traditional format of the icon from its flat surface to reflect on how our physical bodies coalesce and conflict with consumerist visual culture.

Tuesday February 2nd , 7 – 8:30pm

JOHN JAMES PRON “THE ART IN ARCHITECTURE” www.johnjamespron.com

Frank Lloyd Wright famously stated that architecture is “the Mother of All Arts”, but I am not sure that many artists would easily agree.   At its best, the greatest buildings in history provide the same emotional and intellectual stimulus as the greatest paintings, performances, statuary and writings. These buildings are necessarily related to scientific mastery and mathematical precision, and if successful, they are frequently understood as potent symbols of civilizations and cultures.  But there are also very practical, economic and functional limitations placed on buildings that act to severely compromise its artistic intentions: they have to “work” while most other artforms can simply “exist”.  

 I would like to examine architecture as an ART FORM different than architecture as a CRAFT, and both different than MERE BUILDING as enclosure.   Using examples of the most important and well-known buildings and cities of history, I will demonstrate how they have directly influenced me as a teacher, as a practitioner and, now- retired from both- as an artist .

BIOGRAPHY – John James Pron has been on the faculty of the Architecture Department of the Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, beginning in 1973 and retiring as Professor Emeritus in 2013.  At Temple, he taught architectural design studios, drawing and graphics and lectured on the History of Architecture.   He has also been a practicing architect in Pennsylvania, with a consulting firm specializing in the hospitality industry.  The firm advised small privately owned hotels imbued with a unique regional character that nevertheless need to adapt to become part of international hotel chains.  How to adapt to universal standards while preserving their uniqueness- their soul- has been the defining challenge.   For the past 20 years, he has also been part of Philadelphia’s regional art scene, belonging to several galleries, participating in many juried group shows as well as staging regular solo exhibits.  His art is inevitably based on his architectural sensitivities, sometimes pursuing real solutions for the future, sometimes making provocative statements to raise public awareness to political and social issues.

Tuesday, March 2nd, 7 – 8:30pm

BRIAN GRAHAM “PHOTOGRAPHING YOUR ART”

Brian has had a keen interest in photography since he was a young man working in the darkroom he built in his parent’s basement. Back then he developed black and white film then made prints using an enlarger and chemical processes. He was an early adopter of digital photography since it was difficult to have a darkroom once he started working and lived in apartments.

His passion for many years was landscape photography, and he has travelled to and attended workshops in California, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico, Buffalo, and Alberta.

In recent years he has developed a strong interest in portrait photography but continues to photograph landscapes, architecture, and nature.

His presentation will deal mainly with preparing photographs of your art for display on our website for both artist galleries and virtual art shows. Topics will include tips for photographing your art, resizing the images, and image file preparation for uploading to our website.

TUESDAY, APRIL 6th, 7 – 8:30pm

ROY WHIDDON “THE NUDE IN ART AND PHOTOGRAPHY” www.roywhiddon.com

In 1975, Roy had a high-tech job that required travel across Canada. He bought a 35 mm SLR camera to record the scenery and soon became an avid amateur photographer, taking courses at a local college and setting up a home darkroom. Years later, Roy also took up drawing and painting to balance his technical career, acquiring his Visual Arts Certificate from Algonquin College in the late 1980’s. One of his favourite artistic endeavours has always been life drawing, which he continues to practice when not in lockdown.

In 2008, Roy decided to try photographing the nude figure as well as drawing it. The feedback he received from exhibiting those photographs encouraged him to make this his primary focus in the visual arts. In his photography, Roy strives to portray the beauty, grace, strength and vulnerability of the human body. Roy finds that figure photography offers a unique mix of artistic, technical and interpersonal challenges that spark his creativity.

In his presentation, Roy will discuss the history of the nude in art, ranging from the prehistoric Venus of Willendorf to modern painting and sculpture. Photography will be introduced as another art medium for portraying the human figure. The presentation will include historical examples of art, including photography, based on the human body. Since nude art can have an erotic element, he will discuss how this aspect can reflect either the artist’s intent or the eye of the beholder. Finally, Roy will present examples of his own photography that focus on the form of the human body or that use the figure as an element in a composition.

Supporting the visual arts in the surrounding Rideau Area

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