Juror's Statements

Associate Professor, Studio Art 
BFA Honours and BEd York University, MFA University of Windsor

As a new faculty member in the Department of Visual Arts, it was a tremendous pleasure being one of this year’s jurors. What a wonderful introduction to all the talent and range of artwork being produced in the Visual Arts program at Brock University. I am impressed by the response to the call for entry and the calibre of the work that was submitted. This year there were 122 submissions, submitted by 51 students ranging from first-year to fourth-year.  Through the jurying process, we selected 45 works for the exhibition, representing a wide range of practices and every level of study. 

When making our selections we took into consideration the strength of the work, the overall fit of the artwork in relationship to the other works selected, and the size of the gallery space.  It was certainly a challenge to narrow down our selections, but it was also exciting to see the exhibition take shape. There are strong currents running through the works included in the exhibition this year – reflections on isolation and pandemic experiences, examinations of personal identity and culture, and work that explores loss and the passage of time.  While this description of some of the themes that surfaced in the show might make it sound sombre or melancholic, I can assure you that the work in this exhibition is vibrant, compelling, and engaging, and it captures the resilience, insightfulness, and dedication of Brock’s visual arts students. 

Congratulations to all the artists in the exhibition. The Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts and the Department of Visual Arts is thrilled to be able to showcase your work and to celebrate your accomplishments.   A special thank you to Sonya Marie de Lazzer, Gallery Coordinator, for all her work organizing the submissions, curating and installing the exhibition.   

Amanda Burk
Associate Professor, Visual Arts


Assistant Professor, Studio Art 
PhD (York University)

I want to thank Gallery Coordinator/ Curator, Sonya Marie de Lazzer, for inviting me to participate in this exhibition as a Juror. I was delighted to see so many diverse and exciting submissions using various styles, techniques and mediums. It was a difficult task to pick works that would represent the professionalism of our dedicated students based on so many factors. 

I found it helpful to assess these works on the virtuosity of process, concepts, medium choices, technique and scale. The goal was to select pieces that made the exhibition robust, exciting and representative of the abilities of Visual Arts students here at the Marilyn I. Walker School. Other criteria consisted of innovation, surprise and impact. In the process, several questions arose: Did the work(s) in question expose something previously unseen or unnoticed? Did the student take some risk either through experimentation or analysis? Were the materials handled in innovative ways? Do the pieces exhibit a kind of “lasting power” where they convey something about the human or non-human struggle that seems to transcend our world and bring us together? Undoubtedly, the pandemic has affected the student body. Many of the compositions submitted expressed this thematically and stylistically. Hopefully, we will be back at work within the social circles so crucial for stimulating the educated imagination.  

For those students whose work was not selected - don’t lose heart! The sheer number of applicants and the volumes of work produced meant that other works could not be in the exhibition. Think of this process as a stepping stone to improve upon photographic skills, enhance the use of the principles of design and composition or elevate critical thinking. These are all ingredients to entice and enthrall audiences, primarily if they work in tandem.  

I want to thank all of the students who submitted their work for this exhibition. It takes courage putting yourselves out there, engaging in dialogue and generating discussion. 

Troy David Ouellette, PhD  
Assistant Professor, Visual Arts