A collection of works in celebration of higher learning is the focus of a new exhibit at the Sheridan Gallery. Higher Degrees of Investigation delves into the accomplishments of faculty who were recently back in the classroom as students and completed a Master’s of Fine Arts program, or returned from a sabbatical. Turning the focus on instructors allows for a moment of reflection from their peers, students and the community on the work that has resulted from many years of creative investigation.
“We think that it will be fascinating for the community to peer into the world of our co-workers who are pushing boundaries and often working outside of their comfort zones” – Lynne Murray
Featured artists in the exhibition include Marco Cibola, Kathleen Hearn, David Joron, Alex Murphy, and Chris Somerville, who are all faculty members from Animation, Arts and Design programs at Sheridan. Sheridan Gallery Coordinator and Arts Technologist Lynne Murray along with Jamie Owen, Gallery Installation Designer, were inspired to launch this exhibition to honour a milestone in their colleagues’ professional lives as teachers and artists. “We think that it will be fascinating for the community to peer into the world of our co-workers who are pushing boundaries and often working outside of their comfort zones,” Murray explains.
Faculty member and one of the featured artists, Marco Cibola, has had an interesting journey at Sheridan. He graduated from the Illustration program in 2001, returned in 2006 to teach illustration, and after completing his Interdisciplinary Master’s of Art, Media & Design degree as part of the Master’s of Fine Arts program at the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) University, he is now displaying one of the pieces that manifests his thesis work at the Sheridan Gallery. His post-graduate work explored the relationship between visual arts and music.
“I wanted to investigate the similarities between the two mediums and how they are composed,” explains Cibola. Using a grid, a commonly used practice in illustration, he created abstract forms, separated panels from the grid and re-attached them in interesting ways. The result mirrored a similar process that is used to compose music. “Music is organized in bars using tempo,” he says. “It’s often created in a modular way, by connecting bits of a recording to create a whole.”
“I wanted to investigate the similarities between the two mediums [visual arts and music] and how they are composed” – Marco Cibola
Cibola’s piece titled Composition 225 (Wall Version) at the Sheridan Gallery was installed in a way to reflect his thesis findings. Rather than bringing in a piece to display, he painted directly onto a gallery wall. He explains: “It will be painted over after this exhibition is done and that ephemeral quality of the work is the same for music. It exists at the forefront for a time and then begins to fades.”
A connecting thread amongst the diverse range of pieces featured in Higher Degrees of Investigation is the non-conformist nature of the work. “It’s an eclectic group of pieces,” says Murray. “Jamie Owen installed this exhibit in a cohesive way by finding elements of space, colour and texture to establish balance and flow.” Higher Degrees of Investigation runs until October 30, 2015. More information and gallery hours can be found here.
Pictured at top of page: A collage of Sheridan Gallery photos
Written by: Keiko Kataoka, Digital Communications Officer at Sheridan.