WORDS: Angela Walcott
IMAGES: NSCAD University
There’s a buzz of excitement at NSCAD University. The university is teaming up with Culture Days for the first time to celebrate its 130th anniversary and Canada’s 150th with live music, art demos and community-focused activities.
A newcomer to the Culture Days scene, NSCAD has a full roster of events for Culture Days. Starting on Friday September 29th impromptu bands will perform as part of the Totally Wicked Music Festival. On Saturday, September 30th the public can visit open studios at NSCAD's campuses. And the grand finale on Monday, October 2nd will be the dedication of a Treaty Education Space.
The dedication coincides with Nova Scotia’s proposed Treaty Day at the beginning of Mi’kmaq History Month in October. Working to remove barriers to entry, graduation, employment and participation for Indigenous students and faculty members, NSCAD University initiatives will include acknowledgement of territory at major events such as graduation, the creation of an Indigenous Studies minor, mandating an Indigenous art history class for all students, and the creation of an Indigenous artist series. Indigenous students are actively involved in the development of the Treaty Education Space, which will include permanent and rotating exhibitions, as well as a digital platform.
Each of the university’s three campuses in downtown Halifax will be animated for Culture Days on Saturday, September 30th. The Fountain Campus, Academy Building, and Port Campus will all offer opportunities for a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what it’s like to go to art school. People will be able to take in painting, fashion, sculpture and drawing studios; hear a fun lecture on Folk Art by renowned Craft Historian Sandra Alfoldy; learn how the ceramics department works; understand the ins and outs of foundry; and experience the work of Artist Mario Doucette at the Anna Leonowens Gallery with an artist’s talk at 4:30 pm.
If that isn’t enough, NSCAD’s community studio residency sites in Lunenburg and New Glasgow will have open studios as well. These residency sites provide recent NSCAD graduates with access to valuable studio space to kick-start their careers.
So what brought NSCAD to Culture Days? Besides being the perfect outlet for artistic creativity, it represents the confluence of art, culture, community and heritage. “There are natural synergies with Culture Days as a national salute to Canadian culture,” says NSCAD President, Dianne Taylor-Gearing.
NSCAD has a longstanding history as a specialist’s art design and craft institution, with a firm commitment to community engagement. NSCAD has offered similar programming for six years with their ‘Artist for A Day’ event which offers free hands-on activities aimed at promoting community engagement. It has helped participants tap into their creativity.
The community finds workshops so fulfilling they’ll spend a full day engrossed in their artistic pursuit. The family-oriented events often result in both children and parents deepening their understanding of creative opportunities.
“As a cultural leader in our community for 130 years, NSCAD aims to be inclusive and welcoming,” says Taylor-Gearing. “By opening our doors wide, our hope is that members of the public can connect with NSCAD in a way they haven’t before, becoming more familiar with who we are – our studio model for arts education, our stellar students and esteemed faculty.”
- Share This