You Are Here: an interdisciplinary workshop brought scholars and artists to Lethbridge in May 2017 to discuss the understanding of public engagement in art galleries, identify the strategies that increase such engagement, and to disseminate these ideas to academics, art gallery professionals, and the general public.
We understand the need to examine both ‘public’ and ‘engagement’ in terms of how they operate together and to recognize that ‘public engagement’ and ‘audience engagement’ are not necessarily the same thing. We also aim to understand and engage with art on a variety of levels: as practice, as philosophy and as a form of human social life.
The structure of the workshop echoed this this interdisciplinary approach, where visual artists exchanged their ideas and working practices with scholars in museum studies and embodied, enactive cognition, whose goal is to understand the nature of our engagement with art on both a philosophical and practical level.
For Workshop Attendees
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Josephine Mills is the Director/Curator of the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery and a Professor in the Department of Art. She has worked as a curator and public programmer in art galleries and artist-run centres in Saskatoon and Vancouver. Mills has a PhD in Communication Studies from Concordia Universityread more
Louise Barret is an ecologist and anthropologist by training, and has spent most of the last twenty-odd years working on monkeys in Uganda and South Africa, asking questions about how social life shapes brain evolution, life history strategies, reproductive success and what this can (and can’t) tell us aboutread more
Born in Novi Sad, Yugoslavia, Maria Z. Madacky began her undergraduate years as a medical student, but soon switched her interests to art and philosophy and graduated from the University of Novi Sad with a BA/Ed in Language Arts. At present she is a practicing artist with an MFA in Drawing and Intermediaread more
Christine Clark is an Assistant Professor in the Department of New media where she teaches and practices in web design and development. She received her MFA in New Media from the UofL in 2015, with her thesis focusing on the design of climate data visualizations and design/science collaboration.read more
Leila Armstrong has an M.A. in Media Studies from Concordia University. She works both independently and in collaboration with other artists such as Darcy Logan, Maria Madacky, and Rick Gillis in M.E.D.I.U.M. (Metaphysical Explorations, Divinations, and Investigations Utilizing Magic).read more
Merrell-Ann Phare is a lawyer, writer and the founding Executive Director of the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources (CIER), a national First Nation charitable environmental organisation. As Chief Negotiator for the Government of the Northwest Territories, Merrell-Ann lead the negotiation ofread more
Jen Budney is an independent writer and “reformed curator” who has held positions with the Mendel Art Gallery, Kamloops Art Gallery, Canada Council for the Arts, Gallery 101, and Flash Art International. She is also a PhD candidate in Public Policy at University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, where she is completingread more
Sarah Fuller is a Canadian artist who works with photography, video, and installation. She holds a BFA from Emily Carr University and is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Ottawa. Her work is about multiple levels of perception and projections in site-specific locations.read more
Lisa Hirmer is a Guelph-based artist whose work combines visual art, social practice, performance, and art-based forms of critical research. Her experimental public-focused work explores and responds to the nebulous, complicated reality of public opinion (acknowledging that this is itself a complicated idea).read more
Karin van Dam is a Dutch graphic and installation artist who creates full-scale art environments, often referring to a city or a world of its own. She attended the Royal Academy of Art and Design, in s’-Hertogenbosch, Netherlands. She currently lives and works in Amsterdam.read more
Jackson 2bears is a kanien’kehaka (Mohawk) multimedia installation/ performance artist and cultural theorist from Six Nations who is currently based in Lethbridge Alberta, Canada. In 2012 2bears completed his PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies at the University of Victoria, Victoria BC.read more
Ed Pien is a Canadian artist based in Toronto. He has been drawing for nearly 30 years. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, he immigrated to Canada with his family at the age of eleven. He holds a Master of Fine Arts degree from York University in Toronto and Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Western Ontarioread more
Jennifer Wanner is a Canadian multidisciplinary artist based in Calgary, Alberta, who holds a BFA in Drama from the University of Calgary (1995), a BFA with distinction in Visual Arts from the Alberta College of Art and Design (1999), and an MFA from The University of Western Ontario (2009).read more
Gunnhildur Hauksdóttir is an Icelandic visual artist living in Reykjavik, Iceland and in Berlin, Germany. Hauksdottir combines elements of audio, video, performance, sculpture, drawing and text to create transient post conceptual assemblies, exploring themes like cultural identity, nature, valour and fear.read more
Tiffany Muller Myrdahl is an urbanist and feminist geographer. Her work combines interests in municipal social policy, participatory planning, and collaborative approaches to researching and responding to urban change. Tiffany serves on the board of Women in Cities International and was active on theread more
Katelyn Yee is a student at the University of Lethbridge taking a Bachelor’s degree in New Media. She is learning to apply skills in art and design to digital and interactive media.read more
Kirsten is a recent graduate from the University of Lethbridge BFA program. She grew up in Ontario, and currently lives in Lethbridge, AB. Kirsten is a Gallery Assistant for the University of Lethbridge Art Gallery. Her primary artistic interest is the study of people. She is currently studying the mental states, disabilitiesread more
Jon Oxley’s work involves navigating the edges of event horizons. Many of his projects explore the possibility of enhancing outcome likelihoods at the intersection(s) of artist’s, researcher’s and curator’s space-time positioning. His more recent work focuses on a personal fascination with Western Society’sread more
Donald is a Canadian Artist who lives and works in Kamloops, where he teaches in the Visual Arts program at Thompson Rivers University. Donald has a BFA from the University of Victoria (1986) and an MFA from York University (1988).read more
Michelle Sylvestre (1982, Camrose, Canada) works in a variety of media including sculpture, performance, installation, photography, video and data physicalization. With a conceptual approach, Sylvestre considers art a multi layered conduit for exploring the range of human experience.read more
Marvic Adecer makes podcasts. He used to produce This Is Blackfoot Territory.read more