Art and the city
Ryan McNutt - October 10, 2013
Next weekend, on October 19, the streets of Halifax will fill with colour and infectious energy as the Nocturne: Art at Night festival brings thousands into the downtown to explore the city’s galleries and dozens of exciting public art projects.
But there’s always art happening in the city: from government-commissioned projects to add vibrancy to a community, to amateur or guerilla art that sparks a different sort of dialogue with public spaces.
Together with faculty from NSCAD University, Dal anthropologist Martha Radice is giving Haligonians a unique opportunity this weekend to explore those conversations.
Dr. Radice (left), assistant professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, is one of the organizers of “Urban Encounters: Art and the Public,” taking place Thursday through Saturday at NSCAD’s Academy Building and the Khyber Centre for the Arts.
The interdisciplinary colloquium is free and open to the public, and features a mix of workshops, roundtables, academic papers, exhibitions, installations, artist talks and performance art.
Website: Urban Encounters colloquium (with full schedule)
“It’s quite groundbreaking, in some ways, to have all these social scientists and artists together in this conversation,” says Dr. Radice. “It’s what makes it so exciting.”
The event is part of a SSHRC-funded research creation project called “Tracing the City: Interventions of Art in Public Space.” Dr. Radice is co-lead investigator of the project, along with NSCAD faculty members Kim Morgan (Fine Arts) and Solomon Nagler (Media Arts).
“The questions we’re exploring are all about the relationship between artistic works in different media and genres and the urban public: how the public shapes art and artistic production, and how art shapes the encounters, events and flow of life in the city,” says Dr. Radice.
One of the colloquium’s highlights will be a roundtable on “Public Art and the City” on Saturday afternoon, hosted by CBC Mainstreet’s Stephanie Domet. The discussion features Peter Dykhuis (director, Dal Art Gallery) Alison Bain (Department of Geography, York University), Eleanor King (curator of this year's Nocturne events) and Jamie MacLellan (HRM public art facilitator).
There will also be live performances at the Khyber on Thursday and Friday night featuring the work of Michael Fernandes, Bruce McClure, Bruce Barber and Eryn Foster.
“We’re thinking of it as a primer for Nocturne, in a way: an opportunity to start conversations about the role of art in the city in advance of our city’s biggest public art festival,” says Dr. Radice.
All are welcome to attend any of the colloquium’s sessions and performances, although registration is required for Friday’s sessions in the Academy Building (1649 Brunswick Street).
For full details, visit the colloquium’s website.
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