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SHELLEY PETERSON STUDENT ART EXHIBITION & AWARDS

The Shelley Peterson Student Art Exhibition and Awards showcases the artistic excellence of undergraduate students in the University’s tri-campus visual arts programs. The 2017 University of Toronto Shelley Peterson Art Exhibition (SPSAE) runs from March 24 - April 15, 2017 at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto.

On March 23, students, faculty, and staff from across the University celebrated the 2017 SPSAE at a special Preview and Award Reception hosted by Vice-Provost, Students, Sandy Welsh. The event was held in the UTAC Gallery of the Art Museum at U of T. Thank you to the incredible Art Museum team, led by Executive Director, Barbara Fischer, Curator Sarah Robayo Sheridan, staff members Maureen Smith and Marsya Maharani, with the support of Guest Curatorial Mentor Renée van der Avoird, Associate Curator at the McClaren Art Centure. Together they worked with students in the Master of Museum Studies Programs - Alex Robichaud, Khristine Cuthbertson and Tammy Law – to produce this exceptional show.

The Exhibition and Awards are also made possible because of some key partnerships. Thank you to the The Honourable David Peterson, Chancellor Emeritus, and Shelley Peterson for their continued patronage of this event and arts activities across the University. We also  thank the U of T Affinity Partners, TD Insurance, Manulife and the University of Toronto MasterCard for their generous support of this event.

Congratulations to all the students whose work is being showcased in this incredible Exhibition!


SPSAE Juror Award Recipients 2017

Each year a juror selects three art works from the SPSAE exhibition for top honours. Our juror this year is Kendra Ainsworth, ‎Curator of Contemporary Art, ‎Art Gallery of Mississauga. Overall, she was, "impressed with the aesthetic and conceptual calibre of the work, the diversity of media, and the attention to and investigation of multifaceted, challenging and topical social and political issues."

Left to Right: Sarah Robayo Sheridan, Curator, Art Museum at the University of Toronto; Dahyun Nam, award winner; Sandy Welsh, Vice-Provost, Students; Maryam Hassan, award winner; Bo Fan, award winner

Photo by: Henry Chan



Maryam Hassan

Art work: Roshan, 2017
Mixed media installation


This installation succeeds in using relatively simple components to create an immersive and impactful piece. While the symbolism of the disco ball chandelier (representing the spirit of the 1970s in Afghanistan – a time of artistic and intellectual potential) and the black, curtain-like fabric threatening to descend upon and envelop it (standing in for the rise of subsequent repressive regimes) are perhaps rather overt, this makes them no less effective. The theatricality of the piece is its strength, and it is born out in the sumptuous quality of the materials and the skillful execution.




Bo Fan

Art work: Overwhelm, 2016
Video and sound


Fan explores our contemporary obsession with health and wellness through the platform we most frequently first turn to in our search to learn what is wrong with us and how to fix it - the internet, marrying the anxiety-inducing activity of Googling one's symptoms with the equally paralyzing task of choosing a remedy. Although Fan does set up a duality between Western and Eastern medicine, OVERWHELM, with its frenzied, visceral, and at times disturbing late-night Youtube dive sensibility, resonates with a contemporary digital consciousness that bridges this divide.




Dahyun Nam

Art work: Green, 2016
Acrylic paint on carpet


A quotidian, commercial tapestry is transformed through surface and structural intervention from a kitsch, somewhat tacky object into a commentary on the modern conceptualization of nature and the outdoors and on the invisibility of manual, and gendered labour. The adeptly painted figures of the women, strategically placed onto the existing scene of an early 20th century golf game is subtle, powerful and humorous.











The University of Toronto SPSAE & Awards are generously supported through the 2017 Pillar Sponsorship Program by:

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