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Shelley Peterson Student Art Exhibition & Awards
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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 2018 University of Toronto Shelley Peterson Art Exhibition (SPSAE) runs from March 23- April 14, 2018 at the Art Museum at the University of Toronto.

On March 23, students, faculty, and staff from across the University celebrated the 2018 SPSAE at a Exhibition Opening 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 Centre. Together they worked with students in the Master of Museum Studies Programs - Emilie Albert-Toth, Karley Staskus, and Shauna Taylor – to produce this exquisite 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 Pillar Sponsorship Program Affinity Partner, Manulife 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 2018

Each year a juror selects three art works from the SPSAE exhibition for top honours. Our juror this year is Mona Filip, Director and Curator of the Koffler Gallery. Overall, she was impressed with, "the caliber of material and conceptual explorations by all the arts in the Exhibition." She said it is, "striking to see the breadth of cultural perspectives and thoughtful investigations of both personal and global, intimate and collective socio-political concerns."

Left to Right: Sarah Robayo Sheridan, Curator, Art Museum at the University of Toronto; Maria Patricia Abuel, award winner; Anran Guo, award winner; Lara Hassani, award winner; and Sandy Welsh, Vice-Provost, Students

Photo by: Dominic Chan

Maria Patricia Abuel

Art work: Island, 2018

With an elegant economy of visual vocabulary, Maria Patricia Abuel creates a poignant video work that positions the Filipina body as both the site of colonial abuse and cultural resistance. Re-appropriating the gaze as a performer who controls the camera, she confronts the viewer, exposing both vulnerability and strength. Using the sharp symbolism of naked brown skin framed by the whiteness of milk Maria Patricia creates a powerful image, eloquently addressing labour and sexual exploitation.

Anran Guo

Art work: The Knot, 2018

Using a meaningful sourced object in a minimalist installation, Anran Guo creates a powerful artistic statement addressing the tragic fate of migrant workers in Beijing. Aiming to give voice to the marginalized and exploited, Anran invokes the inherent narrative of a found object – a Chinese fire hose – to reference a news story that depicted the bleak living conditions of migrant workers that led to a devastating fire, several deaths and massive eviction. Twisting the fire hose into a traditional Chinese knot symbolizing peace, safety and good fortune, Anran renders it dysfunctional, turning it into an ambivalent object that represents both a critique of governmental actions and a tribute to the workers’ suffering.

Lara Hassani

Art work: Ellipsis,2018

Using only recorded sound and captioned text, Lara Hassani creates a moving work that speaks to the experience of migration and displacement. Having come to Canada as a refugee at a young age, Lara finds simple yet deeply effective ways to address the intergenerational connection of newcomer families through a personal lens. Recording and editing her phone conversations with her father, she highlights the telling gaps in their exchange, the revealing sighs, complicit laughs, charged pauses and tentative openings. The resulting work is intimately attuned to the subtle nuances of implicit meaning shared through defining life experiences and cultural attachments.

The University of Toronto SPSAE & Awards are generously supported through the 2018 Pillar Sponsorship Program by:

2017 Shelley Peterson Student Art Exhibition & Awards