Prof. Marc Losier and his students are delighted to have met a goal that they identified a few years ago: to develop the first-ever community exhibition space dedicated to visual arts students in Newfoundland and Labrador. On Thursday, April 4, the PULP gallery will open in the Millbrook Mall in Corner Brook.
Grenfell visual arts students are eager to exhibit their work and share it with their peers, faculty and the greater artist community, said Prof. Losier of Grenfell's visual arts program, who has always had a desire to develop community engagement initiatives that foster professional development opportunities for young student artists. "PULP is a window for both the local and broader Canadian art community into our program and the great work our students and alumni are doing."
Prof. Losier received from the university Public Engagement Quickstart funding, as well as a Teaching and Learning Award and assistance from Grenfell's vice-president's office in support of the initiative. In a special topics course offered a few years ago, his students – Emily Critch, Emily Clark, and Tyrone Kelly – focused on community engagement in the arts. They formed a student gallery working group to develop the future gallery's mandate and guiding principles, espousing ideals for diversity and inclusivity. And led a public naming campaign to determine the name for the new space, PULP, which resonates with both the community's history of the mill, and also as a material that
is in-progress, and as yet unfinished.
Emily Critch, who graduated from the program in 2018, is the visiting curator- an exciting opportunity considering she was part of the student group that formulated PULP. Her curatorial projects include Visiting: Logan MacDonald at the Grenfell Art Gallery, and most recently t/here, a student exhibition co-curated with visiting assistant professor Andrew Testa. She is currently working with the Craft Council of Newfoundland and Labrador as the curator of an exhibition focusing on Indigenous craft in the province, and is a curatorial assistant for the upcoming Bonavista Biennale.
Student gallery assistants are current visual arts students Georgia Dawkin, Heather Jackman, and Kim Grady, and the exhibiting artists are Emily Clark, Catherine Moret, Drew Pardy, Kelsey Street and Faune Ybarra, all current visual arts students.
PULP will open with a show is titled "around the throat of a flower," a phrase borrowed from the poem The Dandelion Killers by Al Pittman and negotiates the dynamic, yet complicated, relationship that humans have with their environment and the natural world, explained Critch.
In the initial stages of planning, Prof. Losier stressed the importance of students having a physical presence off-campus to strengthen the relationship with the arts community, add another artist resource within Corner Brook, provide vital exposure to the talented emerging artists of our VA program, and to provide our students professional learning opportunities as both exhibiting artists and gallery staff.
PULP will officially open on Thursday, April 4 from 6-8 p.m., preceded by a community town hall at 5:15 p.m. All exhibiting artists are expected to be in attendance. Regular gallery hours will be 1-5 p.m. Thursdays to Saturdays until the exhibit closes May 27.
Caption: Inset: Artist Drew Pardy installs a chine- colle piece at Pulp Gallery