Prof. Marc Losier and his students are delighted to have met a goal they identified a few years ago: to develop the first community exhibition space dedicated to visual arts students in Newfoundland and Labrador.
Today, 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, says 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,” he said.
Prof. Losier received 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, three of 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. It led to 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 with material that is in-progress, as yet unfinished.
Ms. Critch graduated from the program in 2018 and is the visiting curator of 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 as a curatorial assistant for the upcoming Bonavista Biennale.
Student gallery assistants are current visual arts students Georgia Dawkin, Heather Jackman and Kim Grady; exhibiting artists are Emily Clark, Catherine Moret, Drew Pardy, Kelsey Street and Faune Ybarra, all current visual arts students.
PULP will open with the show, “around the throat of a flower,” a phrase borrowed from Al Pittman’s poem, The Dandelion Killers, and negotiates the dynamic, yet complicated, relationship that humans have with their environment and the natural world, explains Ms. 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 Grenfell’s visual arts program and to provide visual arts 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, Thursday-Saturday, until the exhibit closes May 27.