2015 ARCCO Achievement Award Presentation and Reception Celebrating Clive Robertson
Artist-Run Centres & Collectives of Ontario (ARCCO) presents:
2015 ARCCO Achievement Award Presentation and Reception
Honouring Clive Robertson
Location: Gallery TPW, 170 St Helens Ave
6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Generously hosted by Gallery TPW
Sponsored by: Intact Insurance, Cinnamon Girls Catering and Mill Street Brewery
Recipient: Clive Robertson
Artist-Run Centres & Collectives of Ontario (ARCCO) is pleased to honour artist, curator, critic, publisher and educator Clive Robertson with the 2015 ARCCO Achievement Award in recognition of his longstanding contribution to artist-run culture and cultural production. Robertson’s ongoing commitment to artist-run culture and advancement of contemporary art is demonstrated by his longstanding and formative relationships with artist-run centres and publishing houses across the country, such as with ANNPAC, Galerie SAW Vidéo, Parachute, W.O.R.K.S., Centrefold and Fuse Magazine. He was influential in making the decentralized and democratized artist-run model a national objective. He participated in ANNPAC’s inaugural meetings, and later served as their first national president. Robertson has been teaching performance art praxis, contemporary art history and cultural policy studies at Queen’s University, Kingston since 1999.
Emerging Cultural Leader Awards
ARCCO will be taking this opportunity to highlight exceptional, emerging cultural leaders within Ontario’s artist-run centre community. This year, artist-run centres and media arts centres in Ontario nominated those deserving of recognition within their communities. Who demonstrates initiative, creativity, generosity and excellence? Whose work is making a difference? Please join us to celebrate emerging excellence within Ontario’s artist-run centre community.
About our host: Gallery TPW
Image: Launch of Gallery TPW’s new space at 170 St Helens Ave. April 30, 2015. Photograph by Yuula Benivolski.
Gallery TPW is an artist-run-centre devoted to exploring the exchange between photography, new technologies, and time-based media within contemporary culture. Through exhibitions, screenings, performances, writing and discursive events, TPW’s programs encourage critical engagement with images. Gallery TPW’s newly transformed space contains a 1,200-square-foot main exhibition space and a 330-square-foot flexible gallery space and public engagement hub. Situated on St Helens Ave, TPW is part of a rising arts district adjacent to other several contemporary art galleries and easily accessible by public transit — a 5-minute walk from Lansdowne Subway Station.
Until November 14, TPW will be exhibiting Berlin-based Canadian artist Antonia Hirsch’s multi-disciplinary project Negative Space. The exhibition investigates the interrelation of inner and outer worlds by mobilizing images and objects ranging from astronomy and contemporary mobile devices to black mirrors of the 18th and 19th century landscape painters. Taking up a history of reflection, Negative Space questions how, through our devices we favour the image over the real.
Clive’s work as an artist, curator, critic and publisher is intimately and deeply implicated with many organizations. Beginning as an organizer of early performance art festivals in Reading (UK) in 1970, Clive has had a formative and longstanding relationship to artist-run centres, trailblazers now integral to the Canadian art world.
Clive co-created the international performance and publishing collective, W.O.R.K.S., in Calgary in 1972, producing some of the first international performance and artists television projects. He co-founded the Parachute Centre for Cultural Affairs and Arton’s Publishing in Calgary (1975). While Arton’s filled a gap in Canadian art publishing, the Parachute Centre provided artists with an experimental exhibition venue that served as an alternative to museums and commercial galleries. Its programming initiatives included exhibitions of national and international artists, performance art, spoken word and new music events. It broadcast cable TV shows, as well as offering audio and video production facilities and an archive. The structure of this institution defined the philosophy and grounds of practice for many artist-run centres to follow. It brought together regional, national, international, established and emerging artists and fostered an expansive climate that encouraged artists and production organizations to take creative risks.
Clive has a longstanding involvement in Canadian art publishing as an author, critic, interviewer, and publisher. He co-authored the book Performance au/in Canada 1970-1990 with Alain-Martin Richard, a comprehensive encyclopedia of Canadian and Québec performance art. It stands alone as an indispensable archive of performance activity during this generative period and is an essential index for performance scholarship. His book Policy Matters, Administrations of Art and Culture (YYZ, 2006) on the artist-run centre movement and the accountability logics of arts funding and cultural policy has been well received by a new generation of artists, scholars and arts administrators.
Clive was a founder of the groundbreaking media arts magazine Centerfold (1976), which evolved into Fuse magazine (1980-2014). Centerfold and Fuse situated artistic production within its social context, becoming an essential source of information and critical discourse for people working in new media forms such as audio, video, print, television, photography and performance. Both publications were distributed in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. Their governing agenda, as Clive wrote in a 1980 editorial, chose “to counteract the historical separation of artists and other practitioners in our society.” Fuse was a leading North American venue that enabled artists writing from positions within feminism, lesbian and gay politics, black politics, First Nations and Inuit culture to speak for themselves. Fuse gave an account of cultural debates in Canada from the point of view of artists themselves and functioned as a crucial forum for writers who historically have not has access to the media. Clive was the publisher of Fuse until 1983 and continued to be active as a regional and later emeritus editor until 2014.
Clive was influential in making the decentralized and democratized artist-run model a national objective. He participated in the inaugural meetings of the Association of Non-Profit Artist-run Centres (ANNPAC), was elected its first national president (1977), and served as Co-National Director (1990) and National Spokesperson (1989-91). ANNPAC linked art communities across the country and created a significant network of institutions. Clive was a founding member of the IAU (Independent Artists Union) that attempted to negotiate a living wage for artists in the mid-1980s. Clive has curated numerous exhibitions and events, as well as serving as Director of the Immediate Gallery, Calgary (1973), Artistic Director of the Parachute Center and Arton’s Publishing, Calgary (1975-83), Board Member of A Space, Toronto (1983) (the year which initiated their community arts-based programming), Video Production Co-ordinator and Board Chairperson of Trinity Square Video, Toronto (1985-87), Artistic Director of Galerie SAW Vidéo, Ottawa (1987-1989), and as a board member of Modern Fuel Gallery, Kingston and the FADO Performance Collective, Toronto (2000-2006).
Obtaining a doctorate in Communication Studies at Concordia in his 50’s, Clive has been teaching performance art praxis, contemporary art history and cultural policy studies at Queen’s University, Kingston since 1999.
Holly Cunningham is an arts administrator, educator, and musician based in North Bay. After graduating from Sheridan College’s Media Arts program, she completed a Fine Arts degree from Nipissing University, which prompted her move to Northern Ontario. Working as the Managing Director of the Near North Mobile Media Lab (N2M2L) for the past five years, Holly has worked to establish programs that aim to increase media arts participation in the Near North region. Facilitating large-scale community projects like Ice Follies and Doc North Film Festival, she has worked to increase the profile of arts and culture in the North Bay area. Since 2013, Holly has been pursuing research to extend media arts access to underserved communities in Northern Ontario through exploring means of empowering youth through media production. She also sits on the board of directors of the Media Arts Network of Ontario and the Independent Media Arts Alliance and is also a member of the advisory committee of Cultural Industries Ontario North.
Jenna Faye Powell
Jenna Faye Powell is an emerging artist and arts administrator with experience in both the not-for-profit and charitable sectors. Powell received her Bachelor of Fine Arts (2009) from the University of Western Ontario and her Masters of Fine Arts (2012) from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design University. Powell also serves on the Board of Directors at London Fuse and at ARCCO (Artist-Run Centres and Collectives of Ontario). In 2012 Jenna was a finalist in the prestigious RBC Canadian Painting Competition. She recently exhibited at Museum London, the Art Gallery of Windsor, DNA Artspace as well as various other galleries nationally. Powell is the current Executive Director of Forest City Gallery in London, Ontario.
Lora Northway is a multi-disciplinary artist in Thunder Bay, Ontario. She is an exhibiting artist, arts educator, curator, graffiti artist, and youth outreach co-ordinator. She received her HBFA from Lakehead University, with a focus on mixed-media installation and a minor in Women’s Studies. She has also obtained a Certificate in Arts Education from York University.
Alongside her studio practice she is a coordinator for Definitely Superior Artist Run Centre (Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts Winner 2013). She is the founder of three youth collectives; Die Active Graffiti Art Collective, Neechee Studio Aboriginal Youth Arts Collective, and inVISIBLEink, an LGBTQ art and writing group. For 10+ years she has delivered dozens of workshops to groups of all ages and sizes. Most recently she developed and delivered a conference on youth engagement and arts programming in the North, for Aboriginal youth leaders from northern reserves. She recently spoke on a panel for Emerging Ideas at the Northern Conference for Arts, in the North Bay. She has participated on several Ontario Arts Council Juries, has received two Northern Arts grants, an Emerging Artist grant, and was the recipient of the Cultural Educator Award for the City of Thunder Bay, 2015.