Creative Works Off Campus

MFA thesis Exhibition – Tania Willard


Drawing from multiple anthropological sources that framed Secwepemc culture/language and governance my work explores specific sites of rupturing the ethnographic gaze. Citing ideas of refusal and Indigenous futurity to locate agency and land rights struggle within the possible readings of ethnographic subjects this body of work attempts to reassert naming, locating, negotiating and connecting to material culture and ethnographic data in museum and institutional collections.


Focal Points an Exhibition of Work by Photography Students from UBCO – At Rotary Arts Centre and Alternator Gallery

From black and white photographs hand printed in the traditional darkroom, to digital images montaged and manipulated in Adobe Photoshop, this exhibition highlights the wide diversity of content and form in the work being done by photography students at the University of British Columbia Okanagan. This collection of photo based artwork has been created by students in second, third and fourth year and is being shown in both the Alex Fong Galleria, March 2 – March 30, and the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art’s Member’s Gallery, from March 3 – March 17, 2018.


Gary Pearson: Short Fictions

Gary Pearson, painter, drawer, video artist, freelance writer and curator, recently opened a solo exhibition at the Kelowna Art Gallery.

The exhibition, titled Gary Pearson: Short Fictions features a selection of the artists work drawn from the past fifteen years. Short Fictions is accompanied by a substantial publication, illustrated, and with critical essays on the artists work.

Pearson is a recently retired associate professor in the Department of Creative Studies at UBC Okanagan, and lives in Kelowna. He has had numerous exhibitions internationally, and was recently elected as a member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.

little mother

little mother (2018)

Patricia Leinemann

Artist Statement

In late 2016 at the UBC Museum of Anthropology, Patricia Leinemann viewed a textile display that was inspirational. She wondered how to create a layered installation of textiles that a viewer could wander through. After returning from Vancouver, she came across her collection of doll dresses. Along with her sisters’ collections, these mostly handmade dresses carry fond memories and made her question why we hold on to particular childhood objects. Patricia had to make assumptions to her questions because her mother died eleven years ago. Trough conversations with extended family, their mother’s desire for her girls to have a doll was because she never owned one. There was limited money when Patricia was young so she finds it fascinating that money was available for these dresses. She wondered if her mother was training her and her sisters to become mothers because being a mother was her greatest joy. Patricia questioned if buying had dressing her dolls influenced here future interest in dress-up, costumes, and good quality clothing in her professional life. She never had children of her own but maybe Patricia experienced being a mother while playing with her dolls. This supports her query if perhaps she always lived her life out of order.



Chasten My Fantasies

Chasten my Fantasies of Human Mastery (2018)

Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art

The project takes an object-oriented perspective on the material agents that construct the gallery experience, complicating traditional relationships between the audience and the artworks. By shifting the experiential nature of the gallery, the exhibition will look at how the space operates on experience. The objects in the space are rendered non-utilitarian, familiar material processes become unrecognizable, and the viewer becomes an object among an assemblage of objects without hierarchy.


Angela Gmeinweiser
Arden Boehm
Carmen Winther
Reta Stevenson

Curated by Mathew Glenn & Evan Berg



Scary Instructor & Terrifying Students!

For 14 years the Caravan Farm Theatre, located outside of Armstrong, has created a Halloween-themed production, The Walk of Terror, that engages community in an event that Artistic Director Estelle Shook says “blurs the line between artist and audience”.

This highly interactive production incorporates the artistry of professional and non-professional performers who are part of the Caravan community. This year artists came from across Canada as well as from within the Okanagan region to perform in the show, including UBCO students from the Creative and Critical Studies Department directed by performance instructor Sonia Norris. Norris began performing with the Caravan Farm Theatre twenty years ago and teaching at UBCO this fall provided the opportunity to share this experience with her students.

Norris and seven students, Dora Chen, Sage Cannon, Peter Navratil, Hawk Mendoza, Joel Evans, Avril Wood, and Breanne Ruskowsky, performed in four different vignettes along the Walk of Terror and also spent the day working as part of the production team setting up the farm for the performance.

This “terrifying” experience was an amazing opportunity for the students to perform in a professional production, but also to work collaboratively with a theatre company that is deeply committed to, and supported by, community engagement. Hopefully this experience shall lead to future creative collaborations between the Caravan Farm Theatre and UBCO students!

Photo credit: Zev Tiefenbach


Young artists make their mark at the Alternator

The work of up and coming art students will be on show at the Alternator Centre for Contemporary Art from November 4 – 12.

Part of the Intermission series, Young 2016 is a visual reflection of youth undefined by age. It features the work of UBCO Visual Arts students exploring themes of memory, nostalgia, and adolescence. Visitors can expect to see painting, sculpture and photography in this exhibition curated by fellow UBCO students Shayla Ritchie, Victoria Moore and Addison Oberg.

In a unique twist, the foundation for Young 2016 was laid three years ago as an exhibition at the French Cultural Centre designed show off the works of then-freshman UBCO students. Now in their final year of studies at UBCO, some of those same artists will be on show at the Alternator, giving the public an opportunity to see the growth these students have achieved in the past three years of their studies.

This exhibition is co-presented by the UBCO Visual Arts Course Union who act as a liaison between students and the vibrant Okanagan community. The Visual Arts Course Union organizes events such as art markets, artist talks, and the annual Art on the Line gala.

Curatorial Statement
Victoria Moore, Addison Oberg, and Shayla Ritchie

Three years ago, in a Salmon Arm coffee shop, Young was born as idea between two UBCO freshman. Their goal was to merge UBCO’s visual arts program with the growing Kelowna art community. Young was held at the French Cultural Centre where artwork covered the building floor to ceiling. It was astounding to see so many youthful emerging artists take part in such a hugely successful event. The show was well received and gave a taste of the talent that UBCO had to offer.

Young 2016 follows the success of the original event, curated by one of its original instigators along with her peers. This exhibit has evolved past its predecessor into a professional gallery setting with juried submissions. The students of UBCO brought forth a fantastic roster of artwork exploring themes of youth, nostalgia, and innocence. The curators of Young 2016 are honored to bring new works from the talented artists at UBCO into the downtown core of the Kelowna art community.

Young 2016 focuses on youth as concept, free from the constraints of time and age. In the future, the concept of youth presented in this show can only expand and grow, as the artists understand new perceptions of nostalgia and adolescence as they themselves age. Viewers can expect to see new perspectives and valuable expressions of what youth means in the next generation of Young exhibitions.

Music of the Heavens Prints by Jessica Dennis and Aleksandra Dulic

Music of the Heavens Prints
Prints by Jessica Dennis and Aleksandra Dulic

These 20 prints feature key scenes from the forthcoming multimedia performance concert Music of the Heavens set for November of 2017. Music of the Heavens maps out the stars and tells ancient legends of the constellations in the sky from 3 different cultures. The interest in the stars is shared by many, which explain the movements of the stars with various character myths. The artists have researched the astrological stories in different cultures to explore their similarities and differences, continuing the ancient human desire to seek representations of human characters in the heavenly bodies and to create mythical constellation creatures that relate to our lives from the heavenly world. Music of the Heavens marries ancient myths and philosophies with modern visual language and digital technology. At the same time, it promotes the awareness of both Indigenous, Asian, and Greek influences in contemporary Canadian arts and the shared heritages as well as connections between different cultures.

While Jessica Dennis worked on developing the compositions, Aleksandra Dulic provided artistic and conceptual direction of the Music of the Heaven project and prints showcased here. The stills shown in the gallery are selected scenes from the project’s storyboard, which represent important portions of the overall Music of the Heavens storylines.

The prints are the result of a collaborative effort. Amberley John designed and created the characters and narrative correlating to the constellation of the Big Dipper. The Chinese Weaver Woman and Cowherd compositions (Vega and Altair stars) include drawings by Diane Schnieders and Li Tung. Third, Ardanna Semeschuk and Li Tung drew the constellation characters in the Greek section.

The Bear and 3 Brothers section of autumn is the story of The Big Dipper constellation. It is A Haudenosaunee story of a giant Bear and the three brothers, as Amberley John recalls hearing it being told by her father, Bradley John. This story shares why the leaves change colours in autumn and relates to when the men should be hunting. Bear is visualized as a mechanical monstrosity, a symbol of industrialization which carries the theme of greed and devastation of land into a contemporary context.

The Chinese Weaver Woman and Cowherd section represents summer, and depicts the eternal love story of the Weaver Woman (Vega Star in Lyra constellation) and Cowherd Man (Altair Star in Aquila constellation). In the story, Weaver Woman and Cowherd are two lovers, but because heavenly bodies were forbidden from romantic endeavors, are separated. Every year, birds fill the sky and create a bridge for the two lovers to meet on. This story is the integral story of the Chinese Qixi festival, held on the 7th day of July every year. Drawings of Cowherd Man and the Ox were drawn by Li Tung, and all other drawings in this section were illustrated by Diane Schnieders.

The ancient Greek section represents spring, and touches upon several different star constellation myths and the intersections between them. This section is rich in imagery, since the public is familiar with Greek constellation stories. Featured are several stories, including the story of Andromeda, Pegasus and Perseus and their rescue of Andromeda, the eternal battle between Orion and Scorpio, and the story of Orpheus, the creator of music, protecting sailors from the sirens. The Greek scenes are styled after ancient Greek pottery, with some modern interpretation. Li Tung illustrated the drawings of the sirens, sailors, and boat, and Ardanna Semeschuk designed all other characters and scenery.

For all inquiries please contact Jessica Dennis or Aleksandra Dulic