As we wind our way to the completion of the first semester, activity in the halls, studios and classrooms are reaching predictable peaks. Everyone is firing on all cylinders, with end-of-term work competing with a dizzying array of special events and projects. Here’s a look at some of the things that have just wrapped or are continuing:
• Media Landscapes: A group show of video, print, photography, installation and sound by Bruce Barber’s Media Landscapes class ran Dec. 2-8 at the Khyber Centre for the Arts.
• Painting: Intro Painting had an end-of-term show Dec. 5 and 6 in the studios G330, 340, 350.
• Film: Film 1 (FILM 3400) and Production Design (FILM 3340) screened three student films on Dec. 12.
• Textiles had an end-of-term sale on Nov. 29 and 30 at the entrance of Granville Mall. More than $2,000 was raised.
• Printmaking held a sale on Nov. 28 and 29 at King’s College, raising $1,500.
• Jewellery & Metalsmithing: The show and sale Linked continues to Jan. 5 at Seeds Gallery, 1099 Marginal Rd., Halifax.
• Sculpture: The Port Loggia Gallery is the venue for Shapes You Ought to Know About featuring installation work by intermediate sculpture students.
• Ceramics: The Ceramics Department’s show and sale continues to Saturday, Dec. 14 on the third floor, Port Campus. (Please note, the image at the top of this post shows a detail of a ceramic wall piece by Kayla Stride.)
• Foundation Drawing: Perceptions and Perspectives: St. Paul’s Church is an exhibition of drawings by NSCAD students in Ian McKinnon’s Foundation-level class, Drawing I. The exhibition is on view at the historic church in Halifax’s Grand Parade, daily from 9 am to 4:30 pm.
Fall is the time that we dedicate ourselves to raising funds for the Annual Fund. You may recall getting a letter in the mail or an email in your inbox in which we stated our case for giving. In short, NSCAD can use every dollar it raises. Money raised through the Annual Fund and earmarked for the “area of greatest need” will go to help pay down our debt. Reducing the debt, and by extension the debt servicing charges, will go a long way to getting NSCAD back to more secure financial footing. Of course, donors can also ask that their dollars go to support a specific area of interest, whether the public lecture series, student scholarships or the Anna Leonowens Gallery. Donations received by year end qualify for a charitable tax receipt—you’ll want that when you’re sitting down to do your taxes next year.
Giving couldn’t be easier. NSCAD faculty and staff can choose to give a little bit at a time through payroll deduction. You can also give a one-time gift by cheque, credit card and Interac. Here’s the safe, secure online giving site. Thanks to all of you who have given and/or are considering our request. Your generosity is deeply appreciated.
On the administrative front, we have been preoccupied with compiling our most recent Sustainability Plan update, which was due Dec. 9. In this report, we provided updated information on our plans to return to budgetary balance. The report is handicapped by not having availability to conclusive results of the three major planning studies—Affiliation Study, Space Study and Strategic Planning. Notwithstanding, we were able to refresh and update progress since filing the last Sustainability Report.
We have made substantial progress in terms of: newly designed recruitment material and intensification of recruitment efforts; completion of three program articulation agreements with NSCC and an agreement to initiate planning on three integrated diploma/degree programs; and new program collaborations with the University of King’s College in Journalism and on an art history minor. Even so, we still have work to do to meet our enrolment projections. My guess is, however, that these new initiatives, combined with our intensified recruitment efforts of both Canadian and international students should allow us to meet enrolment targets.
We have also been busy overseeing the completion of the last phase of the Affiliation Study; overseeing final edits to the Space Study; and supporting the Strategic Revisioning project.
It is important to stress that while are making progress, we still face challenges in returning to financial balance. We continue to explore avenues to resolve our financial pressures. As you might understand, I am clocking numerous hours on this mission.
Ending on a positive note, I am pleased to report on the recent accomplishments of members of our community. In October, I noted that Steve Higgins, a member of our faculty (sculpture), was short-listed for the Lieutenant Governor of Nova Scotia’s Masterworks Art Award. Now it is my pleasure to inform you that Steve was the winner. As well, NSCAD alumnae Laurie Swim and Hangama Amiri were awarded the Portia White Prize and the Portia White Protégé Award respectively.
Alumnus Justin West was recently honored with the Prime Minister’s Award of Excellence in Early Childhood Education for his work with preschoolers at Peter Green Hall Children’s Centre in Halifax.
Finally, two of our faculty, Gary Markle in Textiles/Fashion and Glen Hougan in Design, received a research grant of $200,000 from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. The two-year project, Design for Healthy Aging, has three areas of research focus: functional clothing design and accessories for seniors; medication management systems; and assistive aids for the bathroom.
Allow me to end this report with a wish to all for a happy and restful holiday season with family and friends.