100 Days of Listening and Learning

Textiles/Fashion Breakthrough

This is exciting news for NSCAD’s Fountain Campus. Textiles/Fashion students no longer have to climb a set of stairs, go outside, climb another set of stairs, go inside and then go down set of stairs to travel between the two areas. Textiles, on the Hollis Street side of the Fountain Campus, and Fashion, on the Granville Mall side, have been joined together. The two technicians, Anke Fox and Leesa Hamilton, came together for a symbolic ribbon cutting on the last day of classes for the fall term.


Anke Fox (textiles) and Leesa Hamilton (fashion) come together for a symbolic ribbon cutting. The two areas are now connected with a doorway and short hall on the second floor of the Fountain Campus. (Eliot Wright Photo)

Connecting with community

Playful art – Kudos to NSCAD student Catherine Laroche and Professor Rory MacDonald for the Barrington Blocks project.

“It’s been an incredible experience, a huge learning curve,” says Catherine, who decided to transfer from Concordia University to NSCAD after a campus visit, falling in love with the school and the city, its friendliness and creative vibe. “It’s one thing to make art for a class, but to make art like this in a real-world setting is amazing.”
Barrington Blocks comprises ceramic blocks in shades of blue-grey, orange, yellow and green that can be turned to create simple images or to spell out messages. Each block measures 3½” by 3½” and there are 384 altogether, arranged on aluminum poles.
Barrington Blocks

As a demonstration of NSCAD’s contribution to our community, Prof. Rory MacDonald and student Catherine LaRoche worked on the Barrington Blocks art commission — a lively interactive art project for the downtown.

Dine by Design East – This was a fabulous event created by a remarkable volunteer group, of which NSCAD Board Member Elizabeth Currie was a leading driver. I was able to attend the Thursday evening gala and the Friday fashion show. Proceeds from Dine by Design East will go to the Amber Harkins Memorial Fund; the first scholarship from the fund will be awarded to a design student for January 2015 semester.

Stephanie Beaumont of Sea and Be Scene dedicated an entire show to the event, and interviewed me as part of her report. I really appreciated the chance to talk about the university and what we offer.  Here is a link to the segment.

Attica dining room

A look at the dining room “Breaking Bread” designed by NSCAD alumni Suzanne Saul and Christopher Joyce of Attica Furnishings–complete with a portrait of pop star Miley Cyrus in toast!

Engagement with alumni – As part of my 100 Days of Listening and Learning, I have been delighted to meet with so many NSCAD alumni and discover the depth of passion they have for their university. My question when I meet them is “What can NSCAD do for you?” and I have heard from quite a few people. Just recently at the Progress Women of Excellence dinner, I was pleased to join in celebrating Stephanie Young, a recent alumnae honoured for her volunteer work at Laing House, and Peggy Issenman, the owner of Peggy & Co. Design.  My message of openness and listening was repeated in VIVID, the e-newsletter for alumni which was sent out recently.

Student Awards Reception – The Student Awards Reception was held on November 5th, the birthday of founder Anna Leonowens. The occasion brought together student award recipients and the donors that make those awards, scholarships and bursaries possible.  NSCAD student Julie Hall, a Scotiabank scholarship winner, was one of the two guest speakers.  Our other guest speaker was Gordon Brost, Scotiabank’s District Vice-President.  Mr. Brost announced at $150,000 gift as a renewed five-year commitment to NSCAD. As well as funding more scholarships in the future, Scotiabank is now the presenting sponsor of Artist for a Day, NSCAD’s community event in the spring.

We celebrated the Student Awards Reception with a slice of Anna Leonowens' birthday cake. Gordon Brost of Scotiabank joined us at the reception for a welcome announcment.

We celebrated the Student Awards Reception with a slice of Anna Leonowens’ birthday cake. Gordon Brost of Scotiabank joined us at the reception for a welcome announcment.

Pop-Up at the Christmas Shop – NSCAD’s newest initiative, “Pop-Up at the Christmas Shop,” was held Nov. 28 and 29 in the former Christmas By the Sea location, 1880 Hollis Street. More than 60 students took part by selling their own works: jewellery, prints, paintings, ceramics, textiles, fashion and more. When I arrived on Friday evening, it was already packed and super busy! I felt so proud to see what our students accomplished and have the community welcomed to our campus. I’m happy to say that all the proceeds, approximately $20,000*, went right back to the students.

(* except for a small percentage on debit transactions)

pop-up shop

NSCAD’s Pop-up at the Christmas Shop attracted steady business to the Fountain Campus on Nov. 28 and 29.

University business

Provost and VP Academic and Research searchThe position is now posted. Our hope to achieve the appointment of Provost and VP Academic and Research by July 2015.

Budget Advisory Committee – As part of a commitment to deliver a balanced budget in 2015-2016, members of the Budget Advisory Committee joined a meeting of Chairs and Directors on November 24. The Vice-President of Finance and Administration invited ideas for budget reductions or revenue boosters using a risk-impact approach. The group met again earlier this week to do concentrated work on this important file.

Very best wishes for the holiday season!

Professor Dianne Taylor-Gearing

P.S. The image in the header shows one of the textiles on display during the textile Open House on the last day of classes, December 10th.

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