ACAD Faculty members are committed to the creating an important contribution to the art and design community through their practice, and through research activity. This work takes it’s form through the creation of publications, conference presentations, visiting artist activity, independent research projects and individual artistic practices.
Each year, ACAD inspires change and enhances the definition of creative thinking through the research and scholarly activity of our outstanding faculty group, and our behind the scenes staff and administration. ACAD’s faculty members represent some of the best artists, designers and critical thinkers in Canada and the creation of original works of art, design and scholarship is only one way in which ACAD faculty contributes to the creative academic community – as artists and designers they are also active and involved community members, reaching out into our city and across the world with their practice and their involvement in collaborative exhibitions.
ACAD's Visiting Artists and Designers Initiative is essential to building the reputation of the college. The Initiative supports a forum for public presentations by visitingartists and designers to examine the ideas that impact the future of art, craft design practices.
In 2011-2012, Faculty member Gord Ferguson was awarded funding for two important visiting artist initiatives featuring Jaume Plensa and Jennifer Stillwell. Faculty member Mitch Kern was awarded funding for a lecture and workshop by Winnipect-based Dominique Rey, and Faculty member Rita McKeoygh was awarded funding for a lecture by Berlin-based Johannes Deimling.
The purpose of the ACAD Faculty Research Contingency Initiative is to support faculty research funding proposals that fall outside the scope of other faculty development programs at ACAD and to fund research activities for which no other funding is available. The ACAD Faculty Research Contingency Initiative funds may be used to fund travel to facilities or programs related to the faculty member’s area of practice, unique opportunities, or for other purposes thought to contribute to the advancement of expertise, depth, and enrichment of the ACAD faculty.
In 2011-2012, Faculty member Rick Silva received funding to represent ACAD at the 2011 Art + Environment Conference in Reno.
The ACAD Scholarly Research and Creativity Initiative is intended to support significant projects and undertakings that advance research, teaching, or the application of a variety of arenas including education, community and cultural development, government, or innovation in the private/corporate sector.
In 2011-2012, Faculty member Dick Averns received funding for 90kmh – a project exploring the commodification of space and performance ethnography. Faculty member Kurtis Lesick was awarded funding for the development of CE3C , a research collaborative hosted within the MADT program at ACAD.
Faculty member Travis Kirton also received funding to support his work as researcher in computational design, departmental and course resource, student and alumni mentor and co-instructor in CE3C (the Creative Environment for Emerging Electronic Culture) within MADT.
2011-2012 Curator in Residence – Diana Sherlock
As Curator-in-Residence at the Alberta College of Art + Design, Diana Sherlock will continue work on curatorial and writing projects that extend her research into display cultures, exhibition histories and collecting practices. Sherlock will be working with students, faculty and the broader arts community to stimulate and raise the level of critical discourse about contemporary curatorial and creative practices. Drawing on her experience, Sherlock will work to further develop and support a diverse framework of professional opportunities for students. Sherlock currently teaches critical theory and professional practice in the Liberal Studies Department.
Diana Sherlock is a Calgary-based independent curator,writer and educator. She is an active member of the Calgary art community who has served on several artist-run centre and community boards, and worked in the capacity of Programming Coordinator and Director within these organizationssince the early 1990s. Since 2000 she has pursued a freelance curatorial andwriting practice. She has produced exhibitions with Stride Gallery, Calgary, and co-curated, with Catherine Crowston, the Alberta Biennial of Contemporary Art 2002 for the Edmonton Art Gallery and Nickle Arts Museum, Calgary. In 2003, Sherlock guest curated Super Modern World of Beauty, an exhibition about the turn towards a critical sentimentalism in contemporary art, for the Banff Centre’s Walter Phillips Gallery. For the independent web-based project Artificial-life.net (2006), she commissioned new works examining conceptual art practices within the realm of generative technology. Her current interests include display culture, exhibition histories and collecting practices. Her most recent projects engage research and commissioning models that create opportunities for contemporary artists to recontextualize or respond to historical artifacts and sites relative to the contemporary context. In 2010, she worked with Berlin-based artist Ricardo Okaranza to produce an exhibition and catalogue of photographs of his West German ceramic collection, and she is collaborating on a group exhibition and bookwork based on research done at the Chateau Mathieu in Normandy, France for the Medicine Hat Esplanade Arts & Heritage Centre for 2012 . Her writings have been published in numerous gallery catalogues and contemporary art journals including Canadian Art, FUSE, Blackflash, Ceramics Art and Perception, BorderCrossings and Calgary’s daily newspaper, The Calgary Herald.
2011 – 2012 Critic in Residence – Nancy Tousley
As Critic-in-Residence until May 18, 2012, Nancy Tousley continues her research on the photo-based works of Robert Rauschenberg, while maintaining informal 1:1 contact with students and faculty, participation in panel discussions and symposia at the College, as well as disseminating knowledge on contemporary art practices via her blog.
Nancy Tousley was art critic of the Calgary Herald for 30 years and has been a contributing editor to Canadian Art magazine since 1986. Her work has appeared in magazines such as The Print Collector's Newsletter, Artscanada, Vanguard, Parachute, Border Crossings and Canadian Art since the early 1970s. Her essays on artists have appeared in more than 30 public artgallery and museum catalogues. Among the awards she has received are the Board of Governors of the Alberta College of Art + Design, Award of Excellence (1997); the Ontario Association of Art Galleries award, in 1999 and 2001, for best curatorial writing on contemporary art; The Canadian Museums Association award for outstanding achievement in arts journalism (2002); the medal of the Royal Canadian Academy of Art (2009) and the Governor General’s Award for Outstanding Contribution in the Visual Arts (2011).