U of L art ex­hibit fea­tures Roloff Beny schol­ar­ship re­cip­i­ents

Lethbridge Herald - - HOMETOWN NEWS - Ti­jana Martin LETH­BRIDGE HERALD

The Univer­sity of Leth­bridge is host­ing its first “Aper­ture: Roloff Beny Photography Award Ret­ro­spec­tive” ex­hi­bi­tion.

In 2005, the Univer­sity of Leth­bridge De­part­ment of Art was en­dowed $860,000 from the Roloff Beny Foun­da­tion. Beny was a well­known Cana­dian pho­tog­ra­pher who pro­duced many large-for­mat pub­li­ca­tions from over three decades of trav­el­ling.

Since then, fine art stu­dents have re­ceived thou­sands of dol­lars in schol­ar­ships to pur­sue tra­di­tional and dig­i­tal photography projects. Many have cho­sen to fol­low in Beny’s foot­steps and travel, like pre­vi­ous re­cip­i­ent An­ge­line Si­mon.

Si­mon spent 10 days trav­el­ling through Ger­many doc­u­ment­ing her trip on medium-for­mat film as she searched for fam­ily mem­bers from her fa­ther’s side and sought to see what a life would be like as a lo­cal.

“My re­la­tion­ship with my fa­ther is a lit­tle bit strained, so I didn’t know a lot about where my fam­ily was, or what they’re up to, or even if they’re still alive,” she said. “It was a great op­por­tu­nity, I got to meet my cousin and her hus­band and two chil­dren.”

Now, she’s co-cu­rat­ing the ex­hi­bi­tion with Devon Smither, an as­sis­tant pro­fes­sor in the De­part­ment of Art.

“It felt like a re­ally great op­por­tu­nity for us to cel­e­brate all of the award win­ners who have re­ceived the Roloff Beny Photography Award,” said Smither, as she re­ferred to the univer­sity’s 50th an­niver­sary.

“This is the very first ret­ro­spec­tive that we’ve done of th­ese artists and the work that they’ve pro­duced as a re­sult of this award,” said Smither.

The ex­hi­bi­tion will fea­ture work from 18 past re­cip­i­ents.

“There’s a va­ri­ety of work that many of the artists have pro­duced as a re­sult of the award,” said Smither. “It’s al­lowed them to ex­plore and ex­per­i­ment with their artis­tic prac­tice.”

“We tried to choose a di­verse va­ri­ety of im­ages, a mix­ture of im­ages that are clearly per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ences and per­sonal search, or just a stranger look­ing in the in­side of a dif­fer­ent re­gion or lo­ca­tion,” Si­mon added.

Smither noted that the re­sponse from the ex­hi­bi­tion has al­ready been en­thu­si­as­tic.

She hopes mov­ing for­ward, they’ll start host­ing more ret­ro­spec­tive ex­hi­bi­tions “and look back at the last let’s say, five years of award win­ners and cel­e­brate the work they’ve pro­duced as a re­sult of that.”

The open­ing re­cep­tion for the ex­hi­bi­tion is Fri­day from 7-9 p.m. at the Dr. Foster James Penny Gallery.

Fol­low @TMart­inHer­ald on Twit­ter

Herald photo by Ti­jana Martin

Cu­ra­tors Devon Smither, left, and An­ge­line Si­mon set up the Univer­sity of Leth­bridge 50th An­niver­sary ex­hi­bi­tion “Aper­ture: Roloff Beny Photography Award Ret­ro­spec­tive” on Wed­nes­day morn­ing. @TMart­inHer­ald

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