Art Geocoins on the move

If you’ve been to McMaster campus, you may recognize the image on the Art Explorer Geocoin!

If you’ve been to McMaster campus, you may recognize the image on the Art Explorer Geocoin – Henri Gaudier-Brzeska’s Birdbath

 Great outing with my family and an added bonous finding this coin. It sits safely on our fireplace mantle and will be on its merry way next week!! Thanks so much for allowing us to learn of Lawren Harris.
- a geocacher who discovered the Harris Geocoin near Orillia this week

As warmer weather brings more geocaching activity, it is worth noting that the Museum’s Art Adventures geocoins have been continuously busy, traveling the globe all season.

Geocaching is a fun way to explore the outdoors with a GPS device. Geocoins are coins in hidden geocaches all over the world. Each one has a mission and you can track their travels. Art Adventures coins are intended to travel to the birthplace of artists who have works in McMaster Museum of Art’s collection. More details on earlier post.

A few Art Adventures Geocoin updates:

Beckmann Geocoin has travelled more than 35,670 miles since last summer, travelling from Nova Scotia, to France, to a French gourmet event in Frankfurt, Chile, back to France, Florida, and just this month, Berlin!
5 Coins on the move in the last week alone include:
de Jode Geocoin (in Nova Scotia)
Lawrence Geocoin (in Pennsylvania)
Dürer Geocoin #2 (in Bayern, Germany, now enroute to Scotland)
Picasso Geocoin (just launched in December, now somewhere near TH&B in Hamilton)
Harris Geocoin (near Orillia, Ontario)

It’s been a pleasure tracking the travels of 50+ coins and seeing them bring enjoyment and a little art education to people around the world.

Student Awards and Exhibition 2014

SUMMA 2014

SUMMA 2014 award winners (from left)
Keisha Neoma-Quinn, Nikkie Pui Yee To, Livia Tsang

The ever popular Graduating Student Art exhibition, CHIASMATA (SUMMA 2014) is on view now through April 26.  Thank you to all (400!) who attended the reception last weekend and the very interesting individual artist’s presentations this week.

Congratulations to:
Livia Tsang
(Faculty Award, selected by the McMaster Studio Art Program Faculty)
Nikkie Pui Yee To
(Museum Award, selected by the McMaster Museum of Art Curators)
Keisha Neoma-Quinn
(People’s Choice Award)

and all the students graduating from McMaster’s Studio Art Program!

In the Artist’s Own Words – Quotes from Margaret Watkins


Photo of a wall upon which a photographer ponders taking a photo of a wall. In Margaret Watkins: Domestic Symphonies exhibition.

The response to the exhibition of Margaret Watkins’ photographs has been tremendous. As much as visitors love the art, many have mentioned that they are also moved by the words of the artist. Her quotes, drawn from Watkins’ diaries and archives, are posted throughout the gallery.

Here are some of them…

Nothing is ever too commonplace or too useful to escape the sweet embellishment of art. Around the humble cookstove art runs in riotous cast iron curves, where may rest the savory spillings from many a too-exuberant soup kettle …
- Margaret Watkins 1915

[I was] born in Hamilton, Ontario, brought up on pictures and music …
- Margaret Watkins c. 1923

Weird and surprising things were put upon canvas; stark mechanical objects revealed an unguessed dignity; commonplace articles showed curves and angles which could be repeated with the varying pattern of a fugue.
- Margaret Watkins c. 1926

I am studying this wall. It is very beautiful when the light plays on it in certain ways. Some day I am going to take its picture.
- Margaret Watkins  c. 1924

And there the sun set, or rather exploded … purple and crimson and gold trumpeting from peak to peak till they fairly reverberated with colour. (Somehow I always mix sight and sound and this was Wagner with full orchestra.)
- Margaret Watkins c. 1928

I miss the artist crowd most desperately. Collectively they may have every failing under the sun but in spite of their sins (or because of them) they have vision, a strange gleam, something worth striving after, something a bit beyond the end of their small human noses!
- Margaret Watkins c. 1931

One house in Hamilton, two major photographers

Two important photographers were born in the same house in Hamilton Ontario, 14 years apart. Jessie Tarbox Beals (1884-1969), America’s first female news photographer who was hired in 1902 by The Buffalo Inquirer and The Courier; and Canadian photographer Margaret Watkins (1884-1969) were both born in a large bourgeois house named Clydevia (not standing today) in the east end of Hamilton.  We know this from Margaret Watkins’ journals at McMaster University.

cbc_radio_logoThis is just one of many interesting details shared by Lori Pauli in her CBC - Ottawa Morning interview from 2012, when the touring exhibition Margaret Watkins exhibition, Domestic Symphonies first opened at the National Gallery of Canada. For those who missed Pauli’s talk at the Museum and Cable 14/Hamilton Life interview in February, listen to the CBC interview now (8 minutes).

The exhibition continues at the McMaster Museum of Art until May 3.

Taking Time in Art and Life

Detail of William Hogarth's 'Analysis of Beauty', Plate 2, 1753, Engraving, On loan from Dundurn National Historic Site

Detail of William Hogarth’s ‘Analysis of Beauty’, Plate 2, 1753, Engraving, On loan from Dundurn National Historic Site

Recently, McMaster University Professor Eugenia Zuroski Jenkins brought her graduate seminar students to the Museum with an unusual assignment. Students in The Secret Life of Things in the Eighteenth Century were asked to select one work of art on display at the Museum and devote their attention to it for one hour. A full hour of looking! Painfully long? Perhaps. But, extraordinarily rewarding.

“I wanted my students to pay attention to how one pays attention to something,” says Dr. Zuroski Jenkins.  “The short reflection papers they wrote for this exercise revealed marvelous insight into details of the objects, but also a heightened awareness of what it means to look at something, of what we might know (or not know) by looking, of the material contours of our encounters with things, and of the way thought can quicken, deepen, and flourish when we make ourselves be still with something.”

This supports the findings of Harvard Professor Jennifer L. Roberts (Harvard Magazine) who says that this sort of activity significantly increases both the looker’s appreciation for the art as well as their belief in and understanding of their own powers of patience and observation. She lauds deceleration in our lives, and points out art’s particular ability to facilitate this experience.

Most other things surrounding us on a daily basis help and encourage us to live faster and do things “more efficiently”.  Art provides an unexpected gateway to an immersive experience and slowing down our busy lives. Through long looks we hone our abilities to observe, perceive, think and reflect. We come to a greater understanding of the art and ourselves.

If the ideas in this exercise sound appealing, but an hour too much for your tastes, you can have a similar experience on Slow Art Day, April 12, 2014 (Registration closes this Friday). The time is truncated from 1 hour to 10 minutes, but self- and artist-revelations can certainly be had!

-Teresa Gregorio, Information Officer, McMaster Museum of Art

New Guide to Sculpture on Campus

McMaster University students Mera Qamar and Annie Zhu, who produced new Campus Sculpture Guide.

McMaster University students Mera Qamar and Annie Zhu,
who produced new Campus Sculpture Guide.

From the Bird bath to the Bust of Bertrand Russell, there’s a wealth of sculpture to be explored all across McMaster campus. And just in time for warmer weather, two McMaster students have produced a new, expanded Campus Sculpture Guide to help you do just that.

Pick up a free guide at the McMaster Museum of Art, while supplies last*, and begin your tour of more than 20 sculptures from the Museum’s doorstep.  With brochure in hand, the self-guided walking tour can be completed in under an hour.

The Guide includes a tour map, thumbnail photos, basic facts (artist, title, medium, donor) and stories-behind-the-sculptures. These are brief texts; highlighting the artist, subject, donor, or significance of the work to McMaster. Sculptures selected for this guide are primarily those that now, or in the past, fell within the Museum’s purview.

The Guide was designed by Annie Zhu (Health Sciences), who pulled together content from the archives with the help of Mera Qamar (Humanities).

*Online version coming soon.

Graduating Student Art Exhibition


The McMaster Museum of Art invites you to
Graduating Student Art Exhibition

10 – 26 April 2014

Reception and Awards: April 12, 2 – 4 pm
Artist Talks: April 16, 12:30 – 1:20 pm

The McMaster Museum of Art proudly presents this exhibition featuring work by 21 studio art students graduating from McMaster University this year. The artists have exhibited in galleries and museums across the city, including the Hamilton Artists Inc., Artword Gallery, Gallery on the Bay, Studios at Hotel Hamilton, Hamilton Museum of Steam Technology, and LIUNA Station, as well as in Toronto and Niagara. The group has also developed a live T-shirt printing event, which has been executed at various venues across the city, including the 2013 Supercrawl on James Street North. These artists explore a variety of themes, including relationships, cultural dislocation, religion, the cycles of the earth, and sacred geometry, as well as human impact on the environment.

CHIASMATA comes from the Greek for crossing. The optic chiasma is the part of the brain where the optic nerves cross to form a cohesive picture plane. Similarly, this exhibition is the point of intersection where a diverse group of artists converges and exists harmoniously in a single space.

The Artists:
Virginia Anne Abel
Miguel A. Chávez
Zachery Ellis
Ben Falco
Alicia Giansante
Emmalou Hale
Amy Imrie
Joshua Lewis
Mary-Cathryn McCarthy
Rachel McLaughlin
Christopher McLeod
Keisha Neoma-Quinn
Sarah Paisley
Kadi Prince
Olivia Rozema
Jennifer Shamo
Sonia Stouth
Nikkie Pui Yee To
Livia Tsang
Ianitza Vassileva
David Yoon



McMaster Museum of Art
Alvin A. Lee Building
McMaster University
1280 Main St W
Hamilton, ON L8S 4L6
905.525.9140 x.23241

Admission is Free
Museum hours: Tue/Wed/Fri 11am-5pm, Thu 11-7, Sat 12-5

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