A Year of Creativity: McMaster Grad Student Sessions

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A Year of Creativity:
Introduction to Creative Thinking and the McMaster Museum of Art

Thursday, October 30th from 5-7 pm

Based on the success of the SPICES Project “Art & Research”, the McMaster Museum of Art would like to welcome graduate students to its “Year of Creativity” — a series of workshops that will engage graduate students in creative thinking through the Museum’s inspired space and art collection.

The first session “Introduction to Creative Thinking” will take you behind the scenes to look at works of art dealing with creative perception, storytelling and problem-solving followed by making your own personal creativity contract.

Here’s an outline of the evening…

October 30 Introduction to Creative Thinking
5:00 – 5:15 Welcome and Introductions
The McMaster Museum of Art as a creative and neutral/safe space and expectations around this safe space
5:15 – 5:45 Discuss/share personal goals
Begin Creativity Contract/Letter to Your Future Self
5:45 – 6:15 Tour of MMA Paper Centre to see works of art dealing with creativity, creative perception, storytelling, problem solving, etc. Both traditional and contemporary works from different time periods and cultures.
6:15 – 6:45 Creative Inventory and continue/finish Creativity Contract/Letter to Your Future Self and wrap-up discussion/reflections.

For more information please contact Irena Radisevic (radisei@mcmaster.ca) or Nicole Knibb (knibbn@mcmaster.ca).

Space is limited. To register please visit our Eventbrite page

Directions to the Museum

Susan Detwiler’s Seedpack. Bringing the Natural World inside the Museum

Susan Detwiler, Seedpack, 2005. Gift of the artist

Susan Detwiler, Seedpack, 2005.
Gift of the artist

The Museum is pleased to have received a work of art by ecologically-minded Canadian artist Susan Detwiler. Detwiler’s Seed Pack is a customized backpack full of birdseed, created in 2005 when the artist was living in rural Southern Ontario. At the time, much of her work explored how we engage with the wildlife in our own back yards. The backpack is covered with images of birds from the area and is stuffed with birdseed.  It was created as part of a video performance in which the artist walks through the woods, leaving a trail of seed behind her.

In a 2003 interview the artist described the importance of the natural world in her artistic practice as a desire “to cultivate or re-cultivate certain ways of being, or ways of observing things, that I think we may have lost by stepping outside of the wild.”

Detail of birds on Susan Detwiler's 'Seedpack', 2005

Detail of birds on Susan Detwiler’s ‘Seedpack’, 2005

A generous gift of the artist, Seedpack has now been installed at the top of the Museum’s staircase. The work was previously shown at the McMaster Museum of Art in 2008 as part of Detwiler’s solo exhibition Feral.

Susan Detwiler was born in Augusta, Georgia. She received her B.F.A. from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1987, a B.Ed from the University of Windsor in 1991, and her M.F.A. from the University of Guelph in 1998.  For many years Detwiler was active as an artist and educator in Southern Ontario, responding to eco-cultural issues.  She currently lives on Bowen Island, BC.


Susan Detwiler, Still from Seed Walk, Video performance, 2005

Ian Johnston: In the Artist’s Own Words

Ian Johnston's Artist Talk

Ian Johnston’s Artist Talk

Earlier this month, artist Ian Johnston spoke at the Museum about his installation, The Chamber, which is on view here at McMaster until October 25. Now, we are pleased to be able to share some of the highlights from that talk with you. In addition to insights into the meaning, materials, and origins of the Chamber, this video offers a view of the installation in action and a rare look at the artist in action inside it! Enjoy!

Survey about the McMaster Museum of Art


Thank you to all who have completed our “Knowing our Audience” survey.

Now, please help us as we move forward to the next step of our strategic plan with a second short survey to tell us what you think of the McMaster Museum of Art – what you like and what you’d like to see us do differently.

Please take a couple of minutes to Take the Survey:

And thank you in advance!

The Art of the Book: Rabbi Bernard Baskin, book collector


In partnership with McMaster University Library, the McMaster Museum of Art proudly presents The Art of the Book, an exhibition celebrating the generosity of Rabbi Bernard Baskin, a household name in the Hamilton community. Over the years, the Rabbi has donated nearly 1000 volumes to the Library at McMaster, and to the Museum, hundreds of works of art by his brother, the well known American sculptor, printmaker and private press editor, Leonard Baskin (1922 – 2000).

Books are more than a passing fascination for Rabbi Baskin. They represent a way of life mirroring the wonder and complexity of human creation. For fifty years he has been an assiduous book collector, and in that time has amassed 10,000 books. For years, he was the proprietor of Ibis Books and Arts, an antiquarian bookselling firm that specialized in Judaica, typography, private press books, pre-1800 books and manuscripts, illustrated books, art and the occult. Selections of this rare material will foreground the exhibition content, while supporting volumes and prints from the Museum’s collection will round out the story of Baskin, the collector.

Born in New Jersey, Rabbi Bernard Baskin graduated with a B.A. degree from Brooklyn College and with a Masters of Hebrew Literature from the Jewish Institute of Religion in New York City. He came to Hamilton’s Temple Anshe Sholom, the oldest Reform Congregation in Canada, over 60 years ago. The Rabbi is now retired and lives in Hamilton.

The Art of the Book has been curated by Renu Barrett, Archivist, Mills Memorial Library, McMaster University and is on view at the McMaster Museum of Art, until December 20, 2014.

Collector’s Talk by Rabbi Bernard Baskin followed by Reception: September 18,  6 – 8 pm

Tour and Bookmaking Workshop: For the Love of Books:
September 27, 12 – 4 pm
Docent guided tour of THE ART OF THE BOOK exhibition followed by BeetleBarrow Studios Bookmaking Workshop. FREE. Space is limited, REGISTER: knibbn@mcmaster.ca. A Canada Culture Days  2014 Event

Histoire de la decouverte et de la conquete du Perou, 1716. book, Gift of Rabbi Baskin, Collection of McMaster Unversity Library

Histoire de la decouverte et de la conquete du Perou, 1716. book, Gift of Rabbi Baskin, Collection of McMaster Unversity Library

Leopold Plotek’s Artist Talk – Video

Leopold Plotek speaking at Reception at McMaster Museum of Art

Leopold Plotek at the Opening Reception at McMaster Museum of Art

Leopold Plotek is both artist and co-curator (with Ben Portis) of the exhibition Workingman’s Dead: Lives of the Artists, now on view at the McMaster Museum of Art. He is also an instructor of painting and drawing in the Studio Art Program at Concordia University.

After the Workingman’s Dead exhibition was installed at McMaster in late August, Leopold spoke about it and his painting before heading back to Montreal to teach. We’re grateful to him and to the MacLaren Art Centre for allowing us to share the video of that talk, interspersed with images, many from the SOVFOTO photography collection.

Here it is:

Reception Week Photos

In Graham Todd: Imaginary Spaces Exhibition.

In Graham Todd: Imaginary Spaces Exhibition.

Last week, the Museum opened new exhibitions with Artist Talks and a Reception on Thursday evening. Thanks to everyone who joined us to celebrate the artists – Ian Johnston, Leopold Plotek and the late Graham Todd –  and their work. Here are some pics from the week:

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