2015 Shelly Peterson Student Art Exhibition

2015, Art, Art Museum at the University of Toronto, Temporary Exhibit
contemporary art, painting, performance art, photography, print, promotional materials, sculpture, Toronto, University of Toronto, video content, visual studies
About This Project

Date: March 20 – April 11, 2015

Partner: Art Museum at the University of Toronto

Venue: University of Toronto Art Centre – map

Project Members: Molly McGowan, Mélanie Mundle, and Jennifer Rodrigues


On March 20, 2015, the University of Toronto Art Centre (UTAC) opened the University of Toronto Shelley Peterson Student Art Exhibition, which considers an expansive range of subject matter – emerging from each artist’s exploration of contemporary culture and academic life – and engage with topics including post-industrial decay, sexuality, and identity.


Curated by Master of Museum Studies students Molly McGowan, Jennifer Rodrigues, and Mélanie Mundle, the University of Toronto Shelley Peterson Student Art Exhibition showcases the exceptional work of the Visual Studies undergraduate students across the University’s three campuses.


This exhibition is intended to be accessible to and enjoyed by, both academics and non-academics as the introductory panel and labels are written at a grade six level. Professionals in the Toronto Arts Community, professors, art collectives, and commercial gallery owners, and individuals interested in emerging artists will also enjoy the exhibition.


The exhibition is located at the University of Toronto Art Centre in the Art Lounge and Delta Gamma Gallery. The exhibition is held at this venue, which is located on the University of Toronto campus, annually because it compliments the purpose and content of the exhibition.


Shelley Peterson is the exhibition’s main financial donor, as it is her endowment that funds the exhibition annually. Manulife Financial, the University of Toronto, and JMB/UTAC sponsored the exhibition. Additionally, TD and MBNA sponsored the opening reception and awards ceremony.


Planning the exhibition began in late October 2014. The planning took a total of 5 months. At the end of October, we had created our Call for Submissions and disseminated it across all three of UofT’s campus. We selected the 31 artworks on February 6th, 2015. Installation began March 16th and took three full days to complete. The exhibition opened on March 20, 2015 and closes on April 11, 2015.


The University of Toronto Shelley Peterson Student Art Exhibition includes 4 video installations, 2 hang sculptural pieces, 3 large-scale sculptural pieces exhibited on the floor, 3 paintings, 2 prints, and 10 photography pieces. Four sculptural pieces are displayed on plinths and one book is exhibited on a table. Two pieces are exhibited behind Plexiglas in order to protect them from theft. The interpretive elements include labels mounted on walls beside each artwork and introductory text that’s displayed on a wall.


Our public programming event was entitled Art in Transition: Shifting from Student to Professional. During the event, a panel of professionals working in the Toronto art community consisting of Jessica Hein, aToronto artist and sessional instructor at UTSC, Marianne Katzman, owner of the Katzman Contemporary, and Adam Welsh an associate curator at the National Gallery of Canada described how they have been able to align their education and career. Overall, the event was well attended and provided valuable advice to students. Our marketing consisted of putting up posters, handing out postcards, and social media updates through Facebook. Additionally, UTAC’s marketing team advertised the exhibition and public program on various event listing websites, Facebook, and listservs.


Our exhibition opening reception is April 6th. Based on the amount of RSVP’s received, we believe it will be well attended. We do not have exact attendance numbers, however, our contacts at UTAC have told us the exhibition opening have been well attended thus far. Additionally, UTAC is very pleased with the outcome of our exhibit and our hard work.


Our team would like to acknowledge our sponsors, our University of Toronto Art Centre contacts Emily Fitzpatrick and Barbara Fischer, our graphic designer, Reagan Cook, Assistant Director of the Vice-Provost’s Office, Joan Griffin, and our campus contacts Lisa Steele, John Armstrong, and Tanya Mars. Without their support, this exhibition would not have been possible.