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Thursday, January 4, 2001

  • Alumni return, bringing their art
  • Gems stolen from UW's museum
  • A jab in the arm, no charge
  • Closing, amid the winter's snow
  • And finally these notes

[Oil on canvas, 84 by 60 inches]
"Intermission (Tease)", by Darlene Cole

Alumni return, bringing their art

Two fine arts graduates from 1995, Darlene Cole and Dana Holst, return to UW today for the opening of an exhibition of their work, under the title "Interrupted Viewing".

The show will run in Gallery 1 of East Campus Hall, today through February 17, and an opening reception is scheduled for 5:00 this afternoon.

In notes prepared for the exhibition, UW director-curator Carol Podedworny observes that the two artists have more than their alumni affiliation in common. "The work of these artists has been juxtaposed as a consequence of their shared interest in creating canvases that relate and respond to other canvases in a series, the unease generated by their thematic concerns, and their expressive use of red. . . .

"Cole's figures are about to be jarred by circumstances beyond their control. Who is the menacing figure hovering before the little red-jacketed girl in Chatter (make-believe)? What secrets are being shared by the lunching girls in Chatter (the suspense is killing me)? What truths are being spoken, what illusions shattered, what lies told, by the man in Chatter (all of your sweet talk)?

"Dana Holst's paintings in this exhibition form one half of a series of 'paired' works in which male and female street fighters confront one another in a battle of the sexes. Rumble is a collection of paintings in which nude men are armed with garden tools (hedge shears, axes, shovels), and nude women with domestic ones (mop and bucket, feather duster, spray bottle). . . . While the women are clearly disadvantaged by their weapons, they nevertheless assume aggressive stances -- chests thrust forward, brooms and toilet bowl brushes held high. In comparison, the men casually handle their rakes, languidly carry their weed whackers."

The title of the show, "Interrupted Viewing", suggests the sort of stories told by the visual images: "Full of gaps and absences; characters that flow in and out of a loose story line; and people and events that are represented as fragmented and of multiple and anonymous voice and place, the overall effect is one of anxiety and unease," writes Podedworny.

Meanwhile, the nearby Gallery 2 will feature "The Big House/ A Machyderm Production", a video installation by Christopher McNamara and Dermot Wilson, two artists who began their collaboration as fine arts students at the University of Windsor. It too opens with this afternoon's reception and runs through February 17.

Before today's reception, Cole and Holst will give a talk on "Life After Art School" (1:30 p.m., East Campus Hall room 1219). McNamara and Wilson will be along January 18 for a talk on "Technology in Art Production".

Art Gallery hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from noon to 4 p.m., Thursday from noon to 7 p.m., and Saturday from 1 to 4 p.m.

Coming on the UW art scene later this month: UW's permanent art collection will receive a fresh interpretation in the display which opens January 24 in the Modern Languages gallery. "The exhibition," says Podedworny, "will feature contemporary Canadian works in various media drawn from the considerable collections of the University of Waterloo and maintained by the University of Waterloo Art Gallery." What makes this show unique is the perspective provided by its curators: the students of Fine Arts 330. As part of the course, which Podedworny is teaching, the students will select works for the show, research and write didactic labels for the art, and install the exhibition.

Gems stolen from UW's museum

Plans are being made to tighten security at the Earth Sciences Museum after some $4,000 worth of semi-precious gems and jade carvings were stolen on Tuesday morning.

Museum curator Peter Russell believes the items were taken from glass cases in the museum between 9:45 and 10:15 a.m. on Tuesday -- just after the university reopened following the Christmas holidays, and after the alarm protecting the collection was turned off.

Russell has given police a sketch of a suspect he spotted in the Biology I building around that time. Shortly before 11 a.m., Russell entered the museum and discovered the theft. Duct tape had been placed on the door of a glass case, which was scored with a sharp object around the lock before the glass was broken.

Stolen from that case were 29 cut gemstones, including amethyst, ruby, emerald, sapphire, topaz, garnet and rose quartz. Taken from another case were two jade carvings, a cream-and-beige nephrite carving of cranes, plants and fish, and a pale green jadeite warrior on a wooden base.

Russell has given police a detailed description of each item missing, including exact dimensions. He had purchased the gemstones -- an item or two a year, from the museum's modest budget -- at gem and mineral shows.

A similar incident occurred on October 27 last year with some $1,000 worth of gemstones stolen from a case during regular museum hours.

A jab in the arm, no charge

[Needle in bare arm]
With barely a flinch, Mark Zanna of the psychology department got his flu shot from health services nurse Norma Robinson at a November clinic.
Students returning to campus from a fall work term -- or others who didn't get their flu shot before the holidays -- can still receive a free flu vaccination at health services this winter.

Health services medical director Barbara Schumacher notes that "flu season is still with us," and usually lasts through April. "It only takes about two weeks to acquire immunity following inoculation," she adds.

Flu serum is available at health services, and students can drop in for a flu shot without an appointment.

Last year, the Ontario ministry of health decided to make free flu vaccines available to all residents of the province, and a series of vaccination clinics were held on campus in November.

There are good reasons for healthy folks to have the vaccine, Ruth Kropf, a nurse at health services and flu clinic coordinator, said at the time. A flu shot can protect healthy people and their families against the disease; it can prevent time lost from work and school, as well as holiday time lost with family and friends; and it can prevent the virus being spread to others.

While the vaccine is considered 70 to 90 per cent effective in preventing flu in healthy adults, those who do contract the disease will have milder symptoms than they would have without immunization, said Kropf. A common misconception is that the vaccine itself can cause the flu. On the contrary, since the vaccine does not contain live viruses, it cannot transmit the flu.

Closing, amid the winter's snow

UW's "snow closing procedure" may be a little fresher in people's minds for the rest of this winter, following the experience of Tuesday, December 12, when the campus closed and a day's worth of exams were postponed because of heavy snow.

Under the procedure, established in 1994, UW will be "closed" for the day if the Waterloo Region District School Board cancels classes at all its schools. If only rural schools are closed, or if buses are cancelled but schools stay open, the university will remain open.

UW follows the school board's lead since "it has an effective system for evaluating weather conditions across Waterloo Region, and informing the public through the news media."

Says the procedure: "The university will 'close' because of severe winter weather when normal operation would pose a significant danger to students, staff and faculty while on campus or would prevent large numbers of them from coming to campus or returning safely to their homes in Kitchener-Waterloo and the immediate surrounding area."

It also says that for the university to be "closed" means that classes are not held, meetings and other scheduled events are cancelled, staff other than those employed in "essential services are not expected to be at work, but are paid for a normal day, examinations are cancelled, deadlines for assignments and other submissions are postponed until the same hour on the next business day on which the university is not "closed". The "essential services" listed are food service in the residences, policing, the central plant (powerhouse), snow removal (grounds crew), emergency repair and maintenance, and animal care.

Says the policy: "Classes will not be held during 'closed' periods, and assignment deadlines must be extended. Faculty members and academic departments do not have the authority to make exceptions to this rule."

If there is a major winter storm on a day when the schools aren't open, the closing decision will be made in the early morning by the provost. When work has already begun for the day, UW will close "only in extreme circumstances", the procedure says.

A closing of the university will be announced on the UWinfo home page. And the UW news bureau will report it to local radio stations, which have been asked to broadcast it quickly and often, "since the University of Waterloo attracts a large number of people from across the region and beyond".

And finally these notes

A memorial service will be held today for Jim Field, an early member of UW's "department of electrical engineering", who died December 30, aged 65. Field came to UW in the fall of 1965 and retired just last September, after a career in which he served for a time as electrical and computer engineering department chair and made a particular contribution to developing the computer engineering program. Today's service will be held at 2 p.m. at Parkminster United Church on Erb Street East.

This year's FASS show ("2001: A FASS Oddity") is a month away -- it hits the Humanities Theatre stage February 1-3 -- and now's the time to get involved. So auditions for FASS 2001 will be held tonight and tomorrow between 7 and 10 p.m. in Humanities room 378. As the show's name suggests, Faculty, Alumni, Students and Staff are all welcome.

Striking teaching assistants and part-time teachers at York University are voting today and tomorrow on a management contract offer -- a vote ordered by the Ontario government after months of impasse. Canadian Union of Public Employees local 3903 is urging its members to reject the offer and remain on strike. And if they do? The Star yesterday quoted "a highly placed government source" as saying that "we are considering the option of moving the students to other institutions" if they can't go back to class at York, which has been crippled though not completely closed by the strike. Discussing such a possibility earlier, the Star asked Martin Van Nierop, UW's director of information and public affairs, whether Waterloo would welcome thousands of displaced York students for the rest of this academic year. His reply: "I don't know how we would handle it."


Editor of the Daily Bulletin: Chris Redmond
Information and Public Affairs, University of Waterloo
credmond@uwaterloo.ca | (519) 888-4567 ext. 3004
http://www.bulletin.uwaterloo.ca | Yesterday's Bulletin
Copyright © 2001 University of Waterloo