December 17th, 2017

U of L art exhibit features Roloff Beny scholarship recipients

By Martin, Tijana on September 14, 2017.

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 well-known 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’s side of the family 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.

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