December 23, 2010

University of Toronto: Call for Applications

University of Toronto
Masters in Visual Studies (MVS)

Application Deadline: Monday, January 10, 2010 Masters of Visual Studies (MVS) at the University of Toronto is unique in Canada. A small, elite two-year professional program, it offers two fields of study: Curatorial Studies (admitting 3 students per year) and Studio Art (4 students admitted per year). Distinguished from more traditional MFA degrees by its interdisciplinary premise, the MVS offers a small group of students a core program of studio art or curatorial studies in combination with other knowledge-producing activities such as research, critical writing and professional practice within contemporary visual art. Each course of study includes an internship placement which may be local, national or international, depending upon the student’s interests and research.

For application information, please consult the website

For more information or to arrange a tour of the MVS facilities please contact: [email protected]

MVS: Curatorial Studies

Students enrolled in the MVS: Curatorial Studies develop knowledge and skills in curatorial history, theory, art criticism, and exhibition practice in the field of contemporary art within an interdisciplinary environment unique to a University setting. Led by internationally respected curator Barbara Fischer (Executive Director/Chief Curator, Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Hart House, University of Toronto), this 2-year international program provides students with opportunities to work with the directors and curators of the Blackwood Gallery (UTMississauga), Doris McCarthy Gallery, UTScarborough), the University of Toronto Art Centre; as well as U of T professors Mark Cheetham (Contemporary), Elizabeth Harney (Contemporary African), Louis Kaplan (Photography), Elizabeth Legge (Contemporary), An Te Liu (Architecture and Art), John Ricco (Performance and Video Art); artists/curators Lisa Steele and Kim Tomczak (Media and Video Art), and numerous adjunct faculty, including Deepali Dewan (Curator, South Asian Arts and Culture, ROM).

MVS: Curatorial Studies students will enjoy access to the wide range of internationally renowned galleries associated with the U of T including the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, the Eric Arthur Gallery, and the University of Toronto Art Centre (all on St. George campus), as well as the Blackwood Gallery (UTMississauga campus) and the Doris MacCarthy Gallery (UTScarborough campus). Professionally operated, this dynamic group of galleries present a broad program of exhibitions in the areas of Canadian and international art and/or architecture and hold important contemporary and historical collections. The galleries and their curatorial staff support the curriculum of the MVS through direct roles on advisory panels, critique, internship and summer positions, financial and spatial resources, as well as international reputation and prestige.

MVS: Studio

In the MVS Studio, students work under the supervision of a Principal Advisor and a panel of practicing artists drawn from U of T faculty, augmented by other U of T faculty in fields of research related to the students’ own area of focus. Students work is various media including: painting, drawing, installation, photography, video and performance, often engaging several media to produce bodies of work culminating in an exhibition at the end of their two years of study. The MVS participants will be a group of artists and curators whose work in studio art and curatorial practice will advance knowledge within visual culture and strengthen the connections between the visual arts and other fields of study at the University. The MVS will offer participants a unique opportunity to investigate rigorously the interdisciplinary components inherent in contemporary art practice, critical writing, art theory and related areas requiring a high degree of visual literacy.

The MVS experience evolves within a rich environment structured around new approaches to visual art production, art theory, critical writing and professional practice as it applies to curatorial issues. The MVS faculty is comprised entirely of visual artists and curators, many with high-profile exhibition and curatorial careers. MVS participants pursue a highly focused investigation within studio practice along with research into contemporary theories exploring the field of vision and its relationship to art and cultural production.

Participants in both programs benefit from the a rich and varied cultural environment along with the potential for specific links with the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Power Plant, MOCCA (Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art) and the professional and artist-run alternative gallery systems and art-centred publications. The programs’ location in Toronto provides an intellectual and artistic context for advanced study unequalled in Canada. Located in the culturally diverse city of Toronto, the MVS courses of study will be of interest to participants with backgrounds in humanities and social science disciplines: Studio Art in particular, along with Visual Studies, Art History, Museum Studies, Women’s Studies, Anthropology, Comparative Literature, Cinema Studies, Environmental Studies, and Drama, among many others.


MVS students in Curatorial Studies and Studio Art will enjoy a wide range of local, national and international visiting curators, writers, and artists as well as individual critique sessions with visitors. Over the past few years MVS visitors included:

• IARA BOUBNOVA, Curator, Institute of Contemporary Art, Sofia, Bulgaria
AA BRONSON, artist and curator; 2007-8 Artist-In-Residence, Visual Studies program; New York, USA
GREGORY BURKE, Director, The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada
NANCY CAMPBELL, independent curator, Toronto, Canada
• ANJA CASSER, Director, Badischer Kunstverein, Karlsruhe, Germany
• ANN DEMEESTER, Director, De Appel Foundation, Amsterdam, Netherlands
• JANNEKE DE VRIES, Director, GAK Gesellschaft Fuer Aktuelle Kunst, Bremen, Germany
• STAN DOUGLAS, artist, Vancouver, Canada
YILMAZ DZIEVIOR, Director, Kunstverein Hamburg, Hamburg, Germany
MARNIE FLEMING, Curator, The Oakville Galleries, Oakville, Canada
ANSELM FRANKE, 2009 International-Curator-in-Residence, Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Toronto; Director, Extra City, Antwerp, Belgium; Canada
VERA FRENKEL, artist, Toronto, Canada
• DR BLAIR FRENCH, Executive Director, Artspace, Sydney, Australia
GILLES FOREST, Director/Curator Centre d’art contemporaine, Basse-Normandie, France
PEGGY GALE, independent curator, Toronto, Canada
BORIS GROYS, Philosopher, Professor, ZKM, Karlsruhe, Germany
• SOPHIE HACKETT, Curator, Art Gallery of Ontario
• FRANÇOISE JOLY, Editor, Professor, University of Stuttgart, Germany
NICKY S. LEE, artist, New York, USA
MARK LEWIS, artist, London, England
NINA MÖNTMAN, Curator, Professor, Royal University College of Fine Arts, Stockholm, Sweden
PHILIP MONK, Director/Curator, Art Gallery of York University, Toronto, Canada
• HELENA RECKITT, Curator of Programs, The Power Plant, Toronto, Canada
SUSANNE TITZ, Director, Städtisches Museum, Abteiberg, Mönchengladbach, Germany
GERALD McMASTER, Curator, Canadian Art, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto
DANNYS MONTES DE OCA MOREDA, Member of curatorial team, Havana Biennale 2009, Havana, Cuba
DIANA NEMIROFF, Director, Carleton University Art Gallery, Ottawa, Canada
• ANDY PAYNE, Senior Lecturer, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada
• JAN VERWOERT, Writer, Critic, and Curator, Berlin, Germany
• DR. MARTINA WEINHART, Curator, Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurth, Germany


Barbara Fischer, Curatorial Studies

Lisa Steele, Studio

Prospective students can reach the program through email, at [email protected] or by telephone at (416) 946-3960


Matthew Brower, Curator
University of Toronto Art Centre
Lecturer, Faculty of Information Studies
University of Toronto, St. George

Barbara Fischer, Executive Director/Chief Curator
Commissioner and Curator, Canada Pavilion, Venice Bienniale 2009
Justina M. Barnicke Gallery, Hart House
University of Toronto, St. George

An Te Liu, Coordinator
Eric Arthur Gallery
John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design
University of Toronto, St. George

Ann MacDonald, Director/Curator
Doris McCarthy Gallery
University of Toronto, Scarborough

Christof Migone, Director/Curator
Blackwood Gallery,
University of Toronto, Mississauga

Niamh O’Laoghaire, Director
University of Toronto Art Centre
University of Toronto, St. George

Ydessa Hendeles, Director/Curator
Ydessa Hendeles Art Foundation


George Hawken
University of Toronto, St. George

Marla Hlady
University of Toronto, Scarborough

David Hlynsky
University of Toronto, Scarborough

Alexander Irving
University of Toronto, Scarborough

Will Kwan
University of Toronto, Scarborough

Sue Lloyd
University of Toronto, St. George

Tanya Mars
University of Toronto, Scarborough

John Massey
University of Toronto, St. George

Ed Pien
University of Toronto, St. George

Susan Schelle
University of Toronto, St. George

Lisa Steele
University of Toronto, St. George

Joanne Tod
University of Toronto, St. George

Kim Tomczak
University of Toronto, St. George

Shirley Wiitasalo
University of Toronto, St. George

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