The creative arts are a fundamental component of life and the human experience. Northern Ontario and Thunder Bay in particular are blessed with vibrant and engaged arts communities whose creative work and activity deepens the regional quality of life. In Thunder Bay, a vital component of the creative arts is the Visual Arts Department and associated programs at Lakehead University where the faculty and students have been contributing to the regional arts scene for decades. Many generations of artists have acquired and honed their skills in the facilities and programs of Lakehead's Visual Arts Department.
This week, I received an in depth immersion in visual arts and the creative process as a result of my role as a reviewer for the Quality Assurance review of the visual arts program at Lakehead University. I joined Sally Hickson from the University of Guelph and Laura Peturson from Nipissing University and spent two days visiting with staff and students at the Visual Arts Department at Lakehead. It was certainly an illuminating experience learning about the different streams of the program and it was an eye opener learning about the capital intensity of the program given the facilities and equipment required to mount a quality program in the arts. It was quite instructive learning about ceramics, printmaking, painting, drawing and sculpture.
The students and faculty of the Visual Arts program regularly exhibit at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery as well as with other private galleries and their work is an impressive contribution to the region's cultural assets. Much of their work is also showcased on campus and the recent opening of the Alumni Commons at Lakehead provides an attractive venue for their work. All the best to the students, faculty and staff of the Visual Arts Department at Lakehead University.