Eastern Lake Ontario Environmental Research Group 2000 (cont'd from eloerg.tripod.com/waupoos)

Queen's Fine Arts Department Succumbs, letter to Principal, December 2011
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Queen's Fine Arts Department Succumbs, letter to Principal, December 2011
Mr. Kumar and the Super 30, November 2011
Letters, Articles and Projects from the Nineties
Alban Goddard Hill, web site manager

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December 11, 2011                by email

 

Good evening Principal Woolf.

 

My name is Alban Goddard Hill.

 

I live in Belleville, just to the west of Kingston.

 

I have been a General Practitioner here for 30 years.

 

I am a graduate of Queen's University School of Medicine, 1978.

 

I have ...

 

My purpose in contacting you is to discuss the School of Fine Arts,

 

but first I would like to congratulate you on your appointment as Principal,

 

and to thank you for taking on the job!

 

I am very disappointed with your announcement

 

that the School  of Fine Arts will no longer accept new students.

 

With respect, I think that you are on the wrong track here.

 

I regard the Arts Faculty as the central faculty at the university,

 

with all of the others in a supporting role,

 

and at the centre of the Arts Faculty, the Fine Arts School.

 

I simply want to ask you what I can do to help you

 

to get that very  important program back on track.

 

I would be grateful if you would call me at your convenience.

 

I am not a visual artist, but I would be pleased to

 

(a) make you a colourful shirt,

 

(if you will forgive me for saying so,

 

the white one in your website photo is a little dull),

 

(b) bring along one of my choirs to sing you a piece of your choice,

 

(I hope you heard the Bach Christmas Oratorio

 

at the Kingston Gospel Temple today)

 

(c) take you out in my sailboat to show you

 

the stunning  colour and light effects

 

of Eastern Lake Ontario skyscapes in the autumn,

 

(d) bring along a half dozen paintings from my office and home walls

 

to try to explain what they have done for me in the past thirty years,

 

and what they no doubt will continue to do.

 

or (e) all of the above,

 

or anything else  that would help you

 

to sustain the Fine Arts Program

 

at the very famous Queen's University at Kingston.

 

Best wishes,

 

Alban

 

                                     ****************************

Russell Smith: On Culture

Why the decline of art schools hurts more than just artists

RUSSELL SMITH | Columnist profile | E-mail
From Thursday's Globe and Mail

.......At Queen’s, the fine art department was small but visible and necessary. No one was as desirable as the pale, shaking girls who would emerge from their fumes and light more fumes in the snow, who would go to parties in diaphanous skirts and long johns and army boots. Without them, that sweatshirted, healthy campus would have been an aesthetic desert. Everyone benefited from seeing their shows, too: I remember standing in front of an abstract canvas talking to a history major about deconstruction, because of that canvas’s title. The ideas even in the most annoying kind of art – the stack-of-pennies art – are the same ideas that inform everybody else’s life, they are the ideas that every cultured person and media consumer has to talk about. The white-walled galleries were for all of us.

Queen’s University has stopped accepting new students into its BFA program, due to a lack of resources. (I can hear you guffawing at the idea that Queen’s has a lack of resources: Obviously what they mean is that they don’t think it’s important.) Queen’s hasn’t announced closure of the program yet (they are going to “re-assess” it) but I suspect it won’t last long......

                                     **********************************

 

February 10, 2012

 

Return call, from Judith Brown, Associate Vice-Principal (Advancement):

 

From Ms. Brown and other sources one's impression is that:

 

At Queen's University each Faculty is independently funded, so that in the absence of equalization payments within the federation the supporting faculties are all prospering while the central faculty, the jewel in the Queen's crown, the Faculty of Arts, is in decline from attrition, professors unreplaced as they retire. The department of Fine Arts is but one example.

 

It is disappointing that Queen's University is unable to show leadership in support of the fine arts, and that the continued employment of one half time Fine Arts professor represents such a challenge. In the absence of such leadership secondary schools no longer include art or music in their curricula either. Apple rules, and we are all the poorer for it.

 

In her history of Queen's University entitled And Not to Yield, Neatby underlines one of the school's mottos from Tennyson which is "to strive, to seek, to find, and Not to Yield". However in the matter of the continued viability of the Faculty of Arts, department of Fine Arts, although the Provost is considering his options the school appears to have yielded.  Can rebranding to Queen's Institute of Technology be far behind?

 

 

 

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Eastern Lake Ontario Environmental Research Group