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Hamilton Artists Inc.’s Award for Distinction in the McMaster Studio Art Program

Recipients: Cassandra Ferguson, Jin Lu, Alana Petrella and Heather Vida-Moore

February 5 – February 28, 2015

Opening Reception and Awards Presentation: Saturday, February 7, 2:00-4:00pm

Exhibition tours every Saturday @ 2:00pm

Art Crawl: Friday, February 13, 7:00-10:00pm

Hamilton Artists Inc. is pleased to announce the launch of its 2015 exhibition programming and year long 40th anniversary celebrations with the third annual Award for Distinction and accompanying exhibition, IGNITION 3, recognizing outstanding graduating students from McMaster University’s Studio Art Program.

The 2015 IGNITION Award recipients are: Cassandra Ferguson, Jin Lu, Alana Petrella and Heather Vida-Moore.

In addition to having their work presented within a professionally produced exhibition, a certificate to commemorate their achievement, and an honorarium, this year marks the beginning of an exciting and ongoing partnership with the Cotton Factory at 270 Sherman Ave North. The Cotton Factory is generously providing these four emerging artists with a studio space for one year following their graduation from the program.

Please download the exhibition brochure HERE

About the Artists:

Cassandra Ferguson is in her final year of undergraduate study at McMaster University working toward completion of her Bachelors degree in Fine Arts. Her interest in the systematic structures of the contemporary world informs her practice as she questions and attempts to communicate regulation and standardization through the construction of forms.

Jin Lu is from Beijing, China and currently resides in Hamilton, studying abroad at McMaster University in a BFA studio art program. He received early encouragement to pursue art from his artist family. Jin Lu’s art is about his personal experience of being a traveler. Living in two different cultural backgrounds brings a cultural diversity into his artwork, and captures the details of daily life through observation.

Alana Petrella is in her final year completing her Bachelor of Fine Arts at McMaster University with a minor in psychology. Along with her involvement in the arts, she has an active passion for wilderness and the outdoors. Her interdisciplinary interests reflect themselves in her artwork pertaining to human connection with the natural world.

Heather Vida-Moore is a visual artist from Hamilton, Ontario. She is primarily a painter whose work is often abstract, featuring complex, organic patterns, although she has also worked with a variety of other media, including drawing, sculpture, printmaking, digital art and video. She has studied art at the University of Western Ontario, Dundas Valley School of Art, and is currently in the process of completing her final year of McMaster University’s BFA program.

About the Award:

One of Hamilton Artists Inc.’s primary objectives as an artist-run centre is to support artists at all levels of their careers, and to empower their artistic expression and research. The exhibition space becomes the point from which each of these emerging artists can begin to launch their professional practice, the presentation of their work acting as the vehicle through which audiences can engage with the idea of activating or igniting the imagination, within a critical, multi-layered experience. Established in 2013 by former staff member and McMaster graduate, Reg Gilmore, in association with the Studio Art Program at McMaster University, the IGNITION award honours exceptional graduating students with the opportunity of a professional exhibition at Hamilton Artists Inc.

The Hamilton Artists Inc. award for Distinction in the Studio Art Program provides a perfect setting for McMaster University to celebrate its commitment to community engaged learning by involving young, talented, emerging artists within the greater Hamilton art community. McMaster University is historically tied to Hamilton Artists Inc. with art graduates from the University being among the founding members of the gallery some forty years ago. The gallery’s purpose built exhibition facilities on James Street North offer a highly professional exhibition experience for the recipients and provides an opportunity for sustained connections.

The Cotton Factory at 270 Sherman Ave. N. The current use of this former industrial building is a fine example of adaptive reuse. In the heart of lower Hamilton, the facilities at 270 Sherman Avenue North have been transformed into a creative industries complex, with space for workshops and small manufacturing, office space for creative professionals, and studios for artists. The Cotton Factory at 270 Sherman Ave. N. plans to develop a permanent home for the Ignition Award within their complex, wherein the recipients of the annual award are provided with a studio space for one year immediately following graduation.



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