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The Department of Art History, Visual Art & Theory

Dana Claxton: Capture Photography Festival

April 02, 2015

Part of the Capture Photography Festival

Dana Claxton works in film, video, photography, single- and multichannel video installation, and performance art. Her practice investigates beauty, the body, the sociopolitical, and the spiritual. Her work has been exhibited widely, including at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; Sundance Film Festival; Eiteljorg Museum, Indianapolis; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney. She has been an influential teacher at Emily Carr University of Art + Design, Vancouver; the University of Regina; Simon Fraser University, Vancouver; and currently in the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. She has received numerous awards including the prestigious VIVA Award and the Eiteljorg Fellowship. Her work is in major collections including the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; Canada Council Art Bank; the Vancouver Art Gallery; and the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

Her work was selected for the  ... (more) »


object approaching short blue waves: UBC Master of Fine Arts Graduate Exhibition 2015

April 30, 2015

Exhibition runs May 1 - 31, 2015

The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery is pleased to present object approaching short blue waves, an exhibition of work by the 2015 graduates of the University of British Columbia’s two-year Master of Fine Arts program: Eric Angus, Jamey Braden, Anyse Ducharme, Jessica Gnyp, and Michelle Weinstein.

This program is limited each year to a small group of four to six artists, which over the two years fosters different sensibilities developed within an intimate and discursive working environment. The artists in this year’s exhibition share an interest in aspects of materiality and the relationships between two and three dimensional work.

 ... (more) »


Dana Claxton; Revisited

May 16, 2015

Opening Reception: May 29, 2015. To June 20, 2015.

Tribe Inc. is an artist-run centre working outside of the constraints of a fixed gallery location enabling collaborations with various institutions. Together Tribe Inc. and AKA artist-run, formerly ‘Aka Gallery,’ have maintained a longstanding partnership. In the celebration of Tribe’s 20th Anniversary, AKA artist-run will host an exhibition of new work by Dana Claxton. When looking at our history we realized that Claxton was the first solo exhibition that Tribe presented in 1997 and it was also her first solo exhibition as an artist. The installation presented in collaboration with ‘Aka Gallery’ has now become one of Claxton’s most influential works of her career. This work was titled Buffalo Bone China.

In Buffalo Bone China Claxton blends performance art, found objects and video to dissect the effects upon First Nations peoples due to policies from colonial Canadian and the United States regarding the state sanctioned  ... (more) »


About the Department


Art History and Visual Art were first taught at The University of British Columbia when noted Canadian painter, B.C. Binning, was appointed to the faculty of the newly-formed School of Architecture. The Department of Fine Arts was established as an independent department within the Faculty of Arts in 1955. Since its inception the Department has grown steadily and now includes 23 full-time members of faculty (13 art historians and 10 visual artists). In 2001, the Department changed its name from Fine Arts to the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory to better to encapsulate the innovative teaching and interdisciplinary research interests of the faculty.

The Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory comprises three streams of research-based learning and practice: Art History, with a particular focus on theoretical and critical discourses concerning the social impact of art and visual representation at both the undergraduate and graduate levels; Critical and Curatorial Studies, examining through research and exhibition projects issues in contemporary visual culture and display; and Visual Art, with an undergraduate curriculum placing art production, academic learning and a graduate emphasis on preparation for participation in the field of contemporary international art.

The Department’s faculty are actively involved in research and bring this strength into their teaching at all levels. Undergraduate and graduate seminars enhance student experience in advanced academic research and practice. As a result many of our graduates have established distinguished careers in the creative, scholarly and gallery fields.

The main goal of Art History, Visual Art and Theory is to foster critical and reflexive thinking within an inclusive and supportive environment. The Department thus maintains the highest standards of intellectual and administrative practice, seeking to be innovative in pedagogy and international in scholarly perspective.


Our Galleries

The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery


The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery has an international reputation for its exhibitions, publications and projects in the area of contemporary art. Its collections and archives are an invaluable resource for scholars.

Visit the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery »


The AHVA Gallery


The mission of the AHVA Gallery is to promote research and discourse in the field of visual art by facilitating collaboration and experimentation within the department, the university, and the community. The gallery is dedicated to providing resources and opportunities to students, faculty and the community through exhibitions, public programs, and providing a venue to engage in dialogue.

Learn more about the AHVA Gallery »


AHVA Events

'Other' Event!

April 02, 2015

Dana Claxton: Capture Photography Festival
Part of the Capture Photography Festival  (more) »



April 30, 2015

object approaching short blue waves: UBC Master of Fine Arts Graduate Exhibition 2015
Exhibition runs May 1 - 31, 2015  (more) »



May 16, 2015

Dana Claxton; Revisited
Opening Reception: May 29, 2015. To June 20, 2015.  (more) »



April 23, 2015

Dana Claxton: You are on Indian Land
Opening Reception April 23, 5 - 7pm. To May 31, 2015.  (more) »



April 27, 2015

AHVA Faculty Dr. Charlotte Townsend-Gault in the news!   (more) »

April 17, 2015

CCST Graduate Shahana Rajani in the news!   (more) »

May 05, 2015

Dr. Catherine Soussloff on Michel Foucault et la peinture   (more) »



Featured Profile

Ken Lum
MFA in Visual Art degree, 1985

Lum’s advice for incoming students of the Department of Art History, Visual Art and Theory is to "remember that the world is a lot bigger, more complex and contradictory than what one learns in AHVA or any other department..."   (more) »