March has been a busy month for us here at Willowbank - we've welcomed back our third year students, and are gearing up for the open house and graduation in April. Summer is just around the corner!
Open House: April 2nd, 2016 - 12-4PMEveryone is welcome! Rain or shine! If you are in the Niagara area this weekend you should stop in for our annual Open House.The estate will be open for tours of the house, grounds and community garden; with presentations by Julian Smith, Dean of Faculty and third year student, Angus Affleck held in the Bright Parlour. Current students and alumni will be at work in the workshops and lower campus with demonstrations on carpentry, stone carving, stone conservation, stained glass, plastering and blacksmithing. A bake sale, barbecue and marketplace will round out the activities for the day. We hope to see you there!
Université de Montréal RoundtableStudents, staff and faculty attended the Université de Montréal roundtable in March. The event brings together heritage academics to discuss current trends and topics in Heritage - this year themes of Heritage reconstruction and conservation in war torn areas were explored. Second year students Hallie Church and Patrick Brown represented Willowbank as presenter and rapporteur, respectively. Dean of Faculty, Julian Smith moderator the student discussion, while Director of School, Elaine O'Sullivan presented a Willowbank approach to conservation.
First Years - Plaster, Carpentry and Drafting in MarchFirst year students got down and dirty with plastering classes in March. Students explored traditional plastering methods with instructor John Doran of Acanthus Heritage Plastering, while also experimenting with sustainable additives, like yak and buffalo dung! In other classes, students finished their heritage carpentry first year projects: dado panels. Fashioned by hand from rough lumber to a finished panel, the project explores wood materials from logs to lumber. Students also completed their measured drawings of our drystone forge building.
Second year Classes - Its CMP time!Second year students have been hard at it all year working on their Conservation Management Plans (affectionately known as CMPs!) and throughout March have been putting together their final presentations and reports. This year's CMPs were three amazing sites - the Mohawk Institute in Brantford, the Cave Springs Conservation Area and the East Seneca United Church. The students will be making their presentations to community stakeholders this week and next. Students also worked on their second year carpentry projects - storm windows for the barn! Students each worked from one barn window, measuring, designing and constructing their own windows. Thomas Neumeyer, a stone conservator from Denmark, also worked with our second year students in March. Thomas, continued projects and work on gravestones from St. Mark's Church in Niagara-On-The-Lake.
Bursary DinnerWillowbank hosted its annual Bursary dinner in March of this year. Typically celebrated in the fall, we held off on the event in order to align timing with the return of faculty member Thomas Neumeyer, who returns to Canada each year from Denmark to teach stone conservation. We were pleased to welcome Thomas and the Neumeyer family back to Willowbank, where they presented the annual award in memoriam to Per Neumeyer, an influential stone carver and conservator in Ontario. This year's Per Neumeyer bursary went to second year student Laura Wickett. The bursary dinner celebrated the awarding of the Niagara Foundation's student scholarship for 2015-16. This year's scholarship was awarded to third year student Sherri Koabel, who is conducting a study of mennonite vernacular architecture in the Jordan area. Our 2015-16 student fellows were also thanked during the celebration, and included: Mark McGaw, the Laura Dodson Student Affairs Fellow; Zara Wexler, the Community Outreach Fellow; Patrick Brown, the Susan Buggey Cultural Landscape Fellow; Chloe Richer, the Oliver-Malone Research and Archives Fellow, Hallie Church, the Library Keeper Bursar. Our board member and history keeper, Dr. Elizabeth Oliver-Malone was also recognized by the Willowbank community for her recent Lieutenant Governor's Ontario Heritage Award for Lifetime Achievement.
Third Year Students return!Each year, our third year students begin their transition into the heritage field and our curriculum bookends this third year internship and experience year with courses in September and April. We were happy to welcome our third year students back at the end of March. The students got right back into the thick of things with a class in Joinery, an Urban Regeneration module with a field trip to York Forest Stewardship Council Building where they met with Craig Applegath of Dialog Design, and began work on a Feasibility Study module with Dean of Faculty Julian Smith.
Workshops in Southern ItalyLast summer, our third year student Theresa Felicetti took part in the Fornello Sustainable Preservation Workshop in Southern Italy run by Messors, an organization that works with the local community to offer select workshops such as art restoration, heritage conservation and culinary history. After, her experience at Fornello, Theresa felt that Willowbank and Messors shared common goals of integrating theory and practice as well as reinforcing the interconnection of people and place, and ensuring the creative continuity of cultural traditions. Theresa will be returning this summer to represent Willowbank and to explore the ways in which the organizations align for future collaborations. Check out Theresa's blog on her experience last year and find out how you can register .
- April 23, 2016, Bright Parlour, Views on a Room : Heritage Symposium $80 Tickets - Open to Public!
- April 30 - May 1, 2016, Bright Parlour, Views on a Room : Heritage Charette $50 Tickets - Open to student participants!
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