University of Manitoba 2024 Master of Fine Art Thesis Exhibitions

May 17 to June 21, 2024
Opening Reception: May 17, 5:00 to 8:00 pm
School of Art Gallery, Winnipeg

The School of Art at the University of Manitoba is pleased to announce the exhibitions of three 2024 Master of Fine Art (MFA) graduate students: Agata Garbowska, Takashi Iwasaki, and Benjamin Perron.

This joint exhibition is produced as part of the requirements for the MFA degree at the School of Art and continues an ongoing collaboration with the School of Art Gallery at the University of Manitoba.

Agata Garbowska: hauntings

hauntings draws on personal archives to explore incidents of haunting in relation to print media, memory, and time. Through looping gestures of collage, printing, fragmenting, and reassembling, these works consider how the past and remembered experiences affect the present. Through these works, I propose that the hauntings found in the printed image‚ÄĒprint variations and traces of process‚ÄĒparallel the hauntings of memory. Further, while presenting a provisional record of memory and present, I ask, when do loops of re-printing, re-contextualizing, re-collaging slip into the decay of nostalgia? When do built worlds begin to resemble ruins?

Agata Garbowska (she/they) is an artist from amiskwaciw√Ęskahikan (Edmonton, Alberta). She is currently an MFA candidate at the University of Manitoba. Their practice is informed by an interest in the possibilities of print media to explore notions of absence, presence, touch, and memory. Agata received her BFA from the University of Alberta in 2017 and in 2021 completed an Emerging Artist Residency at the Society of Northern Alberta Print-Artists (SNAP).

Public Thesis Defence: Thursday, May 23, 1:00 pm CT
Attend in person: 255 ARTlab, 180 Dafoe Road, University of Manitoba
Attend virtually: Register for Zoom Link

Takashi Iwasaki: In My Living Room

In My Living Room captures a snapshot of my ongoing exploration of pleasure through the creation of tangible objects intended for an intimate, domestic environment‚ÄĒlike a personal living room. Engaging with clay, newly discovered, has infused my creative process with fresh challenges and joy. My passion is deeply embedded in each object I craft, yet my primary interest currently lies in the mass of objects that collectively transform into the environment itself.

This exhibition features maquettes, prototypes, and works in progress‚ÄĒeach a product of attempts, failures, and successes that I see as holding potential for further development. The lack of appropriate plinths and platforms for displaying my ceramic sculptures led me to design and create functional pieces that double as stools and tables.

At the core of my venture is a deep-seated indulgence in satisfying my creativity, which brings me immense pleasure. While expressions, processes, and perceptions may vary, I hope the audience can experience a sense of pleasure and joy as well. In My Living Room might not represent the most functional or conventional environment for everyday life, but it closely mirrors the type of space I find myself drawn to periodically‚ÄĒat least in this current moment of my life. As everything is subject to change and nothing remains static, capturing these fleeting moments is where I find my greatest pleasure.

Born in Japan (1982), Takashi Iwasaki has been based in Winnipeg for the past 20 years. Primarily working with painting, embroidery, woodworking, and large-scale public artworks in the past, he discovered clay while in the Master of Fine Art program at the University of Manitoba. With its unique malleability and materiality, clay provides a new means to express his world and vision. In the short and temporary life, Iwasaki’s main interest is to capture pleasurable moments through his artworks.

Public Thesis Defence: Wednesday, June 12, 10:00 am CT
Attend in person: 255 ARTlab, 180 Dafoe Road, University of Manitoba
Attend virtually: Register for Zoom Link

Benjamin Perron: What If the Sun Didn’t Rise

My artistic practice questions the photographic medium by employing alternative and experimental processes, generally slow and unique-print, in opposition to society‚Äôs acceleration and the multiplication of digital images. I salvage found or donated materials to produce works from elements that have lost their initial value, such as expired photographic paper or weeds. I favour long exposures that aim to slow down the lived experience by re-engaging the body ‚Äď mine and the viewer‚Äôs ‚Äď in space and time, proposing a reembodied relationship with the world that has a resonant potential.

Benjamin Perron is a Québec francophone visual artist who works primarily with lensless and camera-less photographic processes. His work has been exhibited in Montréal and Winnipeg, where he has been spending his time for the past 2 years. He is the recipient of numerous awards and grants, including the Gabor Szilasi Prize in Studio Arts and the 2022 Alfred Pinsky Medal from Concordia University’s Faculty of Fine Arts. He holds a BA and MA in Sociology (Université Laval) and a BFA (Concordia University). He is currently completing an MFA at the University of Manitoba’s School of Art.

Public Thesis Defence: Tuesday, May 21, 9:00 am CT
Attend in person: 255 ARTlab, 180 Dafoe Road, University of Manitoba
Attend virtually: Register for Zoom Link

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School of Art Gallery
255 ARTlab, 180 Dafoe Road, University of Manitoba (Fort Garry campus), Winnipeg, MB R3T 2N2

Gallery Hours
Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm

The Gallery and University of Manitoba campuses are located on original lands of Anishinaabeg, Ininiwak, Anisininewuk, Dakota Oyate and Denesuline, and on the National Homeland of the Red River Métis.

We respect the Treaties that were made on these territories, we acknowledge the harms and mistakes of the past, and we dedicate ourselves to move forward in partnership with Indigenous communities in a spirit of Reconciliation and collaboration.

Media Contact:
Cailyn Harrison, Communications Assistant,, 1-431-338-3954