Fine art students at Queen’s will continue to learn and be inspired by a celebrated artist every year, thanks to a significant gift from The Michael and Sonja Koerner Charitable Foundation.
The foundation has made a generous donation to ensure that the popular Koerner Artist in Residence Program will be funded in perpetuity and continue to develop Canada’s next generation of artists.
"This has been a highly successful residency for the past 20 years, offering close mentorship and teaching to undergraduate visual arts students from some of Canada’s most talented artists,” said Michael Koerner, LLD’13. “Sonja and I are truly pleased that, through the endowment, arts students will continue to benefit from a strong education and an enriched artistic life at Queens.”
This gift is among a number of philanthropic investments Queen’s has announced in support of the arts since this summer. Other gifts include a donation by Bader Philanthropies, Inc. to revitalize and expand the Agnes Etherington Art Centre; a donation by Marjorie Ernestine Bernstein to support more culturally diverse programming at the Isabel Bader Centre for the Performing Arts; and gifts to the Department of Art History and Art Conservation from The Jarislowsky Foundation and Dr. Isabel Overton Bader.
The program provides students with unique access to mentorship from a top emerging Canadian artist each year. The residency involves a mix of classroom activities, studio time, one-to-one critiques, and opportunities to build relationships with students, faculty members, and community artists.
It is the flagship program of the Faculty of Arts and Science’s Fine Art (Visual Art) Program. Countless students have benefitted from the knowledge and learnings that these emerging artists provide, and the mentoring has sparked genuine artistic breakthroughs.
“I think that because of the residency program, many students in Fine Art at Queen’s, including myself, begin to look outside the university environment and start thinking about our futures more fully,” says Ashley Gringhuis, Artsci’21. “The support of The Michael and Sonja Koerner Charitable Foundation is directly helping students like me broaden our horizons.”
Gordon E. Smith, Vice-Dean in the Faculty of Arts and Science and Interim Director, Bachelor of Fine Art (Visual Art) Program, noted one of his favourite aspects of this residency is having the opportunity to see the students interact with incredible artists.
“I want to thank The Michael and Sonja Koerner Charitable Foundation for their ongoing and deep commitment to the arts, not only here at Queen’s, but across Canada,” says Smith. “The Koerner family is a leader in arts philanthropy across the country, and the fact that we will have this residency existing in perpetuity due to their generosity is incredibly exciting. I’ve had the honour of knowing the Koerner family for many years, and I am so grateful that this new gift will sustain and enhance the wonderful relationship Queen’s has developed with The Michael & Sonja Koerner Charitable Foundation – we really cannot thank them enough.
This year’s Koerner Artist in Residence is Zachari Logan, a Canadian artist working mainly with large-scale drawing, ceramics, and installation practices. His work is found in many collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Art Gallery of Ontario, and the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.
Logan is honoured to be a part of the prestigious residency at Queen’s.
“I look forward to providing a motivating and impactful presence for a new generation of young visual artists at Queen's,” says Logan. “I also wish to express my thanks to The Michael and Sonja Koerner Charitable Foundation for this wonderful opportunity.”
Learn more about Zachari Logan’s work by joining this year’s Koerner Visiting Artist Public Lecture taking place virtually on March 4 at 7 pm EST. Online registration is now open.