Fall Exhibitions

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Over the Fall semester, the Bookcase held two small exhibitions: “Hello Heidelberg,” curated in response to “Goodbye Heidelberg” in the Concourse Gallery at JLVAC, and an exhibition of bookworks from students registered in the Masters of Library Studies.


Someone Else’s Reverie

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Someone Else’s Reverie consists of miniatures that artist and curator Jenna Faye Powell has been collecting for the past twelve years. After the “great miniature purge” of 2015, these objects were kept purely for sentimental reasons. Many of these miniatures were acquired or built for Powell’s 2012 MFA graduating exhibition Welcome to Chesterfield, where they were used as models for her paintings. Chesterfield is a fictional city. It is an illusory place Powell lovingly created to support and develop the many aesthetic, theoretical, and historical inquiries she has around the middle class lifestyle in the suburbs – its perks, its privileges. Chesterfield is constantly changing and adapting to suit her interests. It is a place brimming with mundane everydayness; it is both fantastical and pathetic, full of romance and familiarity. But, Chesterfield is not all laughter and sunshine. From gentrification to poor air quality, Chesterfield is known to absorb real-life problems. The creation story of Chesterfield is one full of contradictions, irony (and failed irony), autobiographical confessions, illusions and allusions, and unguided exploration: Welcome to Chesterfield.


images by Julia Beltrano

Teen Dream

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Teen Dream: The Bookcase’s last exhibition series for 2016


Bronze, Silver, and Gold

guest curator: Matthew Ryan Smith

This small collection of figure skating ephemera reads as a micro-simulacrum of the larger world of competitive figure skating; it serves as an unconventional travelogue that records the places I’ve visited to compete—Oshawa to Sarnia, St. John’s and Saskatoon. As such, it is part archive, part collection, and part autobiography that may be as reflective of me as it is a small segment of Canadiana. There is a darker side to these inanimate objects, however: the ruthless politics of competitive figure skating, the regret of quitting too early and of not pursuing coaching as a means of employment, the sting of nostalgia, the onset of arthritis in my knees and toes from repetitive movement, and the nagging question of “what could have been?” Yet this collection of medals, skates, and Beanie Babies may just be quirky and compelling aesthetic objects—red, white, and blue ribbon matched with bronze, silver, and gold.


“Dear Licorice Whip,”

This small exhibition documents the saved locker notes of the pseudonymous Licorice Whip, a high school student in the 1990s. Tales of friendship, enmity, judgment, and kindness are decorated with doodles and folded into intricate shapes, all together evidencing the highs and lows of teenage life. Licorice Whip was evidently a central figure in the dramas of her high school, a friend to the many who wrote to her for advice, confessed their crushes, or flew into angrily-written rages at the various mishaps of life. Accompanied with found photographs and yearbooks, “Dear Licorice Whip” is all about big hair, junk food, and dating, but also about very real problems, among them loss, confusion, and anger. Donated anonymously to the Bookcase, the Dear Licorice Whip notes are part of a lost tradition – the material recordings of angst, drama, and love.