UWindsor Together: Student Mental Health and Remote Learning Services
April Morris with paint and brushesApril Morris is the instructor for the Continuing Education course, “Abstract Art.”

Art course allows for abstract exploration

UWindsor’s continuing education programs offer alumni and individuals within Windsor the opportunity to continue their educations after they’ve graduated, with a wide range of career-building courses in various subjects.

One of the courses offered this semester is “Abstract Art,” taught by April Morris.

Due to COVID-19, each class is held online in a virtual classroom, with Morris working in her home studio space. She starts every lesson with a presentation reviewing the weekly topics for the course and demonstrates what will be explored that day.

Her instruction focuses on the process of making art rather than the final product. Exploring different techniques inspires her students to be brave in following their instincts and to push the boundaries of painting to discover their own techniques or sense of style.

Morris says her own artwork is inspired by walking. When creating, she allows her thoughts to flow in a manner similar to how walking feels. She instills this process in her teaching as well, asking students to collect images and objects from nature for inspiration.

Before teaching techniques, she invites students to freely express themselves through material exploration and asks them to consider: “What are the materials you like? What colours do you like? What are the things you get excited about painting?”

—Bridget Heuvel

Svjetlana Oppen, Maria Cusumano, and Cherry Theresanathan standing in front of outdoor movie screenTech team members Svjetlana Oppen, Maria Cusumano, and Cherry Theresanathan during the pre-show at the outdoor riverfront drive-in style venue at WIFF Under the Stars in August 2020.

Film prof foresees broadening of cinematic experiences

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic closed cinemas, there have been signs of disruption to the classic movie theatre experience, says film professor Kim Nelson.

She draws on history to predict future change in an article published Sunday in the Conversation, which shares news and views from the academic and research community.

“Cinemas were not how people originally watched movies,” Dr. Nelson writes. “There are signs that home viewing will be joined by a growing resurgence of local movie-going experiences that draw on entertainment pastimes that preceded Hollywood’s rise.”

She notes that the original way to watch motion pictures was the Kinetoscope, a single-viewer peephole device. Later, projected moving pictures were presented as a technical marvel in the midst of magic and vaudeville routines by live performers.

“Could some spectators be more interested in the social factor of theatrical exhibition, drawn to the stronger sense of solidarity evoked by film festivals?” Nelson asks.

Her research included a survey of audience members at the Windsor International Film Festival, which found that respondents valued cinema, a night out, and community as reasons for attending.

“Perhaps post-pandemic, audiences eager to escape their isolation chambers will broaden their scope in seeking out a larger variety of venues and ways to watch,” she concludes.

Read the entire piece, “Oscars 2021: COVID-19 has rekindled a ‘back to the future’ love of movies,” in the Conversation.

photo collage symbolizing networkingStudents and recent graduates hoping to turn their ideas into businesses may apply to the RBC EPIC Founders startup accelerator program.

Applications open for startup accelerator program

The Entrepreneurship Practice and Innovation Centre (EPICentre) is accepting applications for its RBC EPIC Founders Program through Monday, May 10.

The 12-week startup accelerator program is aimed at students and recent graduates who want to turn their ideas into businesses. Participants will receive a stipend of up to $6,000 per person in seed funding, as well as:

  • connect with an experienced mentor;
  • attend exclusive events with guest speakers;
  • join a network of entrepreneurs and community members; and
  • pitch their business idea for a chance to win additional cash prizes.

Find more information on the program website.

Debbie Kane has accepted an appointment as acting dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies effective May 1.Debbie Kane has accepted an appointment as acting dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies effective May 1.

Provost names acting dean of graduate studies

Debbie Kane has accepted an appointment as acting dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies effective May 1, provost Douglas Kneale announced Monday.

Dr. Kane has served as associate dean for the past six years, making her well-positioned to replace Patti Weir, who is stepping into the role of acting provost, Dr. Kneale noted.

smiley face drawn in chalkA tip from Human Resources suggests ways to add more joy to your life.

Message offers ways to find joy in the everyday

Joy can seem fleeting, but there are ways to get closer to joy on a daily basis, advises Human Resources in a message sent Monday to UWindsor staff and faculty.

It shares tips from Prevention.com to help add joy to everyday life:

  • Look for meaning. Think about what you can learn from tough circumstances.
  • Be thankful. Remember what you have and what you are grateful for.
  • Make room for a passion. Carve out some time for an activity you care about.
  • Re-connect with nature. Being outdoors can lessen anxiety, rumination, and stress.
  • Make opportunities for laughter. It can soothe tension and make you feel happier.

Learn to find inner peace and contentment in the Wellness Tip of the Week.