OCAD University recognized Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences and School of Interdisciplinary Studies Professor Dr. Dot Tuer with its 2013 Award for Distinguished Research, Scholarship and Creative Activity at the university’s convocation ceremony on Thursday, June 6.
The Award is conferred on the basis of a strong portfolio of research, scholarship and creative activity, and the impact that activity has had on the broad spectrum of art and design research and practice internationally. The award also recognizes contributions toward undergraduate and graduate research and scholarly training.
Dr. Tuer’s contribution of a critical voice to contemporary Canadian art that embraces historical and cultural breadth distinguishes her accomplishments as a scholar and teacher. As exemplified by her collection of essays, Mining the Media Archive (2005), her writings explore the artistic practices of new media, photography and performance in the larger context of the Americas, and the relationship of cultural expression to issues of colonialism, technology and social memory. In the past year, her curation of the highly regarded Art Gallery of Ontario exhibition Frida and Diego: Passion, Politics, and Painting represents a significant milestone of creative and scholarly achievement. This laudable exhibition followed the completion of her PhD in Latin American history.
Dr. Tuer’s colleagues regard her as a leader in her fields of study at both national and international levels. “Dot maintains both a tremendous diversity and a tremendous depth in her scholarly practice,” wrote Faculty of Liberal Arts & Sciences associate deans Dr. Robin Kingsburgh and Eric Nay in their nomination letter. “Her scholarly work has created value within the OCAD U community, the artistic and cultural communities of Toronto and, globally, for a number of years.”
The importance of Dr. Tuer’s scholarship in addressing Canadian and Latin American post-colonial perspectives is recognized through numerous Canada Council and Ontario Arts Council awards and SSHRC research grants. As a member of the Toronto Photography Seminar, which has been funded by SSHRC since 2007, she has pursued her research interest in photography and new media art as socially engaged practices. As co-applicant on the Canadian Consortium of Performance and Politics in the Americas — a SSHRC Partnership Grant led by Peter Kulchyski at the University of Manitoba and affiliated with the Hemispheric Institute in New York City that has just been awarded $2.5-million in funding over seven years — Dr. Tuer will play a significant role as chair of the curatorial committee and board member.
This SSHRC Partnership Grant includes OCAD U as an institutional collaborator and will offer substantial research and travel opportunities for the university’s students. This summer two OCAD U graduate students are funded through the grant to attend a course hosted by the Hemispheric Institute in Chiapas, Mexico and Dr. Tuer will join them for a capstone celebration of performance and activism. In addition, the grant will support Dr. Tuer’s participation in the Hemispheric Institute’s Encuentro hosted by Concordia University in Montreal in 2014, as well as her individual research initiatives.
For more than two decades, Dr. Tuer’s commitment to a research practice that is academically rigorous and community-based has resulted in a lengthy publication list of books, chapters in books, and essays in contemporary art magazines and refereed journals; service on public gallery boards, juries, and editorial boards; participation in research groups, public conferences, symposia, panels, and workshops; and the realization of diverse curatorial projects. With the completion of the AGO exhibition Frida and Diego marking a watershed moment in a long and distinguished career, Dr. Tuer is at work on two new book projects, the first exploring the thematic of historical memory in Canadian art and the second the relationship of witnessing to testimony in Latin American photography.