Shauna Oddleifson, BFA

(She, Her, Hers)

Communications and Marketing Specialist

Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies
Office: CCS 177
Phone: 250.807.9864


Faculty research promotion
Development of promotional material for recruitment purposes
Writing content for faculty, student and alumni profiles
Undergraduate and Graduate program promotion
Student Recruitment, graduate and undergraduate
Alumni Relations
Support for events in FCCS departments (promotions, logistics, planning)
Faculty wide event planning
FCCS websites updates and content creation
Social media content management


Espaces francophones Team 2022-2023; Carl Ruest, Aradhita Arora, Francis Langevin, launch event, September 2022.

A joint initiative between the Okanagan School of Education (French Pathways) and the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies (French programs), Espaces francophones’ mission is to cultivate a sense of belonging among Francophones (first language or other) at UBCO. 

Over the last year, Espaces francophones has organized a number of successful events for students, faculty and the campus community, including a launch for the initiative, French film nights, social event for French speakers and learners, crêpe breakfast with the chance to socialize with other francophones, and creative writing sessions, in French.

Find out more about the past year’s events and what Espaces Francophones has to offer.

Matthew Davis

Matthew Davis is a Lecturer in the Department of English and Cultural Studies and the Co-Coordinator of the Digital Arts and Humanities program at UBCO. His research investigates the connections between embodiment, gender, and technology in place, space, and religious practice in pre-modern material, textual, and performance cultures.

Davis received his PhD in English literature (with a certificate in Digital Humanities) from Texas A&M University in 2013.  Before coming to UBCO, he was a ZKS-Lendrum Assistant Professor (Research) in the Scientific Study of Manuscripts and Inscriptions at the University of Durham for 2022, a postdoctoral fellow at the Ruth and Lewis Sherman Centre for the Digital Scholarship at McMaster University, a Lindsey Young Visiting Faculty Fellow at the University of Tennessee’s Marco Institute for Medieval and Renaissance Studies, and the Council of Library and Information Resources/Mellon Fellow in Data Curation for Medieval Studies at North Carolina State University.

Dr. Davis shared some insights on his research and teaching practices here at UBC Okanagan.

Tell us about your research interests and what excites you about your field of work

My research investigates the connections between embodiment, gender, and technology in place, space, and religious practice in pre-modern material, textual, and performance cultures. The goal there is to tease out what I call semiotic palimpsests–elements of the ways people thought about themselves in the late medieval and early Tudor periods that have been lost or suppressed due to the expectations of people in subsequent centuries. This means I’m primarily concerned with the cultural contexts works are produced within, their relationship to contemporary ideas, and the lives of the people who produced and consumed them.

I liken what I do to a form of literary archaeology; there’s the general study of literature qua literature, of course, but beyond that there’s insights to be gained about medieval culture and in the case of drama, how these works might have been put into practice in a real, ephemeral moment of performance. That sort of sense that the medieval should be allowed to stand as it’s own thing and not as part of or in opposition to something else seems to largely be missing today. We live in an incredibly presentist time; everything is focused on the eternal now and things are often taken out of context and put to work to shore up our beliefs, whether for good or ill.  I see the broad goal of my work in the middle ages to be in some ways an act of decolonization; not, in this case, of settlers colonizing indigenous lands but of the present colonizing the past and taking from it what they find useful.

How did you know you wanted to be a professor?

I started out working on a degree in International Relations with the original goal of wanting to join the Foreign Service in the United States. About two years into that program I decided that the life of a Foreign Service Officer, where you change locations every three years, wasn’t conducive to building a life. Which is a bit ironic, considering my post-degree pinballing around the world, but nevertheless that was my thinking.

Once I’d made that decision, I needed to figure out what I did want to do with my life. I was sitting in a computer lab on my undergrad campus when it struck me that what I really wanted to do was talk about ideas. That’s the thing that most excites me, and the job that seemed most likely to let me do that as a major part of my job was to be a professor.

What kind of learning experiences do offer your students

It depends on the course I’m teaching, obviously, but in general a student in my courses can expect to encounter what the digital world calls “Critical Making” and what might more broadly be considered experiential learning.

For my digital courses like the ones I’m teaching here at UBCO, I am a big believer in learning-by-doing and failure being built into the learning process. Much of the work in my class is trying out various digital tools and methods while I talk to students one-on-one or in small groups. I see my goal in these courses to make students aware that these tools exist and to give them a basic understanding of how they function under the hood. If it turns out that the tool or method has use for them they can explore it further, but knowing the tool is available in their metaphorical tool-chest is what I hope they get out of the courses I teach here.

Left to right: Jason (Darian Detta’s brother who accepted the award on his behalf), Kristen Burns, Alison Braid, and Corinna Chong. Not pictured: Madeleine van Goudoever

Local author Corrina Chong was the judge for the 25th annual Okanagan Short Story Contest, and announced the 4 finalists at a public event held at the Alternator for Contemporary Art last week with each of the writers reading a part of their story.

The winning author, Alison Braid of Summerland, took first place for her short story “Two Day Summer”.

“Upon reading the very first sentence of “Two Day Summer,” I knew I was in the hands of an expert. Every sentence of this story is beautifully crafted, the characters are richly drawn, and the conflict is layered with delicate precision,” explains Chong.

Alison Braid’s work has been shortlisted for the Montreal International Poetry Prize, Arc Poetry Magazine’s Poem of the Year Contest, and The Bridport Prize in Flash Fiction. She is the author of the chapbook Little Hunches (Anstruther Press, 2020.) She holds an MFA from the Vermont College of Fine Arts, and is currently working to finish a collection of short stories, titled Look Both Ways & Other Stories.

Madeleine van Goudoever, placed second with “Peachy Like Nietzsche”.

Chong says this about van Goudoever’s story, “This story is the best mixture of funny and tragic, its quirky, unpredictable characters grounded in decisive, vibrant writing. The concluding paragraphs, in particular, weave its narrative threads together with remarkable poise and sensitivity.”

Madeleine van Goudoever is a former graffiti artist from Montreal, who currently resides in Kelowna. She also writes poetry.

Third place went to MFA alumna Kristin Burns for her story, “Heat”.

“This is a writer who understands their characters as complex, three-dimensional people, and also has a keen ear for crafting propulsive, rhythmic sentences and images sharp enough to cut.” Says Chong.

Kristin is a queer MFA graduate currently living back in her hometown Vernon. She’s previously won second place in the Okanagan Short Story Contest, and her short story “The Lakeweed Girl”, shortlisted in 2022, will appear in this month’s issue of Carousel Magazine along with an accompanying illustration she made.

Finally, Darian Detta took the top prize for the high school category for his story, “The Place Where None Can Grow.”

“I was struck not only by the seamless way this story integrates the Ktunaxa (too-NA-ha) language and honours indigenous oral storytelling traditions, but also by the vivid, elegantly rendered imagery—tears transforming into thousands of silk strings, samaras plucked out of the wind’s grasp by the roiling tar, yellow flowers erupting from the earth. This was a deeply atmospheric and moving story by an undeniably talented young writer,” explains Chong.

Darian Detta is a grade 11 student and aspiring author at Mount Baker Secondary School in Cranbrook. He has a soft spot for both fantasy and science fiction (though a blend of both is his first and foremost preference.)

Corinna Chong is an acclaimed Canadian writer, editor and English professor at Okanagan College. The annual contest, organized by the Creative Writing program in the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies (FCCS), is a writing competition open to fiction writers in British Columbia’s Southern Interior. Writers submit their stories, which are then read, anonymously, by faculty, and the shortlisted stories are sent to a guest judge to choose the winners in the adult and high school categories.

The first-place writer received $1,000 plus a one-week retreat at The Woodhaven Eco Culture Centre in Kelowna; second-place winner received $400 and third-place received $200. The top high school student received a $200 prize. Co-sponsors of the contest are FCCS and the Central Okanagan Foundation.

View the full short list for this year’s contest.

Join us on April 12th, between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm, for a symposium to showcase the work of the graduate student researchers involved in the Immersive Technologies (CITech). This symposium is a collaboration between CITech and the Media Studies program, and will be held in the Visualization and Emerging Media Studio (COM 107).

Immersive Technologies (CITech) is a multidisciplinary graduate training program focusing on skills development and collaborative research in design of immersive solutions for various real-world applications from manufacturing to healthcare, to community engagement and education. Researchers to be presented in this symposium include: Bengi Agcal, Amira Ahmed, Mohammad Amin Batouei, Bahman Fakouri, Nasim Hajati, Nelusha Hansamali Nugegoda, Leslie Saca, and Samar Sallam.

See below for a description of each student’s research.

11:00-11:30 Amin Mohammad Batouei is a MASc. student of a mechanical engineering student at UBCO. His academic journey began at the Iran University of Science and Technology with B.Sc. in Mechanical Engineering, where he discovered a passion for studying composite materials. His undergraduate thesis focused on practical uses of composite materials by utilizing finite element analysis to research “Reinforcing the corroded bottom plate of a storage tank with composite materials.” His research interest is centred on utilizing machine learning to forecast the degree of cure in a composite material that is subjected to an autoclave by analyzing the video of the procedure. He is a member of the Composites Research Network (CRN), working under the supervision of Dr. Abbas Milani.

VEMS features Canada’s highest-resolution, 3D, VR-ready video wall. It is designed for use cases that are impossible elsewhere, such as immersive experiences without VR equipment, scientific simulations with ultra-high resolution, and graphics workstations for computationally intensive tasks. The studio also offers collaboration tools, including video conferencing and recording. Although the user experience is designed to be intuitive, allowing for ease of use even without specialized training, there is currently a gap in the automation of introducing the space and its capabilities. As a result, an app is being developed with the help of Unity to serve as a tutorial, demonstrating the capabilities of the screen and how users can interact with it. The app will help bridge the gap in introducing users to the advanced features of VEMS and enable them to better utilize the studio’s capabilities for their use cases. This will provide a more seamless and efficient experience for users while maximizing the potential of VEMS.

11:30 – 12:00 Nelusha Nugegoda is a self-motivated student pursuing her MSc in Computer Science on Human-Computer Interaction at The University of British Columbia, Kelowna, BC, Canada. She has extensive experience as a software developer in a reputed Company. She is a current member of the UBCO HCI lab. Her current focus is developing a collaborative application using Augmented Reality to allow professionals to work together on a dedicated task in their remote location.

Nugegoda has collaborated on an application allowing people to play an interactive game to check and practice their garbage-sorting skills by collaborating with their friends and colleagues. When it comes to waste disposal, one of the most important things is to sort the waste into the correct bins to make the recycling process easy and efficient. This immersive game experience allows users to visually remember the correct bins to put the items that they are frequently using in day-to-day life and also the items which were most commonly sorted incorrectly. Users will have the opportunity to collaborate with others to choose the correct bin. They will have three chances to sort all the garbage items incorrectly and complete the task successfully.

12:00 – 12:30 Bengi Agcal is a multimedia artist with computer engineering and psychology backgrounds. She is pursuing her MFA alongside NSERC CREATE in the Immersive Technologies program. Through art and engineering, she aims to engage with the issues of environmental degradation. Her research interests and art practice include speculative fiction, participatory design, 3D rendering, digital sculpting, XR technologies, web computing, immersive technologies, sustainability, climate change, and material recycling.

Virtual reality, as a time-based media and digital technology, can transmit unpredictable and imperceptible sides of changes. Agcal’s project, The 8th continent/Ark Noah’s 2.0, aims to bring together a collaborative art practice in a digital realm to spread and amplify the public’s sentiments and experiences regarding plastic pollution. The experience takes place in an unreal landscape inspired by the Pacific garbage patch, and it replicates the meditative and rewarding process of environmental clean-ups by having the player clear up the space and free the animals victimized by pollution. We hope that this project will enable individuals to share their thoughts and previous exposures to pollution with the general public, thereby opening up a discussion space to drive the necessary changes.

12:30 – 1:00 Amira Ahmed is an Assistant Lecturer at Cairo University, Egypt. Her background lies in Media and Communication studies. She is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Interdisciplinary Studies program, DAHU theme, at UBCO and a Center of Culture and Technology member. She participates in two academic cohorts: Digital Arts and Humanities at the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies and CITECH training program. Her Ph.D. research-creation study investigates the role of immersive and interactive narratives in promoting Global Citizenship Education and countering extremism.

Digital media technologies provide endless possibilities for disseminating and preserving cultural heritage, opening new avenues to creative representations of cultural heritage. This research-creation discusses the design and implementation of an immersive experience where users could navigate the world’s most incredible open-air museum, Luxor city, using a Wireless Game Joystick Controller. Users will look closer at its prominent monuments and learn about ancient Egyptian history and mythology through info spots offering further details on the sites. The primary objective of the project is to examine the effects of immersion and interaction with a high-resolution, 3D, VR-ready video wall (15,360 x 4,320 px) on user experience and experiential learning. Finally, this research aims to advance the understanding of the impact of immersive technologies and interactive 3D multimedia in communicating and promoting digital heritage.

1:00 – 1:30 Bahman Fakouri is a master’s student in the Interdisciplinary Graduate Studies program, DAHU theme, at UBCO.  He completed his bachelor’s degree in industrial design and holds a master’s degree in illustration. He has worked in the entertainment industry as a 3D modeller, texture artist, and visual development artist. His research interests include data physicalization, storytelling, XR, virtual reality, and data visualization.

Virtual reality can help artists to tell their stories in an immersive environment and illustrate the sophisticated concept of time and place in a way that can be presented to non-scientist audiences. Time After Time (TAT), is a project that will focus on illustrating the impact of a Nechako building on its surroundings before and after its construction on the UBC Okanagan campus. Data required for creating this project is collected from Google Maps, and some Heli shot footage was captured by drone. Using virtual reality, viewers can explore and observe the change process as it happens over time. This will be a unique opportunity for viewers to witness the changes in their environment in a way they may not have been able to experience before.

1:30 – 2:00 Ms. Leslie Saca is a Ph.D. Student in the Electrical Engineering School of Engineering. She is part of the CITech graduate program interested in Extended Reality (XR), User Experience, Wearable Sensors, and Human Technology Interaction. Her background in the Immersive Technologies field started in 2021 while volunteering for a Canadian company, Mantis XR, where she contributed to the technology development efforts and supported their operations to enhance productivity since she found her passion in developing personalized XR experiences based on user feedback collected from wearable sensors embedded in mobile devices.

Immersive technologies create unique experiences by merging the physical world with virtual and simulated reality. Saca’s proposed research aims to develop an interface for users to immerse themselves in an XR experience using their mobile devices. This is achieved using the embedded sensors (gyroscope and accelerometer) in mobile devices to move through and interact with the environment. This interface is a proof-of-concept project that will eventually help pave the way for developing personalized XR experiences displayed on mobile devices.

Join Dr. Anita Girvan for a multi-session reading salon in which members will engage in collegial conversation about the emerging field of black feminist and coalitional ecological thought, built upon ancestral lineages. Dr. Girvan is an Assistant Professor of Cultural Studies and Environmental Justice in the department of English and Cultural Studies in FCCS.

The first session will discuss the text, Undrowned: Black Feminist Lessons from Marine Mammals by Alexis Pauline Gumbs, and will be held on April 14th from 10am to noon in ART 218.

Anyone on campus is invited to join this group who can commit to joining this community and to centering and reading Black feminist and coalitional texts and creative interventions. We are hoping to create community where BIPOC knowledges are held and centered, but all are welcome to learn and foster supportive communities of practice toward liberatory futures for human and larger-than-human kin.

In order to build good relations, the group number will be capped at 20, so please e-mail ASAP if you are committed to attending. If you really want to join, can commit to three future sessions in the year and reading the texts chosen, but cannot make this session, please e-mail Anita. First priority in the salon will be given to those in attendance this first session.

Dates for following sessions will be determined by the group after the first meet-up.

Each session will focus upon a text or cultural artefacts in the emerging, but long existent, field of Black Feminist Ecological Thought.

Dr. Girvan says: My own spin on this is to call it Black Feminist and Coalitional Ecological Thought. I note that the lineages of Black feminism (eg Combahee River Collective) have always been coalitional in some form or the other – as they seek to connect with communities who have knowledges and experiences that are negatively impacted by exclusionary power – but it may be important to flag this explicitly at a time when divide and conquer politics function to maintain a troubling status quo.

Texts for future sessions will be drawn from the following (and/or participants’ suggestions at first session):

  • The Deep – Rivers Solomon
  • Chapter 16. “Black Feminist Ecological Thought: A Manifesto” – a chapter
    Chelsea Mikael Frazier in Ecofeminism Abrams and Gruen eds) (2nd Edition)
  • World of Wonders -Aimee Nezhukumatathi
  • Nia love – New York choreographer film-maker “UnderCurrents” (she performs, dances
  • nichola fedman-kiss “Siren III” – Toronto- film and art installation (filmed underwater in
    the Atlantic ocean)
  • Aph and Syl Ko. 2017.Aphro-ism: Essays on Pop Culture, Feminism and Black
  • Veganism from Two Sisters. Lantern Publishing
  • Octavia Butler or NK Jemison
  • Dionne Brand (Map or any others of hers)
Aisha Ravindran

Dr. Aisha Ravindran: April 24, 1960 – March 8, 2023


The Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies mourns the loss of Dr. Aisha Ravindran, who died from cancer early in the morning of March 8, 2023.

A researcher and teacher of composition, rhetoric, intercultural communication, and literature, Aisha joined our community in 2017. Her first PhD, from Mahatma Gandhi University, 2003, was on the poetry of Muriel Rukeyser. Before her death she was poised to defend a second PhD, through Simon Fraser University, in the area of communication and rhetoric with a particular focus on the needs of International Students.

Before joining UBCO, Aisha held an appointment at George Mason University’s campus in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where she achieved the rank of Associate Professor and served as Chair of the Department of General Education (2009-2012). After George Mason’s UAE campus transitioned to become the University of Ras Al Khaimah, she served as Chair of the Department of English (2012-2014). In 2014, she emigrated to Canada, and undertook a new academic focus in her study of educational leadership and professional communication at Simon Fraser University.

Aisha joined the FCCS community as a sessional lecturer in 2017, and spent two years teaching first year English courses for us. In 2019, she applied for an FCCS tenure-track position in the Educational Leadership Stream with the Department of English and Cultural Studies. When the department recommended her for appointment, the Dean and Provost made the decision to appoint her immediately at the rank of Associate Professor of Teaching.

With her characteristic drive, sharp intellect, and generous humor, Aisha went to work with gusto and flare. In the far, far, too brief time we had with her, Aisha worked with her colleagues to create an entirely new academic learning space—even a new program code! – for  students across the campus, with an emphasis on supporting international students. She showed us all how to get things done, winning significant grants to support her educational leadership and program development, teaching new courses, helping to craft the new certification in Professional Writing, and very recently submitting a new proposal to establish a Minor in professional writing through the Communication and Rhetoric Program (CORH). She was only getting started and was taken too soon.

FCCS extends its condolences to Aisha’s students, past and present, to the Department of English and Cultural Studies, her home unit; and, especially, to her surviving partner, Dr. Brendan D’Souza, who teaches biology at UBCO. We walk with Brendan on our shared path of grief.

Celebration of Life Event

We are hosting a Celebration of Life for our dear friend and colleague, Aisha Ravindran.

Join us and light a candle as we remember her time amongst us, her strong and generous spirit, her love for her work, for her students, and for her friends.

Date: Wednesday, March 15
Time: 5:15 to 6:45 p.m.
Location: ADM 026 (University Theatre stage)

Light refreshments will be served.

Donations in memory of Aisha can be made to the BC Cancer Foundation, specifically directed to pancreatic cancer research.

Aisha Ravindran (centre) at the English Course union Masquerade Ball with collogues, February 2023.

Aisha Ravindran at the ISSOTL Conference, UBCO in November 2022 with colleagues

Aisha Ravindran (centre) in her traditional ceremonial clothing from her home region in Kerala with colleagues Karis Shearer (left) and Sherry Breshears

Jannik Eikenaar

Jannik Eikenaar

Jannik Haruo Eikenaar is a son, nephew, cousin, brother, husband, father, and uncle who lives and works on the ancestral, traditional, and unceded territory of the syilx Okanagan people. He is the child of Dutch and Japanese settlers to this part of the world, and he is strongly committed to principles of inclusive excellence in both his professional and personal lives. As an academic, he is an Associate Professor of Teaching in the School of Engineering, the Bauder Professor (Okanagan) of Experiential Learning and Leadership, and the inaugural Associate Provost (Okanagan) of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, Antiracism.

Dr. Eikenaar completed both his Masters of Arts in English and his PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies in our English and Cultural Studies department. We talked to Dr. Eikenaar about his time earning his degrees here at UBCO.

Tell us about the road to earning your UBC degrees.

I grew up in the Okanagan and, like a lot of people who grew up in smaller towns, I couldn’t wait to get out. So that’s what I did when I graduated high school. I went to Montreal, completed my BA and thought I would never come back here. And then my partner and I started thinking about a family and where we would like to be connected, so we came back here. Originally, I considered pursuing a career in K-12 teaching but I quickly changed my focus to academia. I completed both my MA and my PhD here at UBC’s Okanagan campus.

What are the highlights of your UBC experience?

The Okanagan campus is a size that makes it really collegial. I’ve collaborated with people in every Faculty on campus and that’s been tremendously rewarding.

Is there a professor that stands out as someone who made a difference and helped you along the way? 

Drs. Jennifer Gustar and George Grinnell were both pivotal in my degree program. They gave me opportunities, pushed me, and challenged me to think differently. But in addition to that they also modelled how to be a good academic and how to be a good colleague. They’re both tremendously committed to the university as a place. I really value what I learned from them about bringing a positive approach and clearly modelling what you want the academy to be.

What advice would you have for a student who is contemplating currently pursuing their graduate degree at UBCO?

When you’re doing graduate work, it’s a unique opportunity and intellectual exercise. There are elements of risk and vulnerability to this work. I think it’s important to recognize that and try to be conscious of it, and then to embrace it in a way that allows you to manage your work and not feel overwhelmed. Connecting with others is huge, especially in the humanities. Given the nature of humanities scholarship it can be really isolating. Connecting and engaging with others is just so, so important in these fields of study and in doing this kind of work. And it really is shaping you as an academic. My advice is: embrace that vulnerability, take that risk, and connect with others.

Graduate students in our Masters of Arts and Masters of Fine Arts programs are currently organizing a graduate student conference, Critical Relations Symposium, that will be held at UBC Okanagan in April of this year. The organizing is being done by the It’s Lit! Club, founded by a group of masters students excited to bring more conversation and community to the literary community on campus.

It’s Lit! Club at UBCO encourages humanities students to connect, discuss, and expand the study of cultural texts, be they literature, art, music, media, or critical theory. To do this, It’s Lit! holds space for students to share developing research in conference events and community-building events, ultimately contributing to the development of informal and formal publications.

The Critical Relations Symposium is a two-day academic conference hosted on UBC Okanagan campus through the It’s Lit! Club, offering undergraduate and graduate students an opportunity to share their research with the wider campus academic community. This year’s theme is encounters, and will take place in-person on April 28th and 29th, 2023. The Critical Relations Symposium is organized by Liam Fraser (MA), Karis Dimas-Lehndorf (MA), Zachary Dewitt (MA), Jessica Beaudin (MA), and Annie Furman (MFA). This event seeks to model the value of academic discussion and collaboration in and across the humanities disciplines, with emphasis and consideration for the expanding role of academic interdisciplinarity.”

Call for Papers

The Critical Relations Symposium is invested in encounters: in thinking across differences, in how we come together (whosoever that ‘we’ may be), and what possibilities or consequences encounters hold. We wonder about interdisciplinarity as both method and subject, and thus welcome submissions from across humanities and fine arts disciplines as individual presenters or panel discussions.

Please submit abstracts, didactic texts, exhibition proposals, panel proposals, and any questions to by March 17, 2023.

Abstracts should be no more than 300 words, submitted in .doc or .docx formats. Individual presentations will be 15-20 minutes, with Q&A periods to follow.

View the full CFP

Patrick Lundeen teaching a drawing class, 2023

The 2021-22 recipient of the FCCS Teaching Excellence and Innovation Award is Patrick Lundeen who received this award on the basis of students support and teaching evaluations. Lundeen teaches in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program, offering courses in two-dimensional art practices, drawing and sculpture.

This award is designed to recognize faculty members for teaching approaches that develop experiential learning, interdisciplinarity, internationalization, undergraduate research and scholarship.

Lundeen’s students say that he is very encouraging to everyone in class, and is always there if anyone needs a hand. He prompts them to dig deeper by asking questions about their ideas, and gives genuine feedback.

Lundeen says that his basic teaching philosophy is that he there to guide students to cultivate their own creativity, interests/ideas and working discipline.  “In many of my classes I am called to teach technical skills – yet I feel that even as I am teaching skills, I am mostly concerned with trying to help students figure out what they have that is interesting to communicate and how to best communicate it.”

This is what being an artist is about – a good artist is a person that has interesting ideas, their ideas work or are relevant within the time in history that they are being presented and they can effectively use a medium to communicate these ideas. He also works to introduce students to the local art community and develop a working discipline which are both necessary elements to continue to make art once they leave school.

Lundeen feels that often as one teaches it can seem that what you are doing goes mostly unnoticed, especially in fine arts which is a slow process where one’s development and growth happens incrementally over time and is not easily quantified through tests scores and other evaluations.

“When I think back to my own studies, sometimes the most important things that I learned from instructors was not obvious at the time,” he says. “It can take years for ideas to sink in and you may not even get the chance to apply what you learned until after you leave school.  At some point, you will be working in your studio, and it will dawn on you – this is what they were talking about.”

When asked why he wanted to teach at a university, Lundeen says that he didn’t set out to enter academia, he simply wanted to be an artist – which he still is – yet teaching has enabled him to obtain the resources he needs to keep making work while earning a living talking about what interests him the most.

“Working at the university nourishes my own creativity and represents an opportunity to give back to the community through helping other artists grow.”

He has a thriving art practice which is evident with a number of recent exhibitions and projects including CHEAP! at the Kelowna Art Gallery, and as the 2022 City of Kelowna Artist in Residence with his project, HAPPY DAY FREE GIFT TRUCK.

“My artworks are an attempt to deal with the horrors of everyday life in a humorous, and hopefully, entertaining way.  I try to create art objects that are surprising and original and that cause a viewer to rethink what they already know,” he says.

He likes to push the envelope of what can be accepted in a gallery space and to make art that tests people and takes them out of their comfort zone.

“My artworks can be loud, overly bright, busy and move. Often they will make a viewer laugh – and feel uncomfortable at the same time.”

Patrick in his HAPPY DAY FREE GIFT TRUCK project


Installation, CHEAP! at the Kelowna Art Gallery

WhatHearts Together
Who: Cool Arts
When: February 6 to 16, 2023; 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday
Where: FINA Gallery, CCS Building, UBC’s Okanagan Campus, Kelowna

The Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies is please to host the work of artist from Cool Arts Society FINA Gallery from February 6 to 16. Together with art educators during the weekly programs held in the Cool Arts Studio in the RCA, artists worked on the concept HEART, digging into the question – what does HEART mean? Artists discussed their feelings, thoughts, and ideas; then began their step-by-step big picture planning. These pieces are all representations of these collaborative ideas.

Each piece was created with a group of six to eight artists working together. This process encouraged and affected constructive communication and sharing ideas; including skill-building, listening, problem-solving, and planning.  The exhibition includes the work of 40 artists working together on art of all kinds that includes painting and collage.

The concepts that were shared covered a broad variety. Heart symbolism often conjures up a wide range of emotions, from joy to pain, love and devotion to moral courage and physical strength. The shape is securely embedded in western culture. Represented by an anatomically inaccurate shape, the heart is often used to represent the center of emotion, including affection and love, explains Amy Bradshaw, Arts Educator for Cool Arts.

“Cool Arts looks forward to our annual partnership with the FINA Gallery at UBCO where artists get the opportunity to professionally exhibit their art,” says Amy. “Creating these important opportunities in the arts for people with disabilities, neuro-diversabilities, and other exceptionalities aids in broadening connections and creating relationships with other artists on campus and beyond.”

She adds that it is important to have this recognized and well-funded FINA space to share the work done by people in our community who are seriously passionate about art and who want more public opportunities.

This exhibition is organized by Cool Arts Society and supported by the Faculty of Creative and Critical Studies.

~ Submitted by Amy Bradshaw, Cool Arts Art Educator & Volunteer Coordinator

More on the Cool Arts Studio

The Cool Arts studio is a safe, inclusive art studio that offers programs and artistic mentorship with a variety of professional artists who share their skills and lead classes. Cool Arts is a registered not for profit charitable organization managed by a volunteer Board of Directors and others who share their time in many ways; as classroom assistants, event supports, exhibition installations, and so much more.  Cool Arts relies heavily on sponsorships and donors; we welcome your support. To learn more about how you can get involved with Cool Arts, please visit