March 20, 2012 TORONTO – Students in the graduate program of art history at York University have partnered with the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Kleinburg, Ontario to present a one-day symposium on the theme of the tree. The symposium, entitled New Growth: Dialogues on the Tree, will take place Saturday, March 31 at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection.

The symposium will offer cross-disciplinary examinations on the theme of the tree, with invited panelists from across Canada and the United States engaging on the topics of Roots for Nationalism, The Tree in European Art, Shifting Landscapes in Contemporary Art, Iconographies of the Tree, Decaying Ends, and Interactions in Public Spaces. Presentations will also be delivered by McMichael’s Chief Curator Katerina Atanassova, and artists Ryszard Litwiniuk and Edward Falkenberg, currently displaying their art in The McMichael Tree Project.

The event on March 31 will feature Dr. Cynthia Hammond, Associate Professor of Art History at Concordia University, who will deliver a lecture on the creation and destruction of an arboretum in Bath, UK, planted by a group of suffragettes in the early part of the twentieth century.

The McMichael Tree Project is a celebration of the artistic, cultural, and natural aspects of the tree with two breathtaking exhibitions, a variety of programs, and special installations taking place at the gallery until Earth Day, April 22. The exhibition The Tree: Form and Substance, curated by McMichael Chief Curator Katerina Atanassova, features works from the McMichael’s permanent collection in dialogue with contemporary artists’ interpretations of the tree. Also on view, from the Vancouver Art Gallery, is The Tree: From the Sublime to the Social. Attendees of the symposium receive complimentary admission to both exhibitions.

“We are delighted to be a partner in this event,” says Victoria Dickenson, CEO of the McMichael gallery. “The McMichael works with York University on a number of projects, so it was natural to collaborate on hosting the graduate students symposium on, what else, the tree! We invite everyone at the event to enjoy the trees in the galleries and on the grounds.”

Individuals interested in attending can find further information online and register for the symposium through the Art History Graduate Students Association’s website ( Registration is $15 and includes entry to the symposium, exhibitions, refreshments, and a catered lunch. Registration may also be purchased the morning of the event. For students and McMichael members, registration is free with valid identification presented the day of the symposium.

For further event information, including information on transportation to the McMichael and a schedule of the symposium that runs from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., please

About the Art History Graduate Students Association

The Art History Graduate Students Association (AHGSA) is a student-run organization open to all members of the York University community. The AHGSA seeks to represent the interests of those in the art history graduate program. The primary function of the AHGSA is to organize events that directly relate to, and supplement, the art history program through conferences, symposia, peer-reviewed journals, panel discussions, guest lectures, and curated exhibitions. The AHGSA provides a democratic forum that allows for all members to participate in planning and implementing decisions regarding events or the functions of the AHGSA.

About the McMichael Canadian Art Collection

The McMichael Canadian Art Collection is an agency of the Government of Ontario and acknowledges the support of the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport. It is the foremost venue in the country showcasing the Group of Seven and their contemporaries. In addition to touring exhibitions, its permanent collection consists of almost 6,000 artworks, including paintings by the Group of Seven and their contemporaries, First Nations and Inuit artists. The gallery is located at 10365 Islington Avenue, north of Major Mackenzie Drive in Kleinburg. For more information about the gallery, visit

Media contacts:

For information about the AHGSA or the Symposium, please contact:

Nicole Cropley

Art History Graduate Student, York University

For information about the McMichael, contact:

Michelle Kortinen, Communications Coordinator

McMichael Canadian Art Collection

905.893.1121 ext. 2210