Tribute to Sylvie Bélanger, 1951-2020
10/17/2020 11:21:25 am
I will always remember Sylvie as a dynamic person with a deep passion for life. As a professor, she never needed a lesson plan, instead, she would dip into her deep well of knowledge in art and theory for each class. Students would be enthralled by what they learnt and appreciative of her keen insights into their artwork. Many of our critiques lasted well into the night, where no student wanted to leave for fear of missing out on discussions that were led by Sylvie. I will dearly miss Sylvie as a teacher, artist and most of all as a dear friend.
10/23/2020 11:20:55 pm
I know exactly where I was standing at the very moment I met Sylvie for the first time. It was in my MFA studio at SUNY Buffalo on the first floor near the darkrooms while she was on the interview to join the faculty. I am remember clearly not being able to talk fast enough to explain what I was working on, what I wanted to do next, and there was such amazing energy in studio that day. She was drawing all of the words out of me in a way I didn't understand until many years later. And mostly from that day and almost every time she would look at me over the next 17 years and tell me that I talk too fast.
10/24/2020 10:40:28 am
Sylvie was my mentor for nearly 3 years when I was in grad school ten years ago. I remember fondly and vividly, meeting her at her home and studio and being welcomed even by her husband and her dogs. She opened her home, her mind and her heart to me. In fact, although she was my art teacher, she also helped me to start to get over a lifelong fear of dogs. She showed never ending patience, brilliance and a commitment to a life of art and connection. She was tough on me in the ways I needed to step up as both an artist, and as a growing person in a harsh world. I will never, ever forget her, or her kindness and friendship. Sylvie was a rare gem and we are all so lucky to have met and worked with her over the years. Thank you Rich for sharing her with so many of us.
10/26/2020 12:57:19 am
I was fortunate to have had to opportunity to know Sylvie and have the benefit of her perspective on my work when I was an MFA candidate at the University at Buffalo from 2006-2008. She was forthright and insightful and I had the greatest respect for her and how she interacted with the undergraduate students and my fellow MFA candidates. As I became increasingly familiar with her own work, my admiration and respect for her grew and I was pleased in later years to have acquired examples of her photography and video work that I was able to include in exhibitions that I curated from my collection. Her installation/exhibition at Big Orbit Gallery in 2007 as part of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery's "Beyond/In Western New York Exhibition was a tour de force. She was a gifted artist and a mentor to many - her loss is a loss that will be felt profoundly...
10/27/2020 10:09:54 pm
Sylvie. You spread so much energy, brilliance, and ingenuity throughout this life that you can never be gone from this realm. You had so many students who always needed to know your opinion of their art before they could even begin to understand what they were thinking themselves. You were able to cut through our naïveté and really see what we were really trying to say. So many needed you that some of us at UB called it the “cult of Sylvie”— in a good way, of course.
11/21/2020 06:08:05 pm
“You must kill your master” once Sylvie advised me, noticing my unhealthy adoration and submission to my thesis mentors, including herself. I wouldn’t be the person who I am today without the lengthily conversations I had with her during my last year at University at Buffalo. We would drink a glass of red wine, and converse mostly about Barthes (of course), sometimes Nietzsche...
Leave a Reply.
Updates on the London Arts Community