BC sculptor celebrates scholarship with new endowment

The 10 Mile Student Assistance Fund
Jeffrey Rubinoff with one of his pieces at the Jeffrey Rubinoff Sculpture Park on Hornby Island

The Department of Art History & Visual Studies is now home to the largest donor-funded endowed award on campus, thanks to a major gift from BC sculptor Jeffrey Rubinoff and the Jeffrey Rubinoff Foundation.

The Jeffrey Rubinoff Scholar in Art as a Source of Knowledge Endowment establishes a recurring four-year PhD fellowship in the area of modern and contemporary art history, allowing doctoral students exceptional opportunities to study the complexities and richness of modern and contemporary art history. This contribution is ideally timed to help the department celebrate 50 years of teaching, research and scholarship — ideas all strongly linked to the educational mission of the Jeffrey Rubinoff Foundation.

"Jeffrey Rubinoff's generous gift allows us to envision a brighter future for our vibrant and diverse graduate students, " says department chair Dr. Erin Campbell. “In our 50th anniversary year, as we look forward to the next 50 years and beyond, this legacy will deepen the impact of art history both at home and around the world.”

Art as a source of knowledge

“My own sculptural work is completely dedicated to art history,” says Rubinoff. “Original ideas grow out of original work, which led me to see art as a source of knowledge. Since these insights form the context within which the work becomes meaningful, it is imperative that the general public, artists and art educators understand them if the work is to be fully appreciated.”

The new UVic endowment will also provide travel and costs for the scholar and two students to attend the annual Company of Ideas forum, established by Rubinoff in 2008 to engage scholarly collaborators from around the world with the advancement of education in the arts.

“Jeffrey’s sculptural work is monumental in its scope and his legacy will now create a monument to future scholarship," says UVic Dean of Fine Arts Susan Lewis. "This extraordinary contribution underscores the crucial cultural work done in the Faculty of Fine Arts and reaffirms once again that UVic is a key player in creative innovation and the exchange of ideas about social change."

Be sure to read more about Rubinoff and this remarkable award.

Unparalleled opportunities

AHVS doctoral candidate Munazzah Akhtar was one of a select group of renowned and early career scholars who attended the Company of Ideas in May 2016. “Being a student of Islamic art history, it was a novel experience for me to get acquainted with art beyond my area of specialization,” says Akhtar. “The forum offered an unparalleled opportunity for the students to learn from and engage with artists, writers, curators and academics from distinguished universities.”