art history short paper

A Guide to the Art Displays

of the Cornett Building

Background, History, and Self-Guided Walking Tour

Image: Reflections by lessLIE (2011)

This image is reproduced as a decal on the

entrance doors of the Cornett Building.


History Designed by renowned Victoria architect John Di Castri, the Cornett Building was one

of the first purpose-built university buildings at the University of Victoria’s Gordon

Head campus when it opened in 1967. A three-storey reinforced concrete multi-block

structure, the building’s unique design expresses Di Castri’s search for a distinctive

West Coast architectural idiom. From the outset, Cornett has been home to the Faculty

of Social Sciences, and currently houses the Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology

departments. Over the last four decades, Cornett has been a busy hive of research and

scholarship, and the building has gained a certain notoriety for its confounding layout.

Recent renovations to the building, completed in Fall 2011, created the opportunity to

incorporate original artwork as part of the interior revitalization and the Faculty of

Social Sciences has chosen to feature the work of contemporary First Nations artists

throughout the building.

To read more about the history of the Cornett Building, check out the Cornett Memories


The University of Victoria and the Faculty of Social Sciences acknowledge and express gratitude to the Coast and Straits Salish peoples on whose territories the campus is situated. Works of art by artists from these nations are installed throughout the Cornett Building as part of permanent and rotating exhibitions of contemporary art. The dedication of space in this building to artistic excellence recognizes the valuable intellectual and cultural contributions made by the arts to research and teaching in the Social Sciences.

For information about the works and artists exhibited, visit

Exhibited art comes from the University of Victoria Art Collections and generous gifts and loans to the Faculty of Social Sciences by George and Christiane Smyth.

Starting from First People’s House, walk into the courtyard of the Cornett Building.

Under the first breezeway, turn right and enter the building through the glass double doors

(Room B135 will be straight ahead). Upon entering the building, turn left. Along the left side of

the hallway are:

Memory – Susan Point (2005)

Finding Balance – Chris Paul (2011)

Continue straight down the hall and head out the glass double doors. Reenter the building on

the other side of the breezeway. After reentering the building , turn right. Along the left side of

the hallway there are 9 large prints displayed, which comprise The Salish Weave Collection.

These original limited edition serigraphs were commissioned by George and Christiane Smyth,

and donated to the university in memory of Dr. Morgan Baker, a long-time professor in the

Sociology Department. From left to right, the prints are:

Swan Drum – Chris Paul (2004)

Thunderbird and Killerwhale – lessLIE (2004)

Answer to the Call – Maynard Johnny Jr. (2004)

Over Black Tusk – Susan Point (2005)

Four Serpents – lessLIE (2007)

Sun, Salmon, Frogs and Ravens – lessLIE (2007)

Conservation – Chris Paul (2004)

Thunderbird Paddle – Maynard Johnny Jr. (2006)

Salish Community – lessLIE (2007)

Turn around. Head straight down the hallway and past the entrance doors you used earlier.

Follow the sign pointing to the Psychology Clinic (A163) and head through the double wooden

doors just to the left of the Pepsi machine. Partway down this hallway, and opposite another set

of entrance doors, is:

Spirit of the Taku – Susan Point (2004)

Continue down the hallway and on your right will be staircase. Take Stairwell 2 up to the

2nd floor. Once out of the staircase, and into the hall, turn left. Walk down the hall a short

distance, and turn right at the gray door to the elevation, just before reaching the clock

mounted on the wall. Immediately on your right is:

Discovery – Susan Point (2005)

Self-guided Walking Tour

Continued on reverse…

Faculty of Social Sciences

University of Victoria

PO Box 1700 STN CSC

Victoria, BC, V8W 2Y2

Tel: 250-472-5058

Follow the jog in the hallway and walk past the Psychology General Office. Continue down

the hall and through the double wood doors. Partway down the hallway, on your right, outside

Room A221, are:

Manawanui – Susan Point (2005)

Halibut State 1 of 111 – Susan Point (2007)

Further down this hallway is Stairwell 8. Take the staircase down to the 1st floor. Go through

the double doors and turn left. On your left, on the wall outside Room A121 is:

Symphony of Butterflies – Susan Point (2006)

Retrace your steps and head back up Stairwell 8 to the 2nd floor.

Walk back down the hall and take the hallway on your right that starts directly opposite

Room A221. Follow this hallway until it intersects another hallway. Turn left when you reach

the intersection (you will be facing the doors to the women’s washroom and Room B235).

Immediately on your left is:

Transformation—Susan Point (2005)

Further along the hallway, just outside the Anthropology General Office is:

Spirit Guardian – Susan Point (2005)

There is a staircase directly opposite Spirit Guardians. Take Stairwell 6 up to the 3rd floor.

Exit the stairwell and turn left. Follow this hallway to the end. Along the wall facing the door

to the Faculty/Staff Lounge (Room B344) are:

Frog – Andy Peterson (undated)

Haayiitlik (Sea Serpent) – Ray Sim (2004)

Bear – Andy Peterson (undated)

Take Stairwell 7 down to the 1st floor and the exit through the double glass doors on your left

(opposite Room B135). These doors will take you back into the courtyard. Turn left and walk

back towards First Peoples House. You are now back where you started.

Walking Tour, cont.

For more information, please contact:

Barb Roberts

Development and External Relations Officer

250-721-6044 or

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