SACKVILLE, N.B. — Mount Allison University research professor and renowned artist Thaddeus Holownia was officially inducted as a Fellow of The Royal Society of Canada at the Society’s Celebration of Excellence and Engagement held recently in Halifax.
“It is an overwhelming honour to be named a Fellow with the RSC,” Holownia said in a news release. “The induction ceremony [held at the RSC’s November conference] is very formal, almost like convocation. When I looked around the room at the new Fellows, all representing so many different fields and areas of expertise from across the country, it was a very humbling experience to be part of.”
Holownia retired from teaching at Mount Allison in 2018, following a 41-year career at the university. Over that time, he was influential in establishing the photography program at Mount Allison and served as department head of Fine Arts where he oversaw the department’s move to the Purdy Crawford Centre for the Arts, opened in 2014.
“Thaddeus’s work as a long-time professor here at Mount Allison, an internationally-renowned photographer, letterpress printer, and publisher has had a significant impact on the University and wider community,” Mount Allison’s president and vice-chancellor Dr. Jean-Paul Boudreau said. “His induction into the Royal Society of Canada is well-deserved. On behalf of the entire Mount Allison community, I wish to congratulate him on this latest honour.”
Along with his teaching, mentorship, and administrative duties at Mount Allison, Holownia has maintained an active career as an artist, exhibiting work in galleries and museums across Canada and internationally and publishing or co-publishing several books and collections.
“I get to work with people and organizations in various fields with my creative endeavours and I’m excited to continue this in my new role as an RSC Fellow,” said Holownia. “RSC’s focus is to help share their members’ knowledge with the wider community and make meaningful contributions to society. I’m humbled to be included in this process.”
Currently, Holownia is working on several projects including a photography collection to document the legions of Prince Edward Island and their changing roles in their communities as well as a project with Environment and Climate Change Canada for the new Shepody Interpretative Centre at Mary’s Point, N.B.
His photography is also being celebrated in a new book, The Lightfield, by Peter Sanger being released this month by Gaspereau Press.
Holownia also established his own printing press, the Anchorage Press in Jolicure over 30 years ago. Along with small publications, including 7 Mondays, a 25-year old literary journal by Mount Allison students, Holownia has hand printed the University’s diplomas since the early 1990s.
Holownia joins fellow Mount Allison research professor Dr. Christl Verduyn (Canadian Studies) who was inducted into the RSC in 2006 and Herménégilde Chiasson (alumnus and previous Artist-in-Residence, Fine Arts) who was inducted in 2011.
In 2014, Mount Allison physics professor Dr. David Hornidge was named to the Royal Society of Canada’s inaugural cohort of the College of New Scholars, Artists, and Scientists, Canada’s first national system of multidisciplinary recognition for the emerging generation of Canadian intellectual leadership.
Founded in 1882, the RSC comprises the Academies of Arts, Humanities and Sciences, and The College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists. The RSC recognizes excellence, advises the government and the larger society, and promotes a culture of knowledge and innovation in Canada and with other national academies around the world.