Posted on February 26, 2009 by Tia Lalani

Two Augustana professors, Julian Forrest and Bill Foster, have teamed up for a sport culture project.

by Kara Blizzard

Two Augustana professors, Julian Forrest and Bill Foster, have teamed up for a sport culture project. Forrest and Foster have both been drawn to theories of fan behaviour, and have begun to investigate the topic in their respective fields.

Julian Forrest is a painter. In the past few years, his works have focused mostly on strange behaviour in males. For example, he created a series of paintings based on self-portraits taken from the infamous “Hot or Not” website. A more recent series shows Internet self-portraits of male soldiers, which were included in the 2007 Alberta Biennial. Forrest’s current paintings are related to fan culture, which he first became interested in after witnessing the “crazy behaviour” of Oilers fans on Whyte Avenue in 2006. He uses his own photographs as well as Internet photographs and video stills as source information for his paintings. Forrest’s works also include scenes like hockey fights and schoolyard fights.

Bill Foster teaches management at Augustana. His interests include sports management and sports fans. For his part of the collaborative project, Foster is trying to “figure out why fans identify with sports organizations.” He said, “It has to do a lot with identity and how people construct their identity.” This identity shows through fans’ behaviour, like that during the Whyte Avenue Oilers chaos. Foster will be writing about fan culture. He plans to “use Julian’s paintings as empirical evidence to comment on the theory.”

About his project with Bill Foster, Julian Forrest said, “It’s the first thing I’ve done where I’m collaborating…with someone who’s not an artist.” Foster and Forrest are trying to find the best way to present the mediums of writing and painting together. Possibilities include a gallery show and an academic lecture.

The two professors plan to piece the project together more after this semester ends, and they are hoping to have a more definite plan by the end of the summer.

To see some of Julian Forrest’s recent paintings, visit

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