Thunder and Lightning hosts launch party for new publication ‘Open Studio’

Struts and Faucet commemorates artist in residence program with bi-annual book

Struts Gallery and Faucet Media Arts Centre, a artist-run centre in Sackville, released a very special memento to the public on Wednesday, Jan. 31. The gallery celebrated the launch of Open Studio, the first book of a series commemorating their outstanding artist in residence program.

The launch party, held at Thunder and Lightning, was packed as members of the gallery came out to celebrate the beginning of a tradition. Copies of Open Studio were sold at a small table surrounded by snacks for the guests.

The book contains everything needed to justly document the residencies that artists have spent with the Sackville studio. From interviews with the artists to pictures taken by (and of) the artists, the book offers a comprehensive view of what this interesting gallery has produced with their artist in residence program.

Copies of ‘Open Studio’ are available by donation at Struts Gallery. Gillian Hill/ Argosy

Co-directors of the gallery Ryan Suter and Amanda Fauteux spearheaded the event. “We just want to say thank you to a few people tonight.… The [book’s] committee really made this project happen,” said Fauteux. “They participated in sharing ideas for what this publication could be.” The event had a very personal feel. The group of around 30 attendees gathered around Fauteux as she spoke.

The book was written by gallery contributors and members of the Sackville community. The specific focus of the book was the period from July 2015 to November 2016. “The program has been running since 1997,” said Fauteux. “This is just a small section of the artists that have come.” Eleven artists came and went during this time frame, all leaving their lasting effect on the gallery, as shown in the collection.

Struts and Faucet’s artist in residence program is an incredibly versatile one. The small size of the studio does not deter a wide variety of people from applying. Struts and Faucet has garnered interest from coast to coast. “We get our community members together to make the decision [of which artist to accept],” says Suter. “They then actually get to use the space as a studio.… Sometimes they put on exhibitions, other times they just make stuff. It is really up to them.” This past year they even brought in an artist all the way from Germany. The artists typically stay for around a month in an apartment in Sackville.

Struts Gallery and Faucet Media Centre is an open-style gallery. While promoting the gallery’s book, Suter also encouraged those who have not seen the gallery yet to come down. “Students should actually come down and participate in the open studio,” he said. “Come down and see what the artists are doing when you’re in the community. Also come down and see our catalogue to see what we’re doing.”

Struts and Faucet’s gallery is located at 7 Lorne St. Interested community members will not be disappointed by what the unique gallery has to offer.

Max Chapman