Sackville celebrates handmade art

A Handmade Assembly leads gallery crawl.

Sackville’s streets and galleries came alive with the handmade last weekend, as local artists shared and showcased their skills with the public. Co-hosted annually by Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre and Mount Allison’s Owens Art Gallery, A Handmade Assembly brings artists and the community together to celebrate the artistic potential of accessible materials and traditional, hands-on processes.

Throughout the weekend, A Handmade Assembly’s participants hosted talks and workshops that helped include the Sackville and Mount Allison communities in various artistic processes. For example, Owens Art Gallery hosted a workshop with Karen Stentaford on Saturday afternoon, in which guests were invited to learn the difficult procedures of wet-plate and tintype photography. This method of photography, first discovered in the mid-nineteenth century, involves taking a positive image directly onto a sheet of chemical-treated metal. By acquainting gallery visitors with this unique process, the weekend’s events celebrated the interactive potential of arts and crafts.

The weekend’s most diverse event was the Friday night gallery crawl, which invited Sackville residents to hop between multiple locations and exhibitions in the same evening. One notable stop along the gallery crawl was Struts Gallery, where Amanda McCavour showcased a collection of her experiments with sewing and embroidery. Seeking to explore the creative potential of these media, the artist-in-residence has worked for weeks within the studio to decorate the gallery’s foyer with complex, structured embroideries. McCavour’s creations depicted everything from quotidian objects to geometric patterns, and hung from the gallery’s space in a way that imbued this seemingly mundane medium with new life.

The gallery crawl ended at Thunder & Lightning, which showcased two exhibitions. The first of these, entitled “Accumulations” by Rachel Thornton, combined drawings, embroideries, and assorted objects stitched onto a cloth background. Thornton’s pieces invoke both the natural and the supernatural, and were inspired by her own personal research into the history of witchcraft.

Although A Handmade Assembly’s events are over, the exhibitions at Owens Art Gallery, Struts Gallery, and Thunder & Lightning remain open to the viewing public.


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