October 21 –24, 2015

The fifth annual A Handmade Assembly, hosted by the Owens Art Gallery and Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre with the Fine Arts Department at Mount Allison University, featured workshops, talks, and projects by Daniel Barrow (Montreal, QC), Andrea Beverley (Sackville, NB), Melanie Colosimo (Halifax, NS), Sarah Evans (Sackville, NB), Erik Edson (Sackville, NB), Shamus Griffith (Sackville, NB), Danielle Hogan (Fredericton, NB), Megan Ingman (Sackville, NB), Myung-Sun Kim (Toronto, ON), Lucy MacDonald (Sackville, NB), Clint Neufeld (Osler, SK), Claire Ellen Paquet (Montreal, QC), Vicky Sabourin (Montreal, QC) and Roberto Santaguida (Germany).

Opening Night Roundtable Discussion

Wednesday, October 21, 7:30 pm
Royal Canadian Legion

The Assembly activities began with an Opening Night Roundtable Discussion moderated by Lucy MacDonald with Daniel Barrow, Melanie Colosimo, Myung-Sun Kim, and Roberto Santaguida. Through a series of questions followed by informal conversation, MacDonald led a discussion about each artist’s relationship to the handmade in their own art practices. The Opening Night Roundtable Discussion was an opportunity to gain some insight into how A Handmade Assembly came together, meet the participants, and find out more about what you could expect to see over the course of the four-day event. An opening night social followed.

Gum Transfer Printing with Erik Edson

Thursday, October 22, 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Purdy Crawford Centre for the Arts, Mount Allison University

Learn how to use photocopies as a simple and direct method to make colour mono-prints. Participants brought source imagery for making their colour mono-prints during the workshop. Participants brought sketchbooks, drawings, illustrations, or photographs; anything that could be photocopied worked. We began by photocopying images to use as printing plates. All other materials were supplied.

Artist Talk: Living with a Horse in my Bedroom – Vicky Sabourin

Friday, October 23, 9:30 am
Royal Canadian Legion

Vicky Sabourin worked for 3 months creating a felted horse in her bedroom. Every morning, she had to step over the horse to get out of bed. Through that unusual proximity, a strange kinship developed between her and the felted horse. Living with a horse in my bedroom is an artist talk that went behind the scenes, in the very intimate process and production of the piece Warmblood. Sabourin shared her personal and extensive archive that branches from DIY felting videos, hoof dissections on YouTube to strange selfies and absurd moments like digging a horse grave in her brother’s backyard. The anecdotes related to this piece were unusual; some were lighthearted while others are gruesome. The presentation was casual, intimate and anecdotal.

Book-in-a-Day with Roberto Santaguida

Friday, October 23, 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Royal Canadian Legion

Book-in-a-Day was a writing marathon where teams of participants wrote a children's book, comic book or graphic short story in one day. Each team was given a set of character and location restrictions at the beginning of the workshop. By the next day, the story was to be written, printed, bound, and delivered. Book-in-a-Day was open to people with any level of graphic and literary skill. Participants were encouraged to find the literary equivalent for their ideas, for the stories they like, or for topics with which they were concerned.

Performance: Warmblood – Vicky Sabourin

Friday, October 23, 8:00pm
Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre

Sabourin’s most recent work investigates tensions between the wild and the civilized. The tableau vivant Warmblood explores the very intimate relationship between people and the highly symbolic motif of the horse: at once noble, fierce, devoted and emblematic of the power dynamic we maintain with the world. While the title, Warmblood refers to the eponymous horse breed; the piece points to the Western obsession with wilderness and its captivating and seducing power. Using elements from tale and psychoanalysis, this new body of work viscerally explores inner animalism and the idea of control.

Closing Address with Danielle Hogan

Saturday, October 24, 8:00 pm
Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre

A Handmade Assembly came to an end on Saturday evening with a closing address delivered by Danielle Hogan at Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre. The closing address was a collection of thoughts inspired by what Hogan has observed over the course of the four-day festival, and offered some insight into the role the handmade plays in contemporary culture. Karaoke followed.

Artist Talk: Habit – Claire Ellen Paquet

Thursday, October 22, 9:30 am
Royal Canadian Legion

Claire Ellen Paquet talked about her practice and her current project, Habit, as it unfolded throughout the month of October. Paquet sewed the same dress, once a day, for 30 days and posted updates on the Handmade Assembly online artist-in-residence blog: www.ahandmadeassembly.wordpress.com

Knit a Hitchhiker Shawl ~ an adventure in increasing and decreasing with Megan Ingman

Thursday, October 22, 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm
Royal Canadian Legion

This shawl featured a simple and repetitive pattern creating an asymmetrical shallow trapezoid that looks great in a hand dyed yarn. This workshop was ideal for beginner knitters who had never followed a pattern before, or those with more experience who were intrigued by how to knit a garter shawl on the bias using increases.

All materials were provided (yarn, needles, and the pattern).

Artist Talk: Unchained Melanie – Melanie Colosimo

Friday, October 23, 11:00 am
Royal Canadian Legion

Colosimo addressed the key determinants in the meaning of her work; materials, process and living in the Maritimes. Committing to the simple materials of cut paper and graphite, she creates large-scale drawings and paper sculptures of fences, structures and architecture to explore memory, transitory states and trace imagery.

Exhibition: Dark Watercolours – Daniel Barrow

Opening Reception Friday, October 23, 7:00pm
Owens Art Gallery

In the exhibition, Dark Watercolours, Barrow premiered a body of projection installation, drawings and sculptural pieces which expand upon dualistic themes from previous works, but also represent more recent internal debates about drawing and sculpture, artwork and medium, artwork and easel, form and symbol, high and low. Barrow’s sculptures are microcosms of his studio process. They are multi-functional objects that simultaneously act as easels for drawings, paintbrush holders and basins, as well as figurative sculptures that mine the theatricality of display.

Exhibition: Frontier Shadow – Shamus Griffith

Friday, October 23, 10:00pm
Thunder & Lightning Ideas Ltd.

Frontier Shadow is a collection of new and recent work by artist Shamus Griffith, which will be shown at the local public house, Thunder & Lightning, from October 23 to November 24, 2015.  

Two-part Plaster Mold Making with Clint Neufeld

Saturday, October 24, 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
Purdy Crawford Centre for the Arts, Mount Allison University

Learn the process of plaster mold making. Clint Neufeld took participants through the steps, helped to solve problems, and offer advice. He shared some more complex plaster mold making techniques and a short presentation on his own mold making processes. Participants brought two objects to cast, each no larger than 8" x 8" x 8". The objects were not precious, as they had the chance to get dirty.

What Are Zines For? Independent Print Culture in Sackville – Facilitated by Dr. Andrea Beverley and Sarah Evans

Thursday, October 22, 11:00 am
Royal Canadian Legion

In 2015, a small team interviewed 20 local zinesters about their experience of making zines in Sackville. Questions included: Do you think of zine-making as innovative? Do you feel like you’re part of a community because of zines? Has living in Sackville changed your zine-making practices? This discussion was a time to share some of the (amazing!) responses and to wonder together about the (radical?) potential of zines in our town.

Trading Cards with Tara K. Wells / The Work Room

Thursday, October 22 + Friday, October 23
1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre

Tara K. Wells was at The Work Room with materials and examples to get participants started on their own series of trading cards. Participants could try their hand at carving DIY stamps for making easy multiples. All materials were provided and absolutely no experience was required.

Festival goers could also bring any current project to The Work Room and make some progress in the company of others. The Work Room was an open workshop space with refreshments, music, and a few extra bits and bobs to help peoples' projects or to get them started on something new!

Explore Evolving Food Culture and History with Myung-Sun Kim

Friday, October 23, 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Royal Canadian Legion

Culinary practices and food culture change and adapt over time with the introduction of new ingredients through historical moments, such as migration, expeditions, war, technology and colonialism. Over time, these changes become traditional and classic dishes. The workshop explored evolution of culinary practices and its related history through discussions and hands-on exercises. Participants were highly encouraged to share their own experiences, knowledge and history to contribute to the discussion. During the workshop, the participants were offered Korean food with its history from the artist's research. All tools were provided for the exercises.

Artist Project: Habit – Claire Ellen Paquet

Handmade Assembly online artist-in-residence blog

Claire Ellen Paquet says that she is not a disciplined person. She has been meaning to sew one particular dress for over a year now, thinking of it as her ideal dress, but she can never get around to making it. As punishment she has decided to make herself sew the same dress, once a day, for 30 days. In doing so she hopes to examine her relationship to making and to her self-image. Paquet is sharing updates about this project on the Handmade Assembly online artist-in-residence blog throughout the month of October.

Handmade Study Break: Drawing Games with Daniel Barrow

Saturday, October 24, 3:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Owens Art Gallery

This Handmade Study Break, Daniel Barrow hosted an afternoon of drawing games. With just the simplest of tools—paper, pencils and pens, participants took part in a playful, sometimes collaborative drawing event. No previous drawing experience was necessary. Handmade Study Breaks are informal, artist-led workshops for everyone.