Umbrella Projects

Artists, what have you always wanted to do?

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The ever-changing reality of COVID-19 makes it difficult to program future exhibitions, performances, symposia, and residencies with any sense of certainty. The need to ensure the safety of audiences, and adhere to ever-shifting restrictions regarding travel and crowd sizes leaves most in-gallery projects in doubt.

With this in mind, the Owens Art Gallery and Struts Gallery are excited to announce Umbrella Projects, a new collaborative venture designed to pool our resources, energies, and respective strengths in order to facilitate new, innovative, off-site programming for the next twelve months. Our first project—a video screening titled Sweetest Sympathy—occurred as part of the Cube Show, a collaboration with Sappyfest that saw an exciting program of artist videos and musical performances projected on the outside of the Terra Beata Farms freezer facility, a 44-meter high, white, cube-like structure located in the Sackville Industrial Park. Presented alongside performances by the music project Wares and interdisciplinary musician and artist-curator Lido Pimienta, Sweetest Sympathy was dedicated to Thunder & Lightning, a beloved local bar, hangout, and safe community space forced to close during the COVID-19 pandemic. Artists featured in the program included Colin Campbell, Michèle Pearson Clarke, Diane Borsato, Rita McKeough, Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay, Daniel Barrow, and Jeremy Dutcher.

In a town the size of Sackville, these types of collaborations were already frequent and fruitful; now they feel essential—part of the age-old tradition of neighbours pulling together in a time of crisis. Rather than retrofitting existing programming to suit an online platform, we aim to entirely reimagine the possibilities—to expand not retreat. We are dedicated to providing opportunities for artists to realize unusual or strategic projects and, in the coming months, we will roll out a series of new platforms coupled with calls for submissions soliciting proposals for exciting off-site, on-paper, and on-screen projects.

Umbrella Projects gratefully acknowledges the support of John Murchie, the Rotary Club of Sackville, the Sheila Hugh Mackay Foundation, Mount Allison University, the Canada Council for the Arts, the New Brunswick Department of Tourism, Heritage and Culture, the Government of Canada (Young Canada Works in Heritage Organizations) and the Town of Sackville.

Past Projects

Umbrella Projects: Sweetest Sympathy

31 July 2020 - 1 August 2020

Umbrella Projects: Fruit Salad

26 October 2020 - 16 November 2020

John Haney: HOT TIPS

14 April 2021 - 14 October 2021

Yvonne Singer: Waiting… still waiting

2 June 2021 - 30 September 2021

Marcia Huyer: Breathing Room

2 July 2021 - 4 July 2021