Agnes Turns up the Heat this Summer with Brown Butter and Transformations

This summer marks a pivotal moment in the process of closing Agnes and reimagining her re-emergence, otherwise. It’s as if we’re prolonging this pivot by making our entire 2022 program a slow pirouette around change, knowing that this turn toward transformation can be destabilizing. But a pirouette is beautiful, elegant and powerful—when you know where you stand.

In a dance across this time of transformation, we’re poised to have a lot of fun! There are house parties and solstice celebrations, performances and feasts. Berlin Reed’s “pairings” in the gastro-experimentation Brown Butter smooths our transition, grounding Agnes’s re-emergence as a living space in Agnes Reimagined. And, we bring the streets to the gallery through a major graffiti commission on our exterior façades in Transformations, as we ourselves prepare to “take to the streets,” readying for our closure at the end of 2022.

3 June–10 July 2022

“If I am to be consumed, my sweetness will elude your palate. A strangling mouthful, a suffocating swallow—I will be a bitter molasses.” —BERLIN REED

Brown Butter is a conversation between Black Canadian artists presented as a six-week multi- disciplinary exhibition by Gastro Curator, Berlin Reed. This project pairs chefs Rawan Ali, Marissa Leon-John and Bashir Munye with artists Jade Fair, Kama La Mackerel, Kosisochukwu Nnebe, Odeimin Runners Club, Rye, Gloria C. Swain and Syrus Marcus Ware. Six creative partnerships create an immersive, succulent environment through installations, performances, events, while limited-run artist ‘artifacts’ extend the experience into the life of the viewer. Brown Butter is not a dining experience. It is an internalization of Black thought and a gavage of Black expression.

Curated by Berlin Reed and produced in collaboration with Emelie Chhangur, Nasrin Himada and Sunny Kerr

Brown Butter is part of a year-long series of projects staged in Etherington House as part of “Rehoming Agnes.” These projects anticipate our closure and foreshadow our reopening, marking the transition of the house back to its original use as an artist residence.

Performance, Solstice Celebration and a House Party!
All events are free. Online registration is required, check the website for details.

IN-PERSON, 7 June, 3–6 pm
Performance by Montreal-based artist, Kama La Mackerel in Etherington House.

IN-PERSON, 21 June, 3–9 pm
Brown Butter chefs invite you to spend the year’s longest day at this block party outside Agnes with music, food, artmaking and more. For all ages.

IN-PERSON, 10 July, 6–9 pm
Etherington House
DJ Scott C closes Brown Butter with a house party full of old-school flavour.

Brown Butter and its related programs are generously supported by the Canada Council of the Arts and the David Bain Memorial Fund, Queen’s University.

June 2022–June 2023

“Style writing and graffiti are not about art. For many, it’s about having a voice. A voice that, once bright, erodes, decays and disappears. It is erased by weather, time and status quo. It is about staking monuments in a place that often casts you out.” –ORIAH SCOTT

This summer we host Oriah Scott, EronOne, HONE, HUNGR, AJ Little, Emily May Rose and guest graffiti artists from across the Montreal-Toronto corridor as Agnes’s Stonecroft Foundation Artist(s)-in-Residence. An extended research and design phase culminates in a site-specific commission for the exterior façades of Agnes’s current facility. Transformations remains until the construction for Agnes Reimagined begins in summer 2023.

This reciprocal relationship-building project celebrates the long vernacular tradition of street art in Kingston, points to alternative art histories embedded in our city streets and provides a framework for experiential learning and co-curriculum development conceived in collaboration with faculty and students from Queen’s Art Conservation Program. In the classroom, we trace the lineages of “acts of urban chaos;” in the conservation lab, we consider why certain paint colours fade more quickly; in the gallery, we have honest conversations along the way, exploring the ethics of preserving street art, the conundrum of being an art institution working along-side submerged cultural practices without co-opting them and collectively questioning who benefits from exchanges with imbalanced power dynamics. And we produce the first-ever in-situ graffiti project on the actual architectures of Queen’s!

Curated by Oriah Scott

The residency, large-scale, site-specific commission and experiential education initiative are conceived and produced by Emelie Chhangur, Agnes Director and Curator in partnership with Patricia Smithen, Assistant Professor, Paintings Conservation and Director, Art Conservation Program, Queens University.

Generously funded by the Stonecroft Foundation and the City of Kingston Arts Fund, Kingston Arts Council.

Continuing Exhibitions

To 26 June 2022

To 10 July 2022

To 10 July 2022


Agnes Etherington Art Centre
Situated on traditional Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee Territory, Agnes is a curatorially-driven and research-intensive professional art centre that proudly serves a dual mandate as a leading, internationally recognized public art gallery and as an active pedagogical resource at Queen’s University. By commissioning, researching, collecting and preserving works of art and by exhibiting and interpreting visual culture through an intersectional lens, Agnes creates opportunities for participation and exchange across communities, cultures, histories and geographies.

Agnes is committed to anti-racism. We work to eradicate institutional biases and develop accountable programs that support and centre the artistic expression and lived experience of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour. Agnes promotes 2SLGBTQIAP+ positive spaces. Admission is free and everyone is welcome.

36 University Avenue
Kingston, ON K7L 3N6
Facebook: @aeartcentre
Twitter: @aeartcentre
Instagram: @aeartcentre

Agnes is an accessible venue, details can be found here.

AGNES THANKS Queen’s University, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, an agency of the Government of Ontario, the City of Kingston Arts Fund, Kingston Arts Council, and through generous contributions by foundations, corporate partners, donors and members.

1. Chef Marissa Leon-John and poet/performance artist Kama La Mackerel. Photo: Zoë Cousineau
2. Solstice Party graphic illustrated by Abby Nowakowsi
3. Oriah Scott, Sketch mock-up for Transformations. Courtesy of the artist

For further information, contact Kate Yüksel, Communications Coordinator at