Umbrella Projects: A Partnership Between the Owens Art Gallery and Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre
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 & Faucet Media Arts Centre 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 recent 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.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Owens Art Gallery and Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre are currently closed to the public.
We would like to acknowledge, honour, and pay respect to the traditional owners and custodians—from all four directions—of the land on which we live. It is upon the unceded, ancestral lands of the Mi’kmaq that the partnership Umbrella Projects has come into existence. While this area is known as Sackville, New Brunswick, it is part of Siknikt, a district of the greater territory of Mi’kma’ki. This territory is covered by the “Treaties of Peace and Friendship,” which the Mi’kmaq and Wolastoqiyik first signed with the British Crown in 1725.
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, and the Town of Sackville. We sincerely thank our staff, members, student interns, volunteers, and supporters in the community of Sackville and the broader Atlantic region.