Warps, Heddles, Shuttles and Sheds: The Art and History of Weaving at Mount Allison University


Joyce Chown, cotton tea towels, 2006, Collection of Jeff Chown. Photo: Roger Smith, 2020

Warps, Heddles, Shuttles and Sheds: The Art and History of Weaving at Mount Allison University

Curated by Jane Tisdale

26 July to 10 October 2021
Vernissage: 17 September @ 7:00 pm

The Owens Art Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of a major exhibition exploring the art and history of weaving at Mount Allison University. Warp, Heddles, Shuttles and Sheds focuses on the innovation and remarkable diversity of handwoven work created during the careers of former Mount Allison University Applied Arts students, including Patricia Pollett McClelland, Harriet Campbell Meacher, Carolyn Manzer McMullen, Joyce Chown, Dawn MacNutt, Ann Pickard Langley, and others.

For 70 years, the Art Department at Mount Allison University was housed within the Owens Art Gallery. Classes were offered in Fine and Applied Arts, including woodcarving, leatherwork, jewellery, metalwork, basketry, porcelain painting, ceramics and weaving. In the 1930s, the University gained recognition as a centre for weaving when the Mount Allison Handicraft Guild was formed and affiliated with the Canadian Handicraft Guild. With the cancellation of the Applied Arts program in 1960, weaving was no longer included in the curriculum of the Art Department. However, former students continued to share their knowledge and expand their own weaving practices. This exhibition celebrates their careers and the history of weaving at Mount Allison.


This exhibition is accompanied by a richly illustrated, bilingual (English and French) book featuring the writing of Jane Tisdale, Fine Arts Conservator at the Owens Art Gallery, and Peter J. Larocque, Art Curator at the New Brunswick Museum. Filled with archival photographs and information, the book also contains a detailed historical chronology. Designed by Lauren Wickware Design and printed in Toronto by Andora Graphics Inc.


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 L’nuk (the Mi’kmaq) that the Owens Art Gallery is built. 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 L’nuk, Wolastoqiyik, and Peskotomuhkati first signed with the British Crown in 1725. We express gratitude for the opportunity to love, work and play on this land.

Owens Art Gallery
Mount Allison University
61 York Street Sackville, NB, E4L 1E1 • 506-364-2574
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Monday to Friday 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Saturday and Sunday 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm
Admission is Free

The Owens is partially accessible. The stairs from the entrance nearest the University Chapel have a handrail. There is also ramp access at this entrance, however, the ramp is steep. The stairs to the entrance off York Street have a handrail, but no ramp. The main floor of the Owens is wheelchair accessible. Our second-floor gallery and cisgender bathrooms are located in the basement and are not accessible. Two flights of stairs lead to each of these floors. The Owens welcomes guide dogs and other service animals. There are two, reserved, accessible parking spaces on the York Street side of the Gallery and one in the circular driveway adjacent to the Gallery.

If you have any questions about your visit, please email owens@mta.ca or call (506) 364-2574.