Claire Cunningham in Give Me a Reason to Live


carrie allison: wâhkôhtowin 

7 June to 14 August 2019

Vernissage: 7 June 2019, 7:30 pm

Curated by Emily Falvey

wâhkôhtowin is the Cree word for “kinship” or “the way in which we relate to each other.” For artist Carrie Allison, this concept serves as an artistic methodology and guiding principle. Heart River (2018), a beaded map of the Heart River, which runs through the artist’s Cree and Métis family territory, underscores essential relationships between traditional beading, water, and the land. The companion installation Connect/Contact (2017), uses flora harvested from the banks of the river to create a gathering of paper discs whose movements invite visitors to listen for what Carmen Robertson calls “the sounds of the watery embodiment of place.” Finally, Beaded Botanicals (2018-2019) features beaded sketches of endangered flora found in Mi'kma'ki, the territory in which Allison currently resides, presented alongside botany specimens borrowed from the Herbarium of the Nova Scotia Museum.

Carrie Allison is an Indigenous, mixed-ancestry visual artist born and raised on unceded and unsurrendered Coast Salish Territory (Vancouver, BC), with roots in High Prairie, Alberta. Situated in K'jipuktuk since 2010, Allison’s practice responds to her maternal Cree and Métis ancestry, thinking through intergenerational cultural loss and acts of reclaiming, resilience, resistance, and activism, as well as notions of allyship, kinship, and visiting. Her work is rooted in research and pedagogical discourses and seeks to reclaim, remember, recreate, and celebrate her ancestry through visual discussions. She looks to Indigenous, mixed-race, antiracist, anti-oppressive, feminist, and environmental theorists to critically examine the world around her. Allison holds an MFA, a BFA, and a BA in Art History from NSCAD University

The exhibition is accompanied by an Occasional Paper featuring an essay by Carmen Robertson, Canada Research Chair in North American Art and Material Culture at Carleton University.

Image: Carrie Allison, Beaded Botanical 3 (sabatia kennedyana fern.), 2018, toho beads on linen, courtesy of the artist. Photo: Séamus Gallagher


Drawing by Herménégilde Chiasson, Fourteen Stations for Oswald, 1. The Condemnation

Video stills of a woman holding a floral sheet by Maryse Arsenault

reproduction of a seated girl wearing a cloak

An Elsewhere Forever Present Alisa Arsenault, Maryse Arseneault, Rémi Belliveau, Herménégilde Chiasson  

7 June to 25 August 2019
Vernissage: 7 June 2019 at 7:30 pm

Curated by Emily Falvey

The point of departure for this exhibition is Fourteen Stations for Oswald (1990), a series of evocative drawings by Herménégilde Chiasson found in the permanent collection of the Owens Art Gallery. In 1990, Gérald LeBlanc wrote a poetic essay about this work that concluded, “Herménégilde Chiasson proposes/sensible dreams/of an elsewhere forever present.” Moving out from this idea, the exhibition explores the ways in which historical, popular, and familial stories intersect in the work of four Acadian artists. While the question of identity is clearly present in these works, it is not rigidly defined or reduced to simple nationalist stereotypes. Of equal importance is the notion of repetition as an aesthetic gesture and its relationship to time and memory.

The exhibition is accompanied by an Occasional Paper featuring an essay by writer and independent curator Elise Anne LaPlante.

This exhibition was organized in conjunction with the Congrès acadien mondial 2019.


Un ailleurs toujours présent Alisa Arsenault, Maryse Arseneault, Rémi Belliveau, Herménégilde Chiasson  

Du 7 juin au 25 août 2019
Vernissage : le 7 juin à 19 h 30

Organisée par Emily Falvey

L’œuvre Quatorze stations pour Oswald (1990), une série de dessins évocateurs de l’artiste Herménégilde Chiasson faisant partie de la collection permanente de la Galerie d'art Owens, est le point de départ de cette exposition. En 1990, Gérald LeBlanc rédige un essai poétique portant sur cette œuvre, qui se terminait sur ces lignes : « Herménégilde Chiasson me propose/des écrans sensibles/d’un ailleurs toujours présent. » S’appuyant sur cette idée originelle, l’exposition met en évidence comment s’entrecroisent les narrations historique, populaire et familiale dans les œuvres de quatre artistes acadiens, acadiennes. Bien que la question identitaire soit très présente dans ces œuvres, elle n’est pas étroitement circonscrite ni réduite à des stéréotypes nationalistes simplistes. D’une importance tout aussi grande est la notion de répétition comme geste esthétique et son rapport avec le temps et la mémoire. 

L’exposition s’accompagne d’une Publication occasionnelle comportant un texte de l’autrice et commissaire indépendante Elise Anne LaPlante.  

Cette exposition est organisée dans le cadre du Congrès mondial acadien 2019.  


Photo of Ted Pulford looking up at his graduating student exhibition, including a self-portrait.


Graduate Self-Portraits

9 May to June 2019

Each year, in celebration of Spring Convocation and Alumni Reunion Weekend, the Owens Art Gallery displays self-portraits from the Graduate Self-Portrait Collection. From the late 1940s until the mid 1960s, Mount Allison University students in Fine Arts were required to paint a self-portrait in their fourth year, which they then submitted as their “Diploma Piece” before receiving the Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree. The portraits were to be life-sized, painted in oil on canvas or board, and measure 40 x 30 inches. An important archive of the Fine Arts Department, this collection consists of approximately fifty paintings that are now permanently housed at the Owens Art Gallery.

This year, we are pleased to present selections from the Classes of 1949, 1954, and 1964.

Image: Mount Allison University Archives Accession No. 2007.07/535


Photo of Ted Pulford looking up at his graduating student exhibition, including a self-portrait.


Teeny Tiny Zine Library

27 May to August 2019

Currently in the lobby, Mount Allison’s Teeny Tiny Zine Library is an ever-growing collection of zines, artists’ books and multiples, independent comics and handmade publications. The collection was created to archive and promote the small by mighty form of the zine, with a special focus on the Sackville zine scene and the work of Mount Allison Fine Arts students, Sackville artists and community youth.

Zines are often ephemeral, capturing a particular time and place. They tend to be non-commercial, reproduced by photocopying, and made to add new voices to the mix of publications out in the world.

Zines can be made by anyone and cover a wide variety of subjects.


Alex Colville, Athletes, 1961, oil and synthetic resin on board


The Colville Gallery

14 May 2016 - 1 July 2019

A permanent exhibition space devoted to the work of Alex Colville (1920-2013), one of Canada's most celebrated artists and one of Mount Allison University's best known graduates. The Gallery features the installation of the mural Athletes, commissioned by Mount Allison for its new Athletic Centre in 1961. Designed around the theme of the student athlete, the mural was the focal point of the new building; it remained there for over 50 years, until its present installation in the stable and secure environment of Owens Art Gallery. Other artworks by Colville are also on view, including many of the preparatory drawings for Athletes and examples of the artist's serigraphs.

Image: Alex Colville, Athletes, 1961, oil and synthetic resin on board


Image of homepage of the Virtual Companion

A Virtual Companion to All Things Useful and Artistic: Applied Arts at Mount Allison University 1906-1960

online now

This Virtual Companion accompanies the exhibition All Things Useful and Artistic: Applied Arts at Mount Allison University 1906-1960. Serving as a legacy for the exhibition, this website provides in-depth features on selected objects, behind-the-scenes documentation of the exhibition installation, video footage of conservation treatments, archival photographs and oral histories from graduates of the Applied Arts program.

The Virtual Companion is made possible through funding from the Sheila Hugh MacKay Foundation.

©2019 all rights reserved. Design: Tantramar Interactive Inc.