Film still from Reading Canda Backwards

Steve Topping: Reading Canada Backwards

15 November to 15 December 2019
Owens Picture Window
From dusk to dawn

Artist talk: 30 November, 4:00 pm

Curated by Emily Falvey

To make this innovative work of experimental cinema, artist Steve Topping hopped freight trains from Vancouver to Halifax. For the length of his journey—4000 miles (6437 km)—he never looked through the camera viewfinder, instead keeping his shots level with the eastern horizon. Using the spacing of telephone pole as a guide, at forty-eight-kilometer intervals he shot ninety single frames of film using a Super-8 camera. As the rails are still marked out by mile markers, the film represents ninety frames of film for every thirty miles or three frames per mile. The resultant 12,000 frames of film present a jittery time-lapse in which communication and transportation technologies appear to tear through the natural landscape. As such, it represents an elegant, formal illustration of the concept of “space-time compression”—the set of economic and other processes that lead to a phenomenon sometimes called “the shrinking world.” An homage to Canadian structural film and video of the 1970s and 1980s, as well as a clever critique of capitalism and colonialism, Reading Canada Backwards subtly folds the romance of the Intercolonial Railway back onto questions of entitlement, landownership, and the right to freedom of movement. 

This special presentation of Reading Canada Backwards hasbeen organized as part of the 150th anniversary celebrations for the Intercolonial Railway, which arrived in Sackville on 30 November 1869.

Image: Steve Topping, Reading Canada Backwards, 1995, 8mm film transferred to HDR video, courtesy of the artist


Graphic that reads The Collage Party in cut up letters

The Collage Party

21 November to 15 December 2019 

For over twenty years, the staple in Paul Butler's artistic practice has been The Collage Party—a nomadic, public studio where people come together and make art in a social setting.

Butler has worked with children, older adults, artists living with a mental and/or physical disability, and artists of all levels and disciplines. The Collage Party functions both as Paul Butler's studio, where he produces collage, as well as a platform for people of all backgrounds and artistic levels to come together and experience the benefits of making art in a group setting.

The Collage Party has been staged throughout North America and Europe in museums, private residences, public schools, universities, hospitals, department stores, and community centres.

This exhibition is a part of A Handmade Assembly, 20 -23 November.

Student in conservation abarotory photographing an artwork

Art Conservation Lab Mentorship Program

15 November to 15 December 2019 

The Owens Art Gallery is a teaching gallery where Mount Allison University students learn about museum practice. In our Art Conservation Lab, the only one of its kind in New Brunswick, students work alongside our Fine Arts Conservator, Jane Tisdale, and gain hands-on experience related to art preservation and restoration. Thanks to the help of several students, including Winnifred Dailey (Queen’s University), the restoration of the gilded frame for An Intruder (1884), an oil painting by German-American painter Frederick Juengling, was completed this summer.

We would like to thank Jean and Peter Flemington for their ongoing support of our Art Conservation Lab Mentorship Program. Students who have benefited from their generosity include Meaghan Monaghan, Amy Kitchen, John Cushnie, Sarah Mullin, Nicole Sharp, Emily Ricketts, Leanne Gaudet, Ariane Tye, Aja Cooper, Kealin Lamb, Lily Scales, Grace McLean, Kaoru Yui, Mary Scott, and Claire Hunter.

Painting by Sharon Hicks of a barn and hay

2018 Sackville Art Association Annual Members' Exhibition

17 November – 15 December

Our annual community exhibition by members of the Sackville Art Association, one of the region’s longest standing artists’ organizations.

This year's featured artist is Sharon Hicks. 

Student in conservation abarotory photographing an artwork

Teeny Tiny Zine Library

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.

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.

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