Exhibitions – Cape Breton Centre for Craft


C o m m o t i o n : A contemporary textile art show by the SAQA Atlantic Canada Region

Hélène Blanchet, Kristi Farrier, Regina Marzlin, Julea Boswell, Nina Scott-Stoddart, Kathy Tidswell, Linda Mackie Finley, Susan Lapham, Fiona Oxford, Darcy Lynn Hunter, Cathy Drummond, Susan Lilley, Alison Dean Cowitz, Anne Morrell-Robinson, Holly McLean, Lee McLean

June 8th - July 3rd, 2021

Studio Art Quilt Associates, Inc. (SAQA) is a worldwide non-profit organization whose mission is to promote the art quilt: “a creative visual work that is layered and stitched or that references this form of stitched layered structure.”  The goal of establishing a place for art quilts in the world of contemporary art is pursued by mounting exhibitions, publishing books, and maintaining a wide-ranging online presence.  

This regional SAQA exhibition is produced by the SAQA Atlantic Canada chapter. The organizers are Hélène Blanchet and Regina Marzlin. The show consists of 27 textile art pieces made by 16 artists.  

The “Commotion” exhibition invites viewers to enjoy a diversity of pieces with an interesting and unusual use of fabric in the broadest sense. The contemporary textile art pieces interpret the theme “Commotion” in a wide range of styles and techniques; from abstract to pictorial, from monochromatic to colorful. The masterful use of luscious texture, sophisticated colour, and clever manipulation through fabric surface design are just a few of the defining elements of a fascinating medium that is increasingly popular and becoming more and more accepted by the general art world. 

The show was juried by Lee Cripps, the current curator and artistic director of the Craig Gallery in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, Canada, and a professional artist whose medium is paint. Lee holds an MFA from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.  

Lee commented about her jurying decisions: “I tried to create diversity in colour, skill and artistic expression in relation to theme. What a tough choice!! There were such great submissions. […] I did enjoy the pieces that I felt expressed a great sense of energy and which evoked a strong emotional response”. 

Exhibition concept: 

“In these turbulent times, many of us are reeling from the commotion that surrounds us – be it political, environmental, or personal. The artist might evoke a riot of colour, textures, or forms. Commotion can be noise, mayhem, and upheaval, but it can also be children’s vitality that brings joy, the hurly-burly of a busy city street, or even the clamor of a symphony getting ready to play. 

What does the idea of “Commotion” mean to you? Is it loud and overwhelming? Pandemonium or turmoil? Or exciting, lively, and full of unexpected delights? Show us how you react to the idea of commotion.” 

 The show will travel until June 2023, with the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design, 322 Charlotte St, Sydney, Nova Scotia as the premiere venue.

For more information, contact 902-270-7491 or INFO@CAPEBRETONCRAFT.COM.

Ground Rules: The Before and After


March 1 - April 24, 2021

Cape Breton Centre for Craft & Design, in collaboration with Parks Canada, is pleased to announce the opening of Ground Rules: The Before and After, an exciting collaborative exhibition based on an experiential learning residency program in Cape Breton Highlands National Park.

The four-day residency program took place in spring 2019, in the spectacular Cape Breton Highlands National Park. Fourteen Nova Scotia artists with diverse backgrounds explored new ideas inspired by the natural landscapes of the Highlands, while interacting with scientists, park interpreters and creative leaders.

The Ground Rules residency provided participating artists with the opportunity to explore new ideas and ways of working in their medium, connect to their individual heritage and discover how scientific processes shape the natural world.

Ground Rules: The Before and After will be on display at the Centre’s Loft from March 1 – April 24, 2021.

For more information, contact 902-270-7491 or INFO@CAPEBRETONCRAFT.COM.

Low Impact

Juliana Scherzer

October 8 - November 14, 2020

Low Impact is a solo exhibition by Juliana Scherzer.

Low Impact is a collection of 15 preserved leaf quilts playing with concepts of universality, sustainability and textiles. Each piece is an exploration of the complex relationship of humanity’s interactions with the natural world. The intersections and contrasts between the natural and the artificial are explored through the manipulation of organic materials with contemporary textile techniques. Drawing on organic imagery of pathways – roots, veins, woven structures – preserved leaves are then cut, sewn and woven into a series of modern, asymmetrical botanical quilts.

Low Impact will be on display at the Centre’s Loft from October 8 – November 14, 2020.

For more information, contact 902.270.7491 or INFO@CAPEBRETONCRAFT.COM.

For more information, contact 902-270-7491 or INFO@CAPEBRETONCRAFT.COM.


Darren Calabrese, Carl MacNeil, Dinao MacCormick, Chad Tobin, Steve Wadden

July 23 - August 21, 2020

Turf is a collaborative exhibition of fictional, documentary and contemplative photographs, exploring literal and abstract concepts of home.

On a spectrum between place and feeling, individual meanings of home emerge. Turf asks how the individual shapes the place, and how the place shapes the individual.

In the literal sense, the artists illustrate relationships with land, identity, community and changing geographic and social landscapes.

In the abstract, the photographs raise questions about intuition and perception— imagining home as a sense of being and creative process as a means of transportation.

Homing: relating to the ability of some animals to return by instinct to their place of origin.

Turf will be displayed in the Centre’s Loft from July 23 – August 21, 2020.

To view the exhibition online, click here.

For more information, contact 902-270-7491 or INFO@CAPEBRETONCRAFT.COM.