Event Category: Exhibition

Sensory Friendly Saturdays

Four smiling people standing around a table in a darkened room, lit by an overhead light. One person is looking through a Viewmaster while the other people look through photo reels from a box on the table.

On the first Saturday morning of ever month beginning from Saturday 4 January, all galleries and public spaces in KWAG will be programmed with reduced light and volume levels to provide a more welcoming environment for individuals living with autism and any others who require or prefer environments with less visual and auditory stimuli. While KWAG has a long-standing policy of accommodating the special needs of our visitors by adjusting light and sound levels accordingly, these new standard hours create dedicated time and space for our guests to experience a welcoming environment that is already suited to their needs.

We have been fortunate to receive the support and guidance of local artist Aislinn Thomas, who exhibited at KWAG in our 2018 exhibition, The Brain is wider than the Sky, and has presented and written extensively on the topic of access and the arts. As an artist who lives with sensory sentivity, both her practice and advocacy have foregrounded the creative potential found in negotiating barriers to access. Her installation for KWAG, A people’s history of the sublime: TOTALITY (21.08.2017), found human unity in a shared experience of being in the dark of the 2017 solar eclipse, while her recent project for the Banff Centre, A distinct aggregation / A dynamic equivalent / A generous ethic of invention: Six writers respond to six sculptures, drew on audio description to poetically replace the act of seeing with one of listening. Aislinn will be contributing a commissioned response to our upcoming Permanent Collection exhibition, The Myth of Consensus, that will build on this creative use of audio description, and her input has been instrumental in the introduction of Sensory Friendly Saturdays here at the Gallery.

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Here’s what visitors can expect when they visit on the first Saturday of the month from 10:00am to 12:00pm:

  • Reduced lighting levels in the lobby
  • Reduced volume on audio-visual artworks such as video projections
  • Light level adjustment in video projection spaces to reduce contrasting darkness
  • Relaxation area for visitors provided in our Community Access Space

We encourage our visitors to take advantage of this opportunity to enjoy a more relaxed environment in the new year, and continue to connect with our Front Desk should you require any further accommodations to enjoy your art-viewing experience.

Image: Gallery visitors explore Aislinn Thomas’ A people’s history of the sublime: TOTALITY (21.08.2017) at KWAG, 2018. Photo: Mike Lalich.

The Myth of Consensus

"Asor" by Rita Letendre. Serigraph with diagonal lines in yellows, greens, browns and blues

Featuring works from the Permanent Collection and a commissioned response by Aislinn Thomas. Curated by Crystal Mowry.

On February 15, 1965 Canada debuted its new national flag – an act bound up with aspiration and declarations of so-called sovereignty. Ubiquitous and deceptively simple, the national flag is something to which we now give little thought. By looking closer at its form, we might be surprised to find similarities with a basic understanding of what a painting can be: a piece of fabric with brightly coloured lines or simplified shapes that hold symbolic meaning for a group of people.

The decade following Canada’s adoption of the maple leaf flag as a symbol of national unity would reveal a country fraying at its seams. The bloom of counter-cultures and constitutional separatism mobilized a rebellious new generation of citizens. Against this cultural backdrop, artists sought out innovative ways to give voice to an era of rapid societal change, turning away from traditional modes of representation and towards abstraction.

The Myth of Consensus convenes rarely-seen abstract works from the Permanent Collection dating from the 1960s and 1970s. Bombastic, moody, and rich in hue, these works provide a snapshot of a different nation taking shape in the studios of artists across the country.

On the occasion of this exhibition, KWAG has commissioned Kitchener-based artist Aislinn Thomas to create a contemporary response to selected works on view. Working closely with intergenerational volunteers from the public and adopting an experimental approach to visual description, Thomas will develop her project while the exhibition is on view and share the results during the latter half of its run.

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Image: Rita Letendre (Canadian, b. 1929), Asor, 1979. Edition 57 or 100. Serigraph, 46 x 61.2 cm. © Rita Letendre. Photo: KWAG.


Spoons by Gloria C Swain. Horizontal medium and light grey rectangles on a black canvas

HIDDEN: Gloria C Swain, Peter Owusu-Ansah, Tamyka Bullen, Kyisha Williams

About the Exhibition
‘Hidden’ explores intergenerational trauma [hauntology], isolation and lived experiences of Black artists with hidden disabilities. What is hidden is kept concealed, and what is concealed is done to hide our uniqueness. As we navigate through unwelcome spaces that create exclusion and anxiety, we recognize how ableism, according to Dustin P. Gibson’s definition, is an “anti-black system that assigns value based on our ability to produce profit, excel and behave, and enforces a false idea of normalcy.” But we find each other in spite of invisibility, concealment and what is hidden. We strengthen each other by centering our communities from the peripheries, celebrating our shared spaces, ideas and experiences with other like-minded individuals.

Through our intersectional approach to disability arts, we reject single narratives of disability. Our collective understanding of disability is one that is political and relational. As we begin to uncover what is hidden, we move towards a rich and vibrant diversity of movements that work to confront our own cultural priorities.

Even though our practices are different, each artist adds to the exhibition in unique ways that results into a powerful show. We are stronger together than separately.

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Hidden on Facebook

Art Gallery of Hamilton: Touch Tours

Two people touching a bust sculpture

Experience art through the sense of touch. Visitors work with specially trained Docents to explore selected works. These tours are designed with people with vision loss in mind, but everyone is welcome.

Tours are free with Gallery Level 1 admission. Groups may book Touch Tours on Tuesdays through Saturdays. Please contact us at least two weeks in advance by emailing access@artgalleryofhamilton.com or by calling 905-527-6610 ext. 272

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Winter 2020 Exhibitions: Live Gallery Tour

A group of people looking at art on a white wall in a bright hallway

The Power Plant invites vistors who are blind or who have low vision for an audio description tour of three exhibitions by artists Rashid Johnson, Dawit L. Petros and Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa. Audio description is a way of using words to represent the visual world, and of helping people form mental images of what they may not see clearly.

Meet in The Power Plant’s lobby.

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Questions or concerns about this tour? Please telephone the Power Plant at 416.973.4949 or email info@thepowerplant.org.

Community Day & AGM 2019

Promo image for "Community Day - How We Shape Our World" in black text on yellow with photos of people participating in dance classes

If you haven’t been to Propeller’s annual Community Day event, this is your chance! This afternoon has always been our favourite way to end the fall recreational term AND celebrate International Day of Persons with Disabilities (December 3).

This year’s theme is how we shape our world: come and let our inclusive art-making performances inspire, warm and cheer you! PLUS: This year we are bringing back a silent auction with prizes supporting local businesses, artists and featuring family friendly experiences!


11:30: Silent Auction bidding begins in Meeting Room, tea and coffee available
12:40: Doors to showcase space in Scotton Hall open
1:00-2:30: Recreational classes showcase
2:45-3:15: Annual General Meeting in the Cafe

Eastside Culture Crawl

“Utopia is Full of Goofs” installation by Rojia Dadashzadeh, Allison Hardy, Heather Craig, and Monica McGarry

Alternative Creations Studio is opening its gallery doors once again for the Eastside Culture Crawl. This year’s festival is a celebration and a call to action. With a special exhibition that tackles an important issue for Vancouver’s art scene, the focus of the Crawl is on the spaces that make the neighbourhood a vibrant community for artists.

Displacement is the central theme of this year’s Crawl and the name of the special exhibition now on display at multiple venues, including Alternatives Gallery. This salon-style exhibition features works by artists who have faced the challenges of eviction or found ways to survive displacement.

The exhibit includes paintings, sculptures, glassworks and other mediums. Some works deal directly with the themes of displacement and eviction. Others represent the range of art the city is losing because artists lack places to work. The display at Alternatives features works by: Jeff Burnette, Chantal Cardinal, Rojia Dadashzadeh/Allison Hardy/Heather Craig/Monic McGarry, Espiritu Design Studio, Lee Gerlach, Claudine Gévry, George Rammell, and Connie Sabo.

Alternative Creations Studio is dedicated to providing the space and opportunity for people with developmental disabilities to share their creativity. Being part of the East Van neighbourhood has provided opportunities to develop new relationships and partnerships within the community. As a Community Affiliate of the Eastside Culture Crawl, Alternatives is proud to welcome art lovers and curious guests into the studio for a closer look at what the artists are up to.

More information on the posAbilities website
More information on the Eastside Culture Crawl website

A Handmade Assembly

A pair of hands using scissors to cut out an images of scissors from a sheet of paper with multiple illustrations of scissors

A Handmade Assembly is a community event that brings together artists, curators, and others from the region and beyond to lead discussions, facilitate workshops, initiate projects, open exhibitions, and share in a common thread—the handmade. A Handmade Assembly is organized collaboratively by the Owens Art Gallery and Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre with the support of the Fine Arts Department at Mount Allison University in Sackville, New Brunswick.

Now in its ninth year, the Assembly is a response to the significant number of artists who have in recent years been using materials and processes that are laborious, often intimate, and usually associated with traditional craft methods. In the process, Sackville has become a centre for the appreciation of the handmade in contemporary culture and a venue for artists to discuss their practices and make new and necessary networks.

The Assembly interprets the ‘handmade’ in the widest terms, embracing interdisciplinarity and wide-ranging critical inquiry. Artists as diverse as Karen Reimer, Jerry Ropson, Séripop, Ray Fenwick, Sandy Plotnikoff, Janet Morton, Yoko Homareda, Daniel Barrow, Graeme Patterson, and others have participated. Curators, academics, and writers including Mireille Eagan, John Murchie, Sarah Quinton, Jayne Wark, Janine Rogers and Danielle Hogan have also participated, offering their reflections on the handmade in contemporary practice at a wrap-up session on the last night of the proceedings. Another important component of the Assembly is the Heart & Pocket Revue, a crafters market supported by artists and crafters from Sackville and around the region.

We are excited to present A Handmade Assembly for the 9th time in Sackville, New Brunswick. We hope you can join us.

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Organizing Committee:
Colleen Coco Collins
Emily Falvey
Amanda Fauteux
Todd Fraser
Adriana Kuiper
Lucy MacDonald
Jerry Ropson
Rachel Thornton

Body Farm

Illustration from Body Farm by Valentin Brown

About Body Farm
Is that a mushroom, or his “peen”? Is that a pile of leaves or a pile of bones? Is that the “trunk” of the body? Valentin Brown queers the human body by combining it with forms from nature to create what he calls “soft body horror”—a mythology of monsters that describe his story. Valentin’s story sits at a largely neglected intersection: he is an autistic, trans man who inherited a complicated history of intergenerational trauma. His grotesque guardians express how he makes meaning, through a gaze that is queer, trauma-informed, and on the spectrum.

Through the many eyes (or lack thereof) in the “soft body horror” world, which worms its way to you through the Body Farm, Valentin reframes the loneliness, disquiet, and grief that result from the tangled intersecting parts of who he is. This way of seeing embraces the in-between places, and the places outside the scales on which he has been taught to place importance and meaning. “Soft body horror” gives Valentin space to begin re-experiencing his story in bits and pieces, in a greater context of awe, humour, and hope.

About Valentin Brown
Valentin lives and works in Hamilton, Ontario and is a graduate of the Visual and Creative Arts program at Sheridan College. He has exhibited in group shows at Sheridan College, at the Durham Art Gallery, and in Art Spin Toronto’s 2018 project “Holding Patterns.” In 2019, he was awarded Tangled Art + Disability’s Won Lee Fellowship, and the Intergenerational LGBT Artist Residency. “Body Farm” is Valentin’s first solo exhibition.

This work was produced with the support of the Intergenerational LGBT Artist Residency and Steel City Studio.

More information on the Tangled Art + Disability website
Body Farm on Facebook