HANDMADE ASSEMBLY, with DEBORAH MARGO, Professor of Painting & Sculpture

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 seventh 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 David Hoffos, 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 Assemblyis the Heart & Pocket Revue, a crafters market supported by artists and crafters from Sackville and around the region.

Deborah Margo: Born in Montreal, Deborah Margo lives in Ottawa. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Concordia University (Montreal) and a Master of Fine Arts from Temple University/Tyler School of Art (Philadelphia). She has also studied at the Haystack School of Crafts (Deer Isle, Maine) and Banff Centre (Banff, Alberta). She is a faculty member in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Ottawa where she teaches painting and sculpture. During the spring and summer months she works as a gardener. Margo's work combines different disciplines including sculpture, textiles, and ephemeral installations, questioning architectural, historical and environmental contexts of public and private spaces. Her working process is both conceptual and intuitive, based on research yet open to so-called accidents. Time, change, and touch are key preoccupations. Since 1984, Margo has exhibited in Canada, Mexico, and the United States, participating in solo and group projects. Current preoccupations include an outdoor sculpture and sound installation made with multi-media artist Annette Hegel. Following the flight paths of bumble bees, Apidictor Symphony is located in Fieldwork's meadow, in Maberly, Ontario. In addition, she is currently working on an new body of work entitled Making Colour. Its first iteration will be exhibited at the opening of the Ottawa Art Gallery's new building in December 2017.