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Shift: Strengthening creativity and cultural awareness through art, design and craft

NSCAD University hosted artists from Nova Scotia and Scotland last week for a cross-cultural exchange project.
Shift brings together a diverse group of Scottish and Canadian makers to talk, explore ideas and inspire one another. Participants met at NSCAD’s Fountain Campus in Downtown Halifax between October 21-25, helping each other to explore New Scotland and old Scotland practices and histories, research divergent and common influences.

The project is further evidence that art, design and craft strengthen cultural awareness and facilitate opportunities for artistic creation.

“We’re bringing artists together to explore one another’s identities, environment, skills, materials and techniques through discussion, mentorship and experimentation,” said Rebecca Hannon, Associate Professor, Division of Craft, NSCAD University.

NSCAD’s Dr. Sandra Alfoldy Craft Institute, the Craft Alliance Atlantic Association, and Applied Arts Scotland (AAS) worked together to make Shift come together. The project is 10 months in duration, and includes monthly check-ins with facilitators from NSCAD and AAS. The four Nova Scotia participants are also scheduled to travel to Scotland to continue their collaboration with their Scottish counterparts.

Art produced during Shift will be exhibited in July, 2020 in The Swanson Gallery in Thurso, Scotland.

The Nova Scotia participants in Shift include Jennifer Green (textiles), an assistant professor at NSCAD University; Kiersten Holden-Ada (jewellery/metalsmith), a NSCAD Bachelor of Arts graduate in 2009;  Andrea Tsang Jackson (quilts), the 2017 Artist-in-Residence at the Museum of Immigration at Pier 21 in Halifax; and Mengnan Qu (jewellery and ceramics), a graduate of NSCAD’s Bachelor of Fine Arts program in 2012.

The Scottish participants in Shift include Cally Booker (weaver), Louise Barrington (sculptural textiles), Sarah Paramor (baskets), and Susan O’Bryne (ceramics).