Sackville set to host 10th annual Ok.Quoi?! Contemporary Arts Festival

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Festival runs July 28 to Aug. 3

Ok.Quoi?! is a contemporary arts festival in Sackville, N.B. from July 28 to Aug. 3 featuring a combination of film, video, music and performances.

Jessica Arsenault’s experimental DJ set on Bridge Street during  Ok.Quoi?! 2014.

SACKVILLE, N.B. – Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre are getting set to present the 10th annual Ok.Quoi?! Contemporary Arts Festival from July 28 to Aug. 3.

Ok.Quoi?! is a weeklong festival of contemporary art, focused on presenting new and innovative projects from local and regional artists alongside exciting international and national work. The festival will feature a combination of film and video screenings, offsite installations, performances, new music, and community-based projects.

Throughout the festival, community members are encouraged to join in on several ongoing events happening throughout the week. City Mail, a longtime festival favourite, returns for its fifth year with Ok.Quoi?! and SappyFest. City Mail invites the public to handwrite notes to friends and family within Sackville. Letters and postcards will then be collected from a series of letterboxes located around town before being lovingly hand-delivered to their intended recipients by the devoted City Mail team.

Krista Gunn and Rachel Thornton will lead Camp Cyanotype, a daily drop-in photography camp for youth and adults of all ages. Set in an outdoor tent located across the street from Struts & Faucet, Gunn and Thornton will recreate childhood camp settings while teaching participants the art of cyanotype photography; a simple and unique method that uses UV rays to develop photographs.

Inside the gallery, WL Altman will present Pentamar, an installation that explores the possibilities and limitations of the voice-to-text function on smartphones. Contributors are invited to submit material for the work by using their phones' voice-to-text feature. This installation will be ongoing and will culminate in a comedic group performance. In the front gallery, Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre’s Open Studio Artist-in-Residence, Sarah Burwash, will also be working in the studio all week long.

During Alex Keeling's Intro to Wearable Electronics workshop, community members can pay tribute to the RCI radio towers while learning to sew with simple electronics. Participants will sew LED sequins onto a material of their choosing in the shape of the former radio towers. The workshop takes place on Monday, July 28 at 6-9 pm, and requires pre-registration. The following evening at 9pm the public is invited to join workshop participants on a walk to the end of Bridge Street. Participants and their hand-sewn creations will then "stand in" for the absent radio towers, while sharing their memories of the towers in Sackville.

Ongoing activities are also available for children! Artist and Educator Barbara Safran de Niverville will present a drop-in puppet making workshop for children between the ages of 6-11 from Tuesday, July 29 - Friday, Aug. 1 between 1 p.m. -4 p.m.

Children will create their very own puppets, and present their work in an exciting improvised puppet show on Friday, Aug. 1, at 3:30. In addition, artist Steven DeBruyn will facilitate a collaborative project with local skateboarding youth in a workshop titled Spot Building. Together, DeBruyn and youth participants will design and build a sculptural skateboard installation, which will then be used to shoot a video. The workshop takes place from July 28 to Aug. 1 from 1-4 p.m.

“Love is Like the Weather,” a screening of short films by national and international artists, curated by Montreal based artist Coral Short, will be presented on Wednesday, July 30 at 7 p.m. at the Vogue Cinema.

The festival’s New Music Composer-in-Residence, Monica Pearce, will host a variety of participation based events, including an collaborative sound piece, an artist talk held on Tuesday, July 29 at 7:30 p.m. at Struts & Faucet, a concert in Brunton Auditorium Wednesday at 4:30 p.m., and a toy piano jam in the Music Hall on Friday evening.

To round off the festival, on Sunday afternoon there will be a performance from a 'scream choir' directed by Sarah Wendt that community members are welcome to join, as well as a screening of the video produced with local youth and artist Steven DeBruyn during the Spot Building workshop.

And as per tradition, fundraising BBQs presented by various community organizations will take place at 7 Lorne Street every day at noon. Stop by to check out the Ok.Quoi?! events, grab a burger, and support local initiatives. During the BBQs and throughout the week, visitors can seek shade underneath Adriana Kuiper's conceptual awning that will be built onto the facade of Struts & Faucet.

Struts Gallery & Faucet Media Arts Centre would like to thank The Canadian Council for the Arts, Renaissance Sackville, Downtown Digital, ArtsNB, the Province of New Brunswick, and Mount Allison University for their generous support.

All events are free and open to the public, and all are invited to attend or to take part. For more information about Ok.Quoi?!, please contact Julia McMillan at festival@strutsgallery.ca, or call 536-1211.

For the full festival schedule please visit http://strutsgallery.ca/festivals.html.

Organizations: City Mail, Struts Gallery Faucet Media Arts Centre, RCI Vogue Cinema Mount Allison University

Geographic location: Sackville, Bridge Street, 7 Lorne Street New Brunswick

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