Allyson Mitchell and Madelyne Beckles, still from What Motivates Her? 2018. Courtesy of the Artists.

What Motivates Her? 

Allyson Mitchell and Madelyne Beckles

January 18 – March 10, 2019

Opening Reception: Friday, January 18, 2019 at 7PM

In their respective practices, both artists strive to make thought- provoking, eye-opening, powerful work about feminism, sexuality and social stigmas. Thinking through intersectional queer feminist embodiments and new materialism, together they create an interactive, sensorial environment in the gallery informed by pop culture, deconstruction and feminist gestures. Of their work they state: “We are two artists who struggle to understand how we move and groove through feminism, family, violence, bureaucracy, and the tasks of the everyday which can seem impossible, shameful and ridiculous in this political moment. Our shared fantastic empathetic intuitions are what we push and reveal in this exhibition that includes video, textile, sculpture and prints.”

Their artwork often leverages traditional domestic practices, using recycled materials and imagery, including craft techniques and found objects. Using a destabilizing humour, this collaborative installation also addresses complicated negotiations facing artists engaged with politics and identity today, particularly when the impetus is on bringing gender and racial inequality into focus.

Instant Places: Breathing Room Ian Birse and Laura Kavanaugh

Instant Places: Breathing Room

Ian Birse and Laura Kavanaugh

March 15 – May 5, 2019

Opening Reception: Friday, March 15, 7:00 -10:00PM
Artists In Residence: May 1-5, 2019, Studio Two
Artist Talk: Thursday, May 2, 7:00 – 9:00PM
Field Art Workshop: Saturday, May 4,1:00 – 3:00PM

Artists Ian Birse and Laura Kavanaugh (AKA Instant Places) use performances, generative installations, and telematic networks to create instant places of imagination and connection. The artists design software instruments that generate infinitely-varied audiovisual transformations, and develop installation works that transform host galleries into immersive environments.

This new intermedia installation, Breathing Room is a meditation on complementary. Through multiple projections and a multi-speaker 3D audio field, the artists explain: “the generative machine creates a world in which encounters between frequencies of sound and spectra of colour create vibrations of difference, revealing a third presence that floats between sound and vision.”

As a collaborative team, Ian Birse and Laura Kavanaugh have travelled the world making Instant Places art on location throughout the UK/Europe, Australia, Japan, in the USA/South America and from coast to coast in Canada. Documents from recent projects and an extensive archive of works dating to 2001 may be found on their website:

Andrew J. Paterson: Rectangular World

Project Room

March 15 – May 5, 2019

Andrew J. Paterson: Rectangular World

Andrew James Paterson is a Canadian inter-media artist active with video, film, writing, performance, curation, and musical performance. Rectangular World presents a series of Paterson's early experimental videos that explore his concern with the tensions between bodies, technologies, and institutions. His multidisciplinary practice is also engaged in a playful questioning of language, philosophy and community. Completely cameraless, and consisting almost entirely of Photoshop drawings, image streams and montages incorporating text, experimental sounds and abstract colour fields, these poetic and multi-layered video works push the limits of the medium in unexpected, surprising and engaging ways.

Courtesy of Vtape.

Deanne Fitzpatrick, School of Fish (c. 1995) 93 x 172 cm, Various materials and burlap, Collection of Ruth Mandel. Photo: Maciek

Home Economics: 150 Years of Canadian Hooked Rugs  

May 17 – June 30, 2019

Opening Reception: May 16, 2019 at 7:00 PM

"Home Economics: 150 Years of Canadian Hooked Rugs" explores the unique stories and histories that have informed hooked rugs in Canada, the highly recognizable forms of folk art with roots in 19th-century North America. Selected from the Textile Museum of Canada's rich archive of international material culture, the exhibition represents generations of artisanal entrepreneurship, women's domestic and collective work, as well as rural development in Canada.

Among the significant works featured in "Home Economics" are seldom-seen historic rugs, including those by the "Gagetown Hookers" – Lydia and Raymond Scott – as well as contemporary pieces by Maritime artists Nancy Edell, Deanne Fitzpatrick, Hannah Epstein and Joanna Close, with Toronto's Barbara Klunder and Heather Goodchild, and Yvonne Mullock from Calgary.

Whether the result of the imagination of the maker or the use of a prepared pattern, this exhibition celebrates a highly visible part of folk culture in Canada, and explores how craft and commerce have been deeply entwined, producing iconic expressions that speak to individual artistry, skill and creative imagination as well as the broader social and economic landscape.

Curated by Shauna McCabe, Natalia Nekrassova, Sarah Quinton and Roxane Shaughnessy.

Organized and circulated by the Textile Museum of Canada with the support of the Museums Assistance Program of the Department of Canadian Heritage

Image credit: Nancy Edell, Peter and Nancy as the two-headed Dog (1993), 66 x 93 cm, Various yarns and burlap, Dalhousie Art Gallery permanent collection, gift of the artist, 1999. Photo: Steve Farmer

Remix Collective: We Come In Pieces Exhibition at Thames Art Gallery

Remix Collective: We Come In Pieces

Main Floor Exhibition:
July 12 - August 25, 2019

Opening reception: July 26, 2019 | 8PM - ARTcrawl
Public Lecture: July 27, 2019 | 2-4PM

Remix Collective artists:
Karine Giboulo - Montreal
Claude Bolduc - Montreal
Terry Graff - New Brunswick
Norman Barney - Petrolia
Laurie Langford - Chatham

The Remix Gallery Collective is comprised of five Canadian artists from different backgrounds and life experiences who make sophisticated Outsider artwork. Mainly based in symbolism, Outsider Art is the antithesis of constrained and traditional. It expresses the turmoil of contemporary life through a kaleidoscope lens. With emphasis on Collage and Assemblage, “We Come in Pieces” will incorporate mythological and dreamlike distortions, resulting in colourful, creative and controversial pieces of art with a trace of humour. Made mostly from recycled materials, the artwork is outside the mainstream of art in Canada, particularly that seen in Canadian commercial galleries. It often has, but is not limited to, having political or sociological content. The Remix Gallery Collective prides itself in making art that is genuine, unique, and rooted in freedom.

Kelly Kirkham: The Best Defense Exhibition at TAG

Kelly Kirkham: The Best Defense

Mezzanine Exhibition:
July 12 - August 25, 2019

Opening reception: July 26, 2019 | 8PM - ARTcrawl

Artist Kelly Kirkham originally from Chatham, now based in Port Hope, constructs whimsical sculptures and installations based on futuristic hybridized creatures. In The Best Defense, Kirkham narrows her focus to the themes of ornamentation, distraction, anonymity, dependency, and aggression. This exhibition of new 2D and 3D works was made in an ongoing exploration of the ways in which we protect ourselves, and are given protection from others. Kirkham combines hard edge with soft, pale colour and saturated and expressive line work with fine detail as she asks the pertinent questions, "how are we protected and cared for in our society, and when does that cross the line into suppression and control by other people?"

The puppets displayed are an expression of this train of thought. Puppets distract, and do and say things we are not normally free to do and say. Most often they are seen as entertainment, but when looked at through the lens of protection, there is much food for thought there.

Fireworks 2019 Exhibit at Thames Art Gallery

Fireworks 2019

August 30 - October 20, 2019
Opening Reception: August 30, 2019 | 7-9PM

WELCOME to Fireworks2019, a celebratory exhibition of hand crafted works in clay and glass, organized by FUSION: The Ontario Clay and Glass Association. The talent and creative spirit of FUSION members is highlighted in this exhibition, which showcases diverse and unique works of art.

The tradition of Fireworks Exhibitions began over 40 years ago. Held biennially, the exhibition has come to symbolize the best in contemporary clay and glass FUSION’s members have to offer and is displayed in galleries throughout Ontario for two years. 

Fireworks 2019 stands as a testament to the vitality, originality and inventiveness of today’s practising crafts community – a tribute to those makers who have chosen clay and glass as their mode of self expression, and in some instances, their livelihood. 

Above and beyond the artists represented here, over the years many volunteers have put in long hours to ensure Fireworks exhibitions move from concept to reality. A few key individuals and organizations who have contributed to the success of this travelling exhibition deserve special acknowledgement:

  • Gilda Goodman, for provision of the Henry Goodman Best in Show Award
  • Tucker's Pottery Supplies – Award
  • Pottery Supply House – Award and transport of show
  • Potters’ Guild of Hamilton and Region – Award
  • Craft Ontario – Award
  • Derek Chung – Promotions and Creative
  • FUSION also gratefully acknowledges the assistance the Ontario Arts Council. The Ontario Arts Council is an agency of the Government of Ontario.

Fuel Exhibit with Andrea Vuletin, Francois Grenier, Janet Johnston, Karen Bourassa, Isabelle Milot


Mezzanine Exhibition:
August 30 - October 20, 2019
Opening Reception: August 30, 2019 | 7-9PM

Local Artists: Andrea Vuletin, Francois Grenier, Janet Johnston, Karen Bourassa, Isabelle Milot

As vast and varied as the ceramic world is, so are the artists coming together for the Fuel exhibit, a complement and local response to the 2019 Fireworks exhibition. Fuel is a material that can be made to react with other substances so that it releases energy as heat or power, the last step in the making of ceramic. In return, the ceramic itself fuels the artists’ inspiration to produce objects that reflect their personal journey, and their reverence to the process of making, blending earth, water, and fire.

Melvyn Malkin: 2001, 17:00 minutes, colour, English. Courtesy of V tape

First You Need a Fire: The Raku Ceramic Artwork of Melvyn Malkin

Project Room:

Anna Malkin and Melvyn Malkin

August 30 - October 20, 2019

Opening Reception: August 30, 2019 | 7-9PM

A look at Raku Ceramic Artist, Melvyn Malkin, interviewed and documented in his studio(s). The video progresses through Malkin's process from construction and bisque firing to glazing and reduction firing. Malkin talks about his prairie landscape inspired work and the technical development of his unique glazing and reduction firing techniques.

2001, 17:00 minutes, colour, English. Courtesy of V tape

The Thames Art Gallery is located at the Chatham Cultural Centre, 75 William St. N. Chatham. The gallery is open Wednesday to Friday from 1:00-7:00PM; Saturday and Sunday 11:00AM-4:00PM.

* The Thames Art Gallery hosts 12 – 15 exhibitions each year. These include projects that feature regional, national, and international artists. This section of our web site provides current information on upcoming exhibitions and Gallery related events.

Thames Art Gallery exhibitions and programs are generously supported by the Canada Council for the Arts, the Ontario Arts Council, and the Municipality of Chatham-Kent.

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