Founded in 2011
The Nipissing Region Curatorial Collective has been together as an ad hoc group of curators, educators, artists and writers since 2011, when we first started to plan, curate and present arts events in our region.
First Exhibit: 2013
After several indoor group exhibitions held in and around North Bay, Ontario, we produced our first site-specific exhibition in the Fall of 2013. At that time our group assisted Anishinabek artist, Michael Couchie to produce an outdoor installation, called Outside In on the shores of Lake Nipissing.
Ice Follies and Affects of Site
In early 2014, the group curated and presented a conference focusing on site-specific art production called Affects of Site. The site-specific exhibition, Ice Follies, continues to grow and foster the growth of visual arts events that occur within the public sphere. The Nipissing Region curatorial Collective’s 2014 professional development and curatorial project, Affects of Site: A Conference and Dialogue on the Future of Site-specific art practice, furthered the impact of this highly successful exhibition of artists’ projects on a frozen lake by acting as a focal point for important discussions on the practice itself and on how other artists or collectives can create site-specific visual arts events in their cities and regions.
In partnership with local arts groups, the Near North Mobile Media Lab, the Pinewood Clarion Resort, Tour de Nipissing and the City of North Bay, we promoted and hosted this conference aimed at growing the artistic form that is site-specific art across Canada.
One Hundred Thousand Poets for Change
Also in 2014, we worked with The Conspiracy of Three Writers Group, active in North Bay for over twenty years and presenting one of the longest running reading series in the country, to present One Hundred Thousand Poets for Change, 2014. This celebration of literary readings and performances was our regional contribution to the global OHT Poets for Change phenomenon.
The Northern Arts and Crafts Movement
In 2015, the collective presented a series of artists’ workshops introducing regional artists and students in the area to traditional art-making practices (especially Anishinabek artistic practices such as leather-working, carving, casting and beadwork) that our artist/mentors are using as they develop contemporary artworks and practices. The Northern Arts and Crafts Movement featured ten artist’s workshops and ran from July 10th to October 15, 2015.
Ice Follies 2015/2016
In late 2015 and early 2016, the collective worked with the Ice Follies Biennial committee and the Aanmitaagzi artists group to assist with the construction of an installation and performance project.
The NRCC has also worked with local arts groups to present four “ArtJam” events at a vacant school in North Bay and with the North Bay and Area Potters Guild to create an exchange exhibition with the Deep River Potters Guild. The project is now complete and was called: Canoe Culture.
NOVAH (Northern Ontario Visual Arts Hive)
In January of 2017, the NRCC Collaborators decided to create a Public Art Gallery in order to nurture fine arts curation and to exhibit high quality visual, media and performing arts that reflect the state of contemporary art in Northern Ontario: NOVAH (Northern Ontario Visual Arts Hive) was born! In May of 2017, we exhibited over 80 artists at a group exhibition and sale called Paddle Project 2017. Through the summer of 2017, and with funding from an OAC grant obtained through the Northern Arts and Crafts Movement, we presented half a dozen “outdoor” workshops for artists. The highlight was our first-ever Artists Wilderness Retreat to Obabika Lake.
Throughout the fall of 2017, we worked on lining up funding for our NOVAH/NRCC Renovations Project. By early January, 2018, we received Heritage Canada funding to renovate the dedicated Gallery spaces at 176 Lakeshore Drive, to install new walls, lighting and surveillance systems and to install brand-new equipment in our Artist Studio Spaces in Units 14 and 16. This project also has dedicated funds toward creating a new Digital Arts Studio that will be designed by RFP Media for the NRCC.
At the Northern Ontario Visual Arts Hive our exhibition schedule is now in place for the next 2 years, starting officially in 2018 with two major events: the opening of a group exhibition called Portraits North of 17 and our Friends of the Wilderness Fundraiser for the Friends of Temagami that takes place on May 5th, 2018. NOVAH, is a branch of the NRCC, created to present high quality, professional visual and performing arts exhibitions and events that will feature art from across northern Ontario, includes a media arts gallery and an outdoor gallery in our gardens. These programs also run throughout the year!