Saint John’s Contemporary Art Festival Will Take Place in August

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THIRD SHIFT has expanded its programming to include a full week of art installations and online exhibitions for 2020. 

Matt Carter 
Photo credit: Allie Ruigrok

There is no other New Brunswick event quite like THIRD SHIFT. And there is no other New Brunswick city quite like Saint John. With its narrow uptown streets that squeeze between a most impressive display of heritage architecture, the city’s landscape forms a perfect contrasting backdrop for showcasing the progressive, the unusual and the engaging.

Since staging the first festival in 2015, festival founders and curators Third Space Gallery have built THIRD SHIFT into one of the most important celebrations of contemporary art found anywhere on the East Coast and one of the most anticipated events on the city’s summer calendar. 

As the fifth anniversary event approaches in a time of social distancing and increased online interaction, organizers have been working to shift much of the festival’s programming to suit the current climate. With 18 individual artists set to be part of this year’s event, THIRD SHIFT 2020 will take place August 21-28.

“Everyone has been so committed to making THIRD SHIFT happen, even in the face of all the changes brought on in the past few months,” said Katie Buckley, the executive director of Third Space Gallery. “This year’s artists are an exciting blend of emerging and professional artists. With the changes to this year’s festival, we have been able to include digital and web-based artworks that would otherwise not have been supported by the regular THIRD SHIFT format.”

This year’s event will include a digital exhibition for the first time in the festival’s history. To accommodate social distancing measures, various art installations will be located around uptown Saint John for the duration of the week-long festival and a variety of digital artworks and programming will be featured on the THIRD SHIFT website and through live streams on social media. This year’s artists are largely New Brunswick-based, but also include individuals from Nova Scotia, Ontario, and Quebec.

This year’s announcement details some of the work scheduled for THIRD SHIFT 2020 including a few interactive projects that will offer a heightened level of public interaction.

A handful of this year’s projects are interactive, such as Fill in the Blanks by Brandon Hicks, a virtual collaboration between the artist and audience that invites people of all ages to use their imagination to add their own creations to unfinished illustrations. You will find Fill in the Blanks alongside many other digital THIRD SHIFT installations on our website. Be sure not to miss the physical installations around uptown Saint John either, like Christiana Myers’s Salt Spell, which will involve the temporary creation of an intricate pattern using salt located by the local coastline, until the design is reclaimed by the elements.

Full details and ongoing new about this year’s festival can be found on the festival website

This feature includes notes taken directly from the official festival announcement. 

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