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Between September 15 and February 16, 2024, the artistic talents of Cape Bretoners will be showcased at the Cape Breton University Art Gallery.

For more than a decade, each year (Covid restrictions excluded), the gallery has invited artists of all ages and levels of experience to participate in a non-juried community exhibition that demonstrates the Island’s creativity.

All submitted artwork that meets the guidelines is accepted and displayed at the gallery for the duration of the exhibition. And to keep it accessible, there is no submission fee for artists.

Works in the exhibition represent different media; but if the gallery deems it safe to exhibit, it is welcome in ProletariArt. This year, the gallery will proudly display the work of about 60 local artists who represent many different age groups and artistic backgrounds.

Greg Davies is the curator at the CBU Art Gallery. The ProletariArt exhibition is one of his favourite events at the gallery because it “brings everyone together.”

“The Island wide exhibition allows for an access point for the public to be involved, so it’s a key point for connection with the community,” he says. “It's also a great opportunity to connect with students.”

What he calls the “magic” of the exhibition is its power to bring together artists, communities, and networks that would not otherwise meet. The exhibition includes both professional artists who show their collections throughout North America and as far away as Europe and those showing their work for the first time.

Davies says that in addition to seeing each other’s work in the exhibition, the artists will have opportunities to discuss their work; share ideas; and learn from each other. The exhibition also establishes mentorships, where established artists can share their knowledge and work with newer artists.

The exhibition has always attracted the attention of CBU students, and this year the student submissions represent several different styles and media. This year the work of international students and at least one Mi’kmaw student will be in the exhibition. CBU faculty also have exhibits on display.

There is an exhibit that encourages gallery visitors to help it grow and evolve it ways that are beyond the artist’s control. Visitors will also find some quilted exhibits, sculptures, folk art, and much more.

The Cape Breton University Art Gallery is open Monday to Friday between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m.

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