Sustainability Through Craft

*Applications now closed*

About Craft Nova Scotia & Our Mandate

Craft Nova Scotia is a provincial arts service organization for craft, and is a member based registered charitable non-profit. We encourage and promote the craft movement and the public awareness and appreciation of craft products and activities. Craft Nova Scotia manages and operates the Centre for Craft Nova Scotia and the Mary E. Black Gallery and works on behalf of close to 400 individual small business craftspeople. Our programs reach over 1000 craftspeople through group and guild members such as Co-Adorn, Metal Arts Guild, NS Potters Guild, NS Basketry Guild, Visual Arts NS, Atlantic Spinners and Handweavers, and many others.

Craft Nova Scotia is committed to being an inclusive and supportive resource and a reflection of the greater craft community locally, nationally, and internationally. We strive to showcase the diversity of craft work being created by all craftspeople in our region. We welcome new members at all stages in their craft journey, as well as those who simply have a love of craft in all its forms.

Craft NS Exhibition Committee:

  • Kaas Ghanie
  • Marla Benton
  • Julie Hollenbach
  • Andrea Tsang Jackson
  • Kelly Jerrott, Executive Director, Craft Nova Scotia
  • Emily Wareham, Director, Centre for Craft, Craft Nova Scotia

Craft Nova Scotia is pleased to present the call for the 23rd members’ exhibition, Sustainability Through Craft, as one of 7 exhibits in our 2023 calendar year.  

This year there is a twist! This exhibition will be curated with both works of fine craft and community engagement projects. This combination will be a radical stimulus for the interconnectivity of community, craft, and awareness around sustainability.  

We are inviting members to react to the theme and title, Sustainability Through Craft by drawing inspiration and framing their work within one of the four pillars of sustainability: Social, Cultural, Economic, and Environmental. This participatory exhibition will bring together traditional craft practices and new ways of thinking.  It will reach beyond the boundaries of our Mary E Black Gallery and connect with other regions throughout the province. In addition, this project will align with and support the province’s climate sustainability strategy, and aid in increasing the awareness of environmental impacts that the Craft sector both imposes and suffers from. 

 With the help from our jury of three community members and a representative from our exhibition committee (TBA), we will select up to 20 finished works of fine Craft to display in the Mary E. Black for a 6-week exhibition. In addition, up to 10 community engagement projects will then be selected and programmed to take place simultaneously throughout these weeks, at locations of the artists’ choice, across the province.  


What do we mean when we say Community Engagement Project? Examples of the types of projects we encourage are: 

Important Dates
Submissions Extended Deadline: Monday August 7, 2023 11:59pm ADT  

Selections: August 14-16, 2023
Notification: Friday August 18, 2023 

Finalize Date and location of selected projects: September 1, 2023
Delivery of works: September 15-18, 2023
Exhibition dates: September 21- November 5, 2023 

Opening Reception: September 23, 6pm 


Jury- TBA 

Application Guidelines

Limit of ONE submission (choose category): 

Fine Craft Works:
  • Submitted works must have been completed after May 1, 2021.  
  • Limit of up to 2 finished fine craft works per member, including participation in collaborative works.   
  • A brief artist statement (max 250 words) 
  • Cultural Context Statement (max 250 words) 
  • Up to three catalogue-ready images per work. Tips and tricks for documenting your work 
  • Images must be no bigger than 2MB 
  • Title image files in the following format:  01initial_last name_title  of work.JPEG (ie: 01E_Wareham_blue vase.JPEG.
  • We encourage collaborative works  
*Community Engagement Project: 
  • Community engagement projects can be new, existing or iterations of an ongoing project. 
  • Project must have an engagement component 
  • Project scope must work within a one day, 2-3 hour format 
  • Artists must include a tentative location and describe the access to  resources for their project.  
  • An approximate cost of materials needed to complete this project, within the budget of up to $250. Craft Nova Scotia’s financial support is dependent on funding, however, we will work with the individuals to support selected projects to the best of our ability. 
  • Brief project description (250 words max) including tentative location and description of resources and/or materials needed. 
  • Must include preferred dates
  • Cultural Context Statement (max 250 words) 
  • Up to three catalogue-ready images of past work or projects.  
  • Images must be no bigger than 2MB 
  • Title all files with the artists’ name and title of work (e.g. E_Wareham_the piece title.jpg) 
  • We encourage collaborative projects 

*Craft Nova Scotia and the Exhibition Committee will do their best to work with each participant to help in the facilitation of their project. However, due to capacity restrictions, projects must be able to be facilitated primarily by the artist and/or volunteers.  

*Please keep in mind that a situation may arise where a work cannot be displayed due to size, weight, space, and transportation constraints. OR the scope of the project exceeds our capacities. However, the Exhibitions Committee is willing to work with artists to find alternative representations of these works and projects, through photography or video-based media. E.g. If a large-scale piece is unable to be exhibited, a video walk-around of the piece can be shown in the gallery space in lieu.  

Exhibition Standards

Craft Nova Scotia is committed to following the Nova Scotia Human Rights Act in all aspects and activity of its operation. In accordance, all Craft Nova Scotia exhibitions, including those at the Mary E. Black Gallery or other venues, will be directed by principles of respect, equity, transparency, and accountability. This includes consideration and care for the stories being told through craft displayed in the gallery–ensuring that exhibited craftwork honours the genuine representation of an artist’s own stories, culture, community, heritage, and related practices.

Craft Nova Scotia will assess the broad community impact of all programming and craftworks displayed in the Mary E Black Gallery and other affiliated spaces to ensure alignment with this commitment. Craft Nova Scotia will take into consideration craftworks and programs within a broader historical, social, and cultural context, and how craftworks/programming may impact communities engaged by or reflected in the artwork or programming.

This commitment means that Craft Nova Scotia and the Mary E. Black gallery have the right to exclude or omit any works that do not follow the principles outlined above.


General / Application Process:

No, members can apply to only one of the two categories. 

There are dedicated spaces in the application forms for applicants to define the relation between their work and one of the four pillars of sustainability (Social, Cultural, Economic, and Environmental). 

All applicants will be contacted by email on Friday, August 18, 2023, whether they have been selected or not. 

Community Engagement Project:

Yes, Craft Nova Scotia welcomes projects taking place anywhere in the province. 

Although Craft Nova Scotia can assist with this aspect, applicants should propose a location on the application form. Having a relationship already established between the artist and the venue can help greatly with coordinating the project. 

Similarly to proposing a fine craft piece while it is still in progress, members who wish to apply for the Community Engagement Project without having visual documentation should include photographs of past works or projects that represent their practice. They should also describe the finished project as best they can and consider including sketches.

Yes, the community projects will be scheduled within the 6 weeks of the exhibition.

All the selected community projects will be brought together on a map available online. Physical copies of this map will also be available at the Mary E. Black Gallery.