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Off-Site in Stanstead on July 28, 2012


Artists: Raphaëlle de Groot (Montréal/Italy), Althea Thauberger (Vancouver)

Guest Curator: Geneviève Chevalier

SATURDAY, JULY 28TH, 2012 at the Haskell Free Library & Opera House (1 Church Street, Stanstead, Quebec)

1:00 pm: Free bus leaves Bishop’s University arches in Lennoxville to Haskell Opera House in Stanstead
2:00 pm: Performance instigated by Althea Thauberger, by the Abenaki linguist Monique Nolett-Ille in the Haskell Opera House.
3:00 pm: Recitation by Raphaëlle de Groot in the Haskell Free Library reading room
4:00 pm: Cocktail & Discussion in the Haskell Free Library reading room
5:30 pm: Free bus returns to Bishop’s University 

The event is produced by the Foreman Art Gallery with financial contributions from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec.

The Foreman Art Gallery proudly presents a special off-site curatorial project titled Stanstead Project, or How to Cross the Border, Part II, in collaboration with guest curator Geneviève Chevalier. This event takes root in the heart of Stanstead’s community and is the culmination of two artist residencies by Raphaëlle de Groot (Montréal) and Althea Thauberger (Vancouver). The performances of these two artists on Saturday, July 28th 2012 at the Haskell Opera House (1 church street, Stanstead) will attempt to explore the notion of barriers between the north side of the US/Canada border in Stanstead, Quebec and the south side in Derby Line, Vermont. During the last few months, the research the artists conducted revealed a unique network, forged through their various encounters and the stories they uncovered. Who were the people who had once criss-crossed this territory? Who lives there now? Elements marking the countryside today are not the same as those encountered in times past, and will doubtless change again. This event follows an exhibition of the same name presented in the summer of 2011 at the Foreman Art Gallery. The group exhibition’s theme explored the connections between borders and landscapes, languages, lore and policymaking.

Montreal artist Raphaëlle de Groot has been working on Le poids des objects since 2009, a profound exploration of the significance of objects and collecting involving the acts of archiving, handling, classifying, transporting, and storing. For this edition of the project, in the course of her encounters in the Stanstead region, De Groot gradually built an understanding of the land and its inhabitants, discovering marking traits and characteristics along the way. In the form of illustrated storytelling and at the crossroads of the real and the imaginary, she hopes to reveal during this performance the intimate attributes of this border region. Althea Thauberger’s (Vancouver) work will focus on the history of the Abenaki, a First Nations people who, long before Canada and the United States were the twinkle in Europe’s eye, occupied an immense territory covering northern New England up to the southern edge of the Maritimes. The artist will film a performance by the Abenaki linguist Monique Nolett-Ille in the Haskell Opera House, immortalizing an encounter between two Abenakis, one from Quebec, the other from Vermont. The public will be invited to take part in the performance by being filmed as members of the audience. The performers’ readings will breathe a few moments’ of life into a language whose practice was once outlawed.

Raphaëlle de Groot was born in 1974 in Montreal, but she now shares her time between Montreal and Italy. Her work has been exhibited in Canada and abroad, her most recent being Chantiers (Le Quartier, Quimper, France, 2008), Il volto interiore (Z2O Galleria – Sara Zanin, Rome, Italy, 2007) and Raphaëlle de Groot. En exercice (Galerie de l’UQAM, Montréal, 2006). Often her projects are developed during residency such as 8 x 5 x 363 +1 created in Italy from 2002 to 2004, with the participation of workers in a textile company and the Cittadellarte-Fund Pistoletto (Biella). Following this experience, she explores within various art related sites (art schools, museums, exhibition space) for new ways to evolve in a creative process by allowing a direct input from visitors and students. In her artistic practice Raphaëlle finds satisfaction with collaborations and interdisciplinary work.  From 1999 to 2001 she has assembled the exhibition: Plus que parfaits. Chroniques du travail en maison privée 1920-2000 for the Centre d’histoire de Montréal and the Association des aides familiales du Québec. Later, as a curator, she proposed an urban social event Mémoire vive (Dare-dare et Centre d’histoire de Montréal, 2002). Finally, she has worked in collaboration with Robert Desjardins (landscape architect) and Gavin Affleck (architect) for the Frères-Charon Square’s landscaping concepts. She also participated in numerous collective exhibitions including Rien ne se perd, rien ne se crée, tout se transforme (Quebec Triennale, Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, 2008), Rendre réel (Scène Québec, Ottawa, 2007), Negotiating Us, Here and Now (Leeds City Art Gallery, England, 2005), Just my Imagination (ArtLab, John Labatt Visual Arts Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada, 2004) and « Nous venons en paix… » Histoires des Amériques (Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal, 2004).

Althea Thauberger lives and works in Vancouver, B.C. The work she presents at a national and international level is usually built from collaboration with local communities where the art is being created. Her projects often take the shape of performances, films, audio recordings and artist books. A subject that she takes great interest in is the ethnic enclaves or distinctive groups of people that live with a different culture than the rest of the population, often created by a somewhat imposed social pressure or by a voluntary choice. Althea Thauberger’s performances have included diverse groups such as young Canadian player/composer artists, military wives from the U.S.A., and Canadian tree growers. We can find her art works exhibited internationally–  Manifesta 7, Trente, Italie; The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Vancouver Canada, 2008; Musée des beaux-arts de Vancouver Canada, 2008; BAK, Utrecht Netherlands, 2007; Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin Germany, 2006; Kunstverein Wolfsburg Germany, 2006; Musée des beaux-arts de Nouvelle-Écosse, Halifax Canada, 2006; Musée d’histoire de Singapore Malaysia, 2006; Presentation House Gallery, North Vancouver Canada, 2005; Musée van Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp Belgium, 2005; Berkeley Art Museum, San Francisco U.S.A., 2005; Insite, San Diego/Tijuana, U.S.A./Mexico, 2005; White Columns, New York U.S.A., 2004; Seattle Art Museum, U.S.A., 2004. In 2008, the artist mobilised herself to visit the Canadian Forces in Kandahar, Afghanistan to work in collaboration with the military. She is currently working on a project with BAK, basis voor aktuele kunst, Utrecht, Netherlands; Guangzhou Triennial, China and Artspeak, Vancouver Canada.

Geneviève Chevalier was born in Québec city but now lives in the Eastern Townships. She is an artist, curator and student in a doctoral program Etude et pratique des arts, at UQÀM, where she received a CRSH Joseph-Armand excellency scholarship. Her main field of interest lies within exhibitions, in situ methodologies and how culture influences architecture, landscape and socio-economical behaviours. In this research, a contextual approach is privileged from which she will be exhibiting a series of related works in the Eastern Townships, at the Foreman Art Gallery and Dare Dare Center. Motelisation was her first exhibition and presented the works of Andrew King & Angela Silver, Alison S. M. Kobayashi & Gintas Tirilis, Chantal Séguin et Andrée Anne Vien. Ms. Chevalier has written essays on the oeuvres of Sylvie Bouchard, Yechel Gagnon, Nathalie Caron and more recently, she published an essay in La Revue de l’Association québécoise pour l’interprétation du patrimoine (AQIP). Her art works have been exhibited at the D.U.M.B.O. Art Center de Brooklyn, Thames Art Gallery in Ontario, at C.R.A.N.E. in France, and at Dare-Dare. She also received a scholarship from the Brucebo Sweedish Fund in fine arts, various scolarships from the Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec (Calq) and the Centre interuniversitaire des arts médiatiques (CIAM). She has previously taught at the Cégep St-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Gérald-Godin, worked as Co-Curator at the Foreman Art Gallery and worked for Melvin Charney as an assistant.