Calling for craft made in or about Atlantic Canada. The 2020 theme for Craft NB’s biennial exhibition is Atlantic Vernacular. Atlantic Vernacular presents a rare opportunity participate in a high-calibre travelling exhibition that seeks to define what contemporary craft means here.

A Message from the Curator

Dear Crafts Council Members,

It is my great pleasure and privilege to serve as the curator for Atlantic Vernacular, Craft NB’s regional survey of contemporary craft honouring the Year of Craft: 2020.

Uniquely this year, Craft NB is opening up its biennale to national participation, and touring it throughout the Atlantic provinces (and potentially abroad). The goal this year is to capture the diversity of contemporary craft derived from this region, so those with whose practices have strong ties to culture and life of the Atlantic are welcome to submit work for consideration. There are so many of you Atlantic Canadians spread across this large country – perhaps a sense of longing for our salty coasts has woven itself into your work.

I’m asking – who are we? Who are we now? Themes that underscore the character of work derived from Atlantic Canada include integration of work with one’s environment, and incorporating materials directly from the land. Artists here deploy a scrappy enthusiasm for using materials at hand to push their mediums in exciting new directions. A recurring characteristic of many art practices of this region is to upcycle and repurpose the very present detritus of co-existing with the ghosts of colonial excess. We plan to reflect the reality of this region’s diversity – contemporary craft couldn’t be defined in this survey without the inclusion of Indigenous, settler, and newcomer’s important work. For more on the direction of this exhibition, please see the accompanying call for artists.

City of Fredericton Poet Laureate Jenna Lyn Albert has composed a poem speaking to her interpretation of Atlantic Vernacular. If any of the motifs of this poem resonate with your practice, you are invited to consider it a launch point for your submission. Otherwise, please define this term for yourself in your own work.

In short, you’re invited to show us what you’ve got. Please email me with any questions. I look forward to your submissions!

Gillian Dykeman,

Curatorial Statement:

Engaged and contemporary craft derived from this region offers more than just the lobsters and lighthouses that so frequently stand in as representative of cultural identity here. Our heritages vary from settler to Indigenous, and the influence of newcomers brings a richness of experiences that continue to evolve what it means make work of this region. Artists here often metaphorically and literally interweave elements of the local environment into their practices, reflecting strong affinities with our shared ecology. We look to the ocean, the forests, our scrappy cities, and climactic extremes as the raw material for creating works.

— Gillian Dykeman, Atlantic Vernacular Exhibition Curator

Work derived from this region is often collaborative in nature – artists here often work collaboratively with their environments, their materials, and each other. Atlantic Vernacular takes up this tendency, and will run with it through a collaboration between Craft NB and the Fiddlehead, Canada’s oldest literary magazine. Successful craft submissions will be paired with regional poets who will write new poems in response to the artworks. These poems will accompany the final exhibition as audio components and in broadside form.

Participation in this exhibition will include your work in defining anew our regional voice.

This call is open to artists based across Canada, with the caveat that it must speak to the region.

Eligible Applicants:

  • Juried Members of Crafts Councils across Canada

Submission of work:

  • Artists are invited to submit up to two artworks for consideration. (Works which include multiple pieces are considered a single artwork if they are part of a series or installation.)
  • Digital submission: Photos and electronic application materials to be emailed to
  • Physical submission: Artists whose works will be shortlisted from digital submission will need to submit physical work by sending it to Craft NB office.
  • Please note: artwork selected through the photo jurying process must pass physical inspection upon delivery, and may be declined if it does not meet the standard expected from the original photos. Photo submissions are limited to three images per artwork, and must be in .jpg format.

Written Submission:

  • 100 word or less artist bio
  • 100 word or less artist statement
  • Description of piece (title of work, dimensions and materials used)
  • Whether work is for sale and sale price (70% of sale price will go to the artist; 30% of sale price will go to Craft NB)
  • Artwork must be available until Spring 2021.


  • Digital Submission Applications must be made no later than March 13th, 2020 to
  • Shortlisted physical pieces can be dropped off to the Craft NB office during the week of April 6th-10th between 9am-4pm


  • In person drop off: Craft NB: 361 Victoria Street, Suite 209, Fredericton, NB, E3B 1W5. Please call ahead.
  • By mail: PO Box/CP 1231, Fredericton, NB, E3B 5C8.
  • Pending funding, a $340 artist fee will be paid to each participating artist for the run of the Exhibition (i.e., may or may not be per venue), no matter if the participant has more than one piece accepted.
  • In the case of a collaborative piece made by more than one artist, all efforts will be made to pay each collaborating artist the $340 artist fee, but it will be contingent on available funds. If funding is not available to pay each participating artist, the $340 will be split amongst the contributing artists for that one collaborative piece.
  • Questions? Contact Fatema Pagdiwala : / 506 450 8989.

Important Documents: