Art Gallery of Alberta

Sewing the Heartland

Sewing the Heartland

March 24, 2012
9 pm-2 am

Refinery tickets have sold out!

Did you know Refinery is not an AGA fundraising event? Refinery is one of the unique ways the AGA connects people, art and ideas through music, interactive projects and performances. To help support quality programming at future Refinery parties, please make a donation in addition to your ticket purchase.

Featuring performances and projects by some of Alberta’s fiercest talent, this Refinery will turn your night inside out with inspiration from the exhibition Alberta Mistresses of the Modern: 1935-1975.

Creative Director Statement

“I have always been inspired by the women who came before us. Sewing the Heartland is an extension of my desire to publically recognize these empowering women. The theme is founded on my admiration of their craft, as well as the backdrop against which they worked, the prairies. The landscape’s blue skies, open fields of grain, never-ending dirt roads and always-changing seasons undoubtedly inspired their works. Determined to create a better future for their families, women fashioned life on the prairies one stitch at a time. Our great-grandmothers, grandmothers and mothers sewed clothing, stitched quilts and knitted sweaters and, in doing so, warmed hearts across generations. It is their legacy that Sewing the Heartland will honour and celebrate.”

– Jessica Kennedy

Projects, Activities & Performances

Sewing the Heartland will feature a large-scale quilting project, button-making and crochet gone wild. Installations and portraits will pay tribute to grandmothers everywhere. A fashion challenge will see teams of local designers, boutique owners and stylists compete to create the best Refinery outfit of the night. Dance to the wee hours of the morning with fiery local DJs and Amy van Keeken’s Rock and Roll Sing-a-Long band.

Interested in competing in the Fashion Challenge? Apply here >


Jessica Kennedy, Creative Director

A graduate of the Human Ecology program at the University of Alberta, Jessica Kennedy owned and operated the boutique Nokomis Clothing for eight years. Nokomis, the Ojibwa word for Grandmother, was chosen to show respect and gratitude for all the women who came before us. Photographs of her clients’ grandmothers were collected, framed and displayed throughout the boutique; this was the first of many collections she curated at Nokomis. Kennedy is fond of schemes, and in her spare time she works on hand-crafting jewelry and candles, and sourcing and selling vintage treasures.

Charlotte Falk

Charlotte Falk is an artist and designer currently based in Vancouver, BC. Raised in Saskatoon, SK, she completed a Bachelor of Design at the University of Alberta, and recently defended her Masters of Architecture at the University of British Columbia.

Her practice continually blurs the lines between art and design. She is currently investigating the role intuition plays in portraiture.


Maegan Rose Mehler

Maegan Rose Mehler studied visual art at Grant MacEwan University and completed her BFA at the University of Victoria. She graduated with distinction and was selected for the 2010 Victoria Emerging Artist Awards. She was chosen as the 2011 British Columbia winner for the BMO First Art! Competition. Most recently she has been looking forward to the opening of Easy Street, a year-long curatorial endeavor with 17 artists from British Columbia and Alberta. Maegan spends most of her time painting, object making and sweating the small stuff.

Genevieve Simms

Genevieve Simms is an illustrator living in Edmonton. After graduating from the Alberta College of Art and Design in 2006, she attended a guest study program at the School of Visual Arts, New York. Since settling in Edmonton in 2007, Simms has been working on editorial illustration assignments for a variety of clients, and self-publishing a zine called International Beauty Saloon with Josh Holinaty.


Amy van Keeken’s Rock and Roll Sing-a-Long

Amy van Keeken’s Rock and Roll Sing-a-Long combines high energy performance with audience participation. Your favourite hits from Motown, the 70s, 80s and Disco are played by the best musicians in Edmonton, while the lyrics are projected onto a screen, and you are encouraged to sing a-long! Bring your dancing shoes and get ready to shake it on the dance floor. Featuring: Peter Hendrickson, Tom Murray, Curtis Ross, Kris Schindel, Darren Radbourne, Greg Hutchinson, Mark Sazavsky, Alice Kos and Amy van Keeken.

Amy van Keeken’s Rock and Roll Sing-a-Long will also be accompanied by DJ Prairie Dawn. Like the morning rays, Prairie Dawn will warm your heart and soul with dance beats and sweet, sweet rhythms. Like the muppet, she will do so efficiently and in an organized manner. She is one detail-oriented dance machine.

Refinery Door Prize

Party for your hair. Enter to win a door prize package courtesy of awesome local boutique salon FUSS Art of Hair. Package includes a cut and colour, RUSK blowdryer and Kevin Murphy products. Valued at $400.


Images from previous installments of Refinery late night art party can be found on our Flickr page.

View information and programming from past installments of Refinery:

November 19, 2011 | June 4, 2011 | March 5, 2011 | November 20, 2010 | July 10, 2010 | February 6, 2010