One Art

One Art

Originally inspired by a poem of the same name by Elizabeth Bishop, “One Art” is an interdisciplinary arts collaboration that will explore the universal experience of loss. With artistic director Sheila McMath, “One Art” brings together participants from many disciplines - performance artist Sadie Berlin, painter Melissa Doherty, writer/folklorist Emily Urquhart and sculptor Susan Low-Beer. These collaborators have worked together for two week-long intensives, in September and November 2019, and will reconvene in April 2020.

Through “One Art”, an environment has been created in which hybrid forms of expression are explored and supported. In their time together as collaborators, a specific, urgent theme has emerged for all in relation to loss. This theme is the collective, shared loss of climate change.

With millions of people participating in global climate strikes, the participants in “One Art” are conducting research, and developing ideas and creative experiments that will feed and fuel the collaborative project. The “One Art” participants will reconvene in April 2020 for their third week-long intensive. In April, the participants will present their research and collaborative plans to an audience of fellow artists, funders and community members. The production phase of the “One Art” will launch in the spring of 2020. Please stay tuned for more “One Art” updates.


Sadie Berlin is a published fiction author, a writer of post-dramatic texts, and a performance artist. She has a B.A. and M.A. in literature and well as a law degree. In previous incarnations, she has been a legal anthropologist and ethnographer, an offshore finance journalist, and a literary buyer for a bookshop chain in London, U.K. Sadie's work consists of developing new modes of creation in different workshop environments. This season, Sadie is the dramaturge and performance curator-in- training at the Stratford Festival Lab. She is currently working at an international artist residency in Paris, France.

Melissa Doherty is a mid-career artist with an Honours B.A.(Fine Arts) from the University of Waterloo, Canada. She was recently awarded the Laura Ciruls Painting Award from the Ontario Arts Foundation, and a Waterloo Region Visual Arts Award. Her work is included in Carte Blanche Volume 2: Painting, a survey of contemporary Canadian painters, and she was short-listed for the RBC Canadian Painting Competition. A recipient of grants from the Canada Council for the Arts, and the Ontario Arts Council, her work has been included in exhibitions internationally at Art Chicago, Scope Miami and Christinerose Gallery, New York. Solo exhibitions include the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Sherbrooke, Quebec, the University of Toronto, Galerie Art Mur, Montreal, Wilfrid Laurier University and the Art Gallery of Peterborough. Her work is represented in numerous collections, including Sir Elton John and David Furnish, University of Toronto, the Bank of Montreal, the Four Seasons, and the Royal Bank of Canada.

Susan Low-Beer received her Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree at Mount Allison University and her Masters of Fine Arts in the United States at the Cranbrook Academy of Art with a major in painting. She has exhibited internationally in Europe, United States, Japan and Korea, as well as nationally in both juried and invitational exhibitions and has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards. Susan Low-Beer is represented in the collections of the Museum of Civilization in Ottawa, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the National Museum of Modern Art in Japan, and the Mint Museum of Craft and Design in North Carolina. In 1999 she received the Saidye Bronfman Award for Excellence in the Crafts and in 2000 was inducted into the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Her most recent solo show in 2017 was Embodiment; 30 Years of Sculpture by Susan Low-Beer which was shown in three venues, the Art Gallery of Algoma, in Sault Ste Marie, the Norfolk Art Centre, in the town of Simcoe, and the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery in Waterloo, Ontario.

Emily Urquhart is a journalist with a doctorate in folklore and draws on both backgrounds in her writing. She has won a National Magazine Award and an Alberta Magazine Award for her work, which has appeared in Longreads, Room, The Rumpus, Eighteen Bridges and The Walrus among others. Her first book, Beyond the Pale: Folklore, Family and the Mystery of Our Hidden Genes, was a Globe and Mail Best Book and was shortlisted for the BC National Award for Canadian Non-Fiction. Presently, she's working on a book about creativity and old age, as well as a collection of essays about the supernatural in our everyday.

Sheila McMath is a curator, facilitator, artist and community organizer. A graduate of the University of Waterloo's MFA program, McMath's work in the arts has maintained a balance of work with larger institutions and direct involvement with artist-run initiatives. As a curator she has conceptualized and realized exhibitions that have included artists at every career stage including emerging artists such as Julia Hepburn and Audie Murray, to mid-career artists including Pattie Chalmers, Karine Giboulo, Carmela Laganse, Zachari Logan, Graeme Patterson and Jennie Suddick. McMath has also had the pleasure of curating exhibitions with some of Canada's most established and celebrated artists including Susan Edgerley, Irene Frolic, Susan Low-Beer, Peter Powning and Ione Thorkelsson. She has been published numerous times in FUSION magazine and various exhibition catalogues. McMath is also a founding member of Tri-City Stopgap (TCS), an artist collective that hosts large-scale exhibitions in marginal or transitional spaces. In 2010, she was the recipient of The KW Record's 40 under 40, an award that recognizes community leaders. As an artist, her work has been exhibited at numerous galleries across Ontario and a sculpture from her Tissues & Trimmings series is included in the collection of Cambridge Galleries.