The Stonecroft Symposium: The Baroness Elsa Project

October 7 - November 18, 2021

Gather with Canadian and international artists whose works explore language, poetry, performance and materiality

Each year, CUAG hosts the Stonecroft Symposium, a free public event that cultivates discussions of ideas raised by the artists featured in our exhibitions. This fall, the symposium is rooted in the exhibition The Baroness Elsa Project, an ambitious and international gathering of artists, poets and performers.  

Reaching back a century, this exhibition brings elemental traces of the radical art, poetry and personage of Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven (1874-1927) into conversation with the work of eight contemporary artists. It explores Freytag-Loringhoven’s challenges to social norms and experimentation with art’s materials and forms as core to and in a continuum with the work of artists today. 

The symposium takes the form of a multi-vocal, multi-site series of virtual events, including conversations, performances and workshops.


Materiality and Embodiment: Gathering and Conversation / Thursday, 7 October at 1 p.m. 

Join us to launch The Baroness Elsa Project with participating artists Dana Claxton, Wit López, Sheilah ReStack and Cindy Stelmackowich. These artists layer diverse materials in their sculptures, photographs and installations, variously exploring embodied experiences of gender, identity and sexuality.  

Wit López will lead the group in a short participatory activity to draw out some of these themes. Exhibition co-curator Heather Anderson will then facilitate a conversation with the artists on their work and its connections to the work of Baroness Elsa.  

We’ll convene on Zoom; please register here.

Collage workshop with FEZA / Wednesday, 20 October at 6 p.m. 

The Baroness was active in New York’s Dada scene in the 1910s and 1920s. Collage and assemblage were fundamental strategies of Dadaist artists, who combined found images and objects to challenge ideas of what art was and could be.  

Explore this liberating artform in a participatory workshop led by Ottawa-based artist FEZA.Using a series of prompts from FEZA, participants will explore techniques in shape, colour and texture in collage to create and activate new futures together. This workshop is free and supplies are included.  

We’ll convene on Zoom; please register here by October 14th.

Poetry and performance: Gathering and Conversation / Thursday, 18 November at 7 p.m. 

Join us for a celebration of poetry and performance with artists ray ferreira, Taqralik Partridge and Carol Sawyer. The artists will perform selections from their own poetry as well as historical poems by the Baroness.

Exhibition co-curator Irene Gammel will then lead a conversation on the intersections of these contemporary artists’ work with the Baroness’ groundbreaking artistic practice, which was infused with the performance and poetry of the everyday.   

We’ll convene on Zoom; please register here.

Digital portrait of the exhibition with co-curator Heather Anderson / premiering December 2021 

We’re teaming up with SHE Films again to create a compelling digital portrait and walk-through of The Baroness Elsa Project with exhibition co-curator Heather Anderson. She will offer insights into the project and explore how the extraordinary contemporary artists featured in the exhibition work against histories and systems of exclusion, push social and disciplinary boundaries and claim space. Watch the digital portrait here.


The Stonecroft Symposium: The Baroness Elsa Project is the fourth in a series of free annual symposia hosted by CUAG, held over the 2018-22 period. The series is made possible with a generous gift from the Stonecroft Foundation for the Arts.  

CUAG acknowledges with sincere gratitude the Stonecroft Foundation for the Arts, which promotes education in the visual arts and fosters the public’s appreciation of the visual arts.  

Related exhibitions

The Baroness Elsa Project

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