Critical Mass: A Centre for Contemporary Art was founded in 2012, by Aurelie Collings, Liz Parkinson, Fiona Crangle and Sarah Jacob, who together gathered a group of curators, artists and art supporters dedicated to bringing cutting-edge contemporary art experiences to the residents of Port Hope.
The founding members were committed to supporting community engagement and socially-aware contemporary visual art practices across a range of media and methods. These early days of Critical Mass involved curating and creating installations, events, and workshops in unexpected public places around Port Hope. It was the eventual goal of the organization to have a bricks and mortar home, with an exhibition space, studio space, and an artist in residence program.
The aim of these early projects was to create vital connections between our “town and country” locale and the urban arts communities in the “GTA-Montreal culture corridor”, including re-kindling Port Hope’s historic ties with post-secondary educational institution, Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCADU).
Early supporters of Critical Mass include: Ontario Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts, Northumberland County, the Municipality of Port Hope and a number of local business and individual patrons.