Curatorial Statement




Artist: Liz Parkinson

What is a Curatorial Statement?

Each year our curatorial committee decides on a guiding theme for all programming.

Through the curatorial statement we communicate our vision for the upcoming year. This is what we will explore and pursue through engaging art experienceswith your help.

2021 | Environment

Environment is a touchstone word. We are aware of its moment and its urgency. Environment applies to all external factors that form us. Environment can be interpreted geographically, politically, or personally. It can be real or artificial; it can be macro or micro; internal or external.  

When in an environment, we respond to what exists now, what came before, and to its potential. In stepping back and giving the word a bigger frame of reference, environment is about how we interact with the spaces we inhabit.

Our 2021 artists-in-residence will each explore the theme of environment through their individual art practices and interests.

Liz Parkinson

Artist, Curatorial Committee Chair, and Board Director

Liz Parkinson is interested in how we construct identity and order memory by choices in the things we gather around us. Through the collection, categorization and display of representations of the natural world she considers the stories we tell ourselves about our lives and our environment.

Liz’s prints are included in public and private collections in Canada and abroad including Global Affairs Canada, The Canada Council Art Bank, Ernst & Young and The Toronto Stock Exchange. She has received Ontario and Canada Council Grants in support of her work. Liz Parkinson lives in Port Hope, Ontario and Oaxaca, Mexico.

Liz’s personal site:

Fiona Crangle

Artist, Curatorial Member

An artist and art educator, Fiona has been involved in the visual arts culture of Port Hope for over 25 years. Her own art practice is informed by her engagement with youth -her children, their friends and her students- and her work explores what it means to attain adulthood. Staunchly believing in the value of art and art making in a community, Fiona is galvanized by the work Critical Mass does, providing us with an opportunity to play with the ideas put forward by contemporary art.

Alex Kirkham

Artist, Committee Member

Kelly Kirkham

Artist, Curatorial Member

Kelly Kirkham is a visual artist and puppet maker originally from Chatham, Ontario who has lived in the small town of Port Hope, Ontario since 2013. Drawing and painting are her first loves, and continue to inform the majority of her pieces, whether in two or three dimensions.

Although in the past she has kept her worlds of art making and puppet building separated, Kelly has recently folded her puppet work within her art practice, and is excited by the possibilities that have presented themselves. By painting and drawing on the cloth, accompanied by the addition of beading and embroidery, her puppets take on new depth and resonance.

Kelly’s personal site:

Brynley Longman

Artist, Curatorial Member

Born in Toronto, Brynley Longman attended the Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) and studied Fine Art Drawing and painting, where he received the George A Reid award for painting.  Subsequent to that he attended the Toronto School of Art as well as Seneca College studying computer animation.  After his studies Brynley became represented by XEXE gallery in Toronto later known as KWT Contemporary. His oil paintings are collected internationally.  In 2007 Brynley became interested in creating immersive environments in virtual reality spaces as a new media artist.  Since then Bryn’s work has featured in magazines such as Vogue magazine, in movies and in galleries worldwide.

Exhibitions include the Jewish museum in Berlin with European director Peter Greenaway, Manege Museum in Moscow, Russia, “Danse Macabre” with Peter Greenaway in Basel, Switzerland, the 17th Biennial of Cerveira, World Expo in Shanghai (Spanish pavilion) Nuit Blanche in Toronto and others.  Brynley’s work is part of the curriculum for several colleges and universities ranging from the California Institute of the Arts to York University.  Brynley has received three new media grants from the Ontario Arts Council with the latest being 2016.

Brynley also created a virtual environment to help heal soldiers with PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) for the United States military.

Brynley’s personal site:

Debbie Beattie

Curatorial Member, Program Director

Debbie is a marketing and communications professional with a passion for animating communities. She has over 15 years experience in client and project management, marketing initiatives and event planning, and has engaged the community of Port Hope with inclusive, creative, community-driven contemporary arts events for Critical Mass since 2015. Recent projects such as Slidestreet, mini MEGA Printmaking Festival, and Candlelight Festival have had positive cultural, social and economic impacts on the community, and Debbie has received several Civic Awards from the Municipality of Port Hope over the past few years in recognition of these community animation efforts.

Curatorial Committee